Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Real Estate 101

Tenants in Common

In the Bay Area, where real estate prices continue to be high and challenging for first time buyers, creative solutions are always appreciated. Holding title to your home in a TIC, or Tenants in Common, is one such solution. So, what is a TIC?

A Tenants in Common arrangement allows a group of people to hold title together in percentage shares with undivided interest. Imagine a 4-unit building owned together by the residents of each unit. And, whereas a single loan had to be arranged for all of the owners in the past, that is changing these days, making TIC ownership easier than ever.

TIC ownership allows Right of Survivorship, which means you can leave the home to your heirs. This might seem logical, but it is the key difference between TICs and Joint Tenancy ownership, in which your share goes to the other joint tenant owners.

While there are many similarities between TICs and Condos, there are also key differences. TIC owners retain the airspace to their units and jointly own the common areas. In a condo, you lose the airspace and the HOA owns the common areas. TICs usually have monthly fees to cover general area maintenance and such, but you will always own your share.

TICs can be tricky, but are becoming more and more common and continue to be a great way to enter the real estate market. If you have questions about them or would like to discuss it further, I am always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

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