Different Types of Title 

One of the many decisions you must make at the time of closing your home is how you will hold title to the home.  While most buyers don’t spend a lot of time thinking about this, how the deed to your home is titled could have a lot of impact on the biggest financial investment you are making.  Therefore, it’s critical to do some research on this issue and consult with a tax advisor (or legal advisor) before determining which way you need to proceed.

TGated Community photoo help you get started, here are some common ways your home can be titled.  First, is community property.  Arizona is a community property state, one of nine in this country.  What this means is that anything that is earned in a marriage is owned equally by each partner in the marriage.  Property acquired in this state is presumed to be community property unless otherwise specified by the parties.  Both people own one half of the community property, separately but unified.  However, this way to hold title does require a probate hearing in the event of death of one of the spouses.

If you are unmarried when you purchase property, this is typically titled as sole ownership.  Therefore, the buyer is the only person with interest in the property, and the property is included in his/her estate if he/she dies.  A married person can purchase separate property only if their spouse signs the deed stating that they are not interested in owning that property as community property.

If two people are not married but wish to purchase property, they can own it via joint tenancy.  This type of deed does not require the individuals to be married but they must have equal ownership in the property.  More than two people can own a property in joint tenancy, so long as all shares of ownership are equal.  A tax benefit of joint tenancy is that the estate will be passed on automatically to the surviving joint tenant(s) without the need for probate (ie, court).

A title holding trust is where ownership of the property is divided into any number of interests, and is often used by groups of people or corporations.  Because a trust can’t hold title on its own, once the loan is closed, a deed can be drafted to put the property in the trust.  The title holding trust gives the owner of the trust more specific ways he/she can detail the estate.

Finally, a final type of title to consider is also the most common way to title a home, and that is community property with right of survivorship.  This type of title retains all the benefits of community property but does not require a probate hearing in the event of a death of a spouse.  No court action will be required to clear the title.

Again, this is just a primer on the most common types of title here in Arizona.  If you have special tax consequences or financial concerns, please consider consulting with a tax advisor or attorney to make an informed decision about this exciting purchase.

Do you know the value of your home?  Click here to get a free estimate.

Beyond Backyard Birthday Parties

az on the rocks facility photoWhile backyard birthday parties can be the perfect way to celebrate your child’s special day, sometimes it’s fun to think outside the box and host the party elsewhere.  These options mean zero clean-up for you, and lots of fun for the birthday guest of honor and all of their guests.

  1. Butterfly Wonderland.  This new venue offers a fun way to learn about butterflies, as well as to interact with these beautiful creatures in the rainforest atrium.  Butterfly Wonderland offers three different party packages with two different themes: butterflies or bugs.  The packages include all-day admission (plus the 3D theatre) for up to 15 children and 3 adults, a decorated party room, a fruit platter and a birthday cake or cupcakes.  (Pizza is available for an additional charge).
  2. Amazing Jake’s Food and Fun.  This 90,000-square foot indoor amusement park houses a carousel, bumper cars, bowling, laser tag, tea-cup ride, roller coaster and go carts, plus dozens of video games.  There is also a giant buffet restaurant onsite offering pasta, pizza, salads, soup and dessert.  Birthday party packages include unlimited buffet access, a reserved party area, balloon bouquet ad rides for the party guests.  A minimum of 10 guests required.
  3. AZ On the Rocks.  This indoor climbing gym in north Scottsdale features 14,000-square feet of climbing walls, and claims to be the largest such gym in Arizona.  Birthday party packages include a sleepover option.  All party packages include climbing gear for 10 guests plus hosts to facilitate the party and climbers.  Additional options include pizza, drinks, ice cream, cake and goody bags.
  4. Circus School of Arizona.  This exciting option offers kids the change to learn circus arts such as aerial silks, tight rope, the trapeze, hula hooping, and more.  These arts are taught by professional circus performers.  Additional party package options include balloon artists, face painting, character performers and more.  A minimum of 7 guests is required.
  5. Enchanted Island Amusement Park.   Located within Encanto Park in central Phoenix, this outdoor amusement park is a fun place to host an outdoor birthday party this time of year.  There are various packages which can include unlimited rides, a party hostess, a shaded party area, decorations and ice cream.  One such party is the Pirate’s Cove Party which features a charcoal grill and a private bounce house or inflatable obstacle course within a one-acre private party area.

Click here for a no obligation home value estimate.