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RLimon

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Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #1 

A well seasoned real estate investor recently told me a story about how a Dr. was tired of the toilet, trash, and renting business.  This investor and the Dr. met for lunch and the Dr. signed over the Deed to the property to the investor.  I asked the investor, "Didn't you have it notarized?"  He replied, "I've taken many properties just like this without notarization."

 

So the question is, does a Deed have to be notarized by Law?  Or is it simply a way of protecting one self from fraud?

 

Ruben.

 

P.S.  Dinner is on him if I prove him wrong.

mike

Senior Member
Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 608
Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RLimon

A well seasoned real estate investor recently told me a story about how a Dr. was tired of the toilet, trash, and renting business.  This investor and the Dr. met for lunch and the Dr. signed over the Deed to the property to the investor.  I asked the investor, "Didn't you have it notarized?"  He replied, "I've taken many properties just like this without notarization."

So the question is, does a Deed have to be notarized by Law?  Or is it simply a way of protecting one self from fraud?

Ruben.

P.S.  Dinner is on him if I prove him wrong.

It absolutely does NOT need to be notarized. From the RE class there are i think 7 things the deed must contain to be valid, but notarizing is definitely not one of them. However i cannot comment on any rules about recording it. That is a different issue. This is called a table deed.

Mike

ps i would buy him dinner and do more listening than talking

 

RLimon

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Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #3 

Thank you Mike.  I have been to several seminars and took a class with a well known local guy.  Everyone always says, have a notary ready for when taking the Deed.  No one has ever said, It's nice to have but not necessary. 

 

-Ruben

RonaldStarr

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Registered: 07/24/05
Posts: 1,445
Reply with quote  #4 

Ruben Limon--CA-------------

 

It can't be recorded at the recorder office.  But it does transfer ownership.

 

In the future, the buyer might have to do one of three things to get marketable title:

 

1--Go back to the seller and get a new deed, with notarization of the signature.

2--Hold the property for at least the minimum adverse possession period, then do a quite title/adverse possession lawsuit.

3--Do a quite title lawsuit before the adverse possession period is over.

 

If the buyer does not care about marketable title, of course, he need do none of these things.  He owns it.  He can do what he wants with it.

 

Good Investigating and Good Eating On You Dollar*******Ron Starr*******

 

 

RLimon

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Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #5 

As a student I feel that asking this question to the REI was a good question.  That being said, I never stated anything to him so I can can't say that I'm wrong or right.  I've posted this same question on another Forum and I'm getting similar results.

 

Sounds like I have this REI on a technicality.  Thank you every one.  If anybody else knows anything about my original question, please feel free to continue this thread.

 

As for dinner?  I'll take him out to Denny's.  Hehe...Nah, this is worth at least TGIF or El Toritos or Hooters. 

 

Ruben

 

P.S.  The hotwings at Hooters are nothing to brag about.

landuseguy

Junior Member
Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #6 
Couple quick points, not legal advice, just commentary.

First, whoever mentioned not being able to get a deed recorded without the notary (the specifity of which is a bit of a pain) was spot on. Not being able to record is trouble because then the owner who signed his deed over to you could theoretically sell the home to someone else. Without your deed being recorded it won't show up in a PTR and the new owner will be a bona fide purchaser for value who took without notice. Generally, that owner would get to keep the home and you'd be stuck with a suit against the original owner for damages. This can, of course, be mitigated by your actual possession of the home (physical residence in the building), because any owner woulld be put on constructive notice that someone else may have a lawful claim to the property, but that's another issue.

Second, someone mentioned letting the adverse possession period run and trying an end run that way. Problem is that there are five elements to an adverse possession claim, two of which are that you a) took with a belief that you had a right to be in possession (see CA code for acceptable evidence o this) and b) that your possession was hostile. "Hostile" in this context has a specific legal meaning, but in any case if you were given title to the property its unlikely you'd meet this criterion. Also, incidentally, you'd have to show that you actually paid taxes on the property--another bit of a thorny matter.


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doctor

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Registered: 06/24/06
Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #7 

The 5 elements of Adverse Possession - I know more about it than most lawyers.

1st point: A.P. does not require that you believe to have ownership. This is nothing to worry about, not for you.

 

2nd point: Hostile simply describes your claim to the real estate vs. anyone else. Your claim is hostile to mine because you believe (in good faith) that you own the property, you occupy the property, and you refuse my claim to the property.

 

In a worst-case scenario, you would wait the statutory number of years and then pursue a Quiet-Title Action. This would establish you as the title-holder. There are easy ways of proving that you have paid the taxes, utilities, etc. Message me if you're interested, though it's unlikely you'll encounter a conflicting claim.

landuseguy

Junior Member
Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 35
Reply with quote  #8 
<<1st point: A.P. does not require that you believe to have ownership. This is nothing to worry about, not for you.

2nd point: Hostile simply describes your claim to the real estate vs. anyone else. Your claim is hostile to mine because you believe (in good faith) that you own the property, you occupy the property, and you refuse my claim to the property.>>

Not sure how else to interpret claim or color of title, and the cases I've read suggest the CA courts aren't inclined to interpret these to mean you aren't possessing with a belief that you have a right to do so. That said, I am always interested in learning new things, so I'd welcome any thoughts you have.

As for hostility, the problem seems to be an evidentiary one. From a court's perspective, some guy comes forward with a deed that he claims is signed by the previous owner. It isn't notarized and the guy hasn't bothered to occupy the property or demonstrate that it's actually his. Now, five years and a day hence he wants to come forth and ask the court to boot somebody else who has bought without notice of his title claim. This doesn't look to me like it would satisfy the hostility element as to anyone.

On another note, RStarr mentioned buying and holding for the statutory period, and if the Dr in the example did nothing but that, I'm not sure his possession would be seen as open and notorious, either.

As i understand it, AP developed in the way it did to promote efficient usage of property, but there are protections included. If it isn't possible for an owner to know that someone is possessing his property, he can't possibly defend an adverse claim. Hence the inclusion of the open and notorious requirement. Although I went to school in a state where AP doesn't have much teeth, I have seen CA cases that upheld the claim, so I'm not suggesting it's impossible. I'm just not sure the facts given support such a claim here. As for the taxes, if the guy didn't live there and didn't record, I suppose he could just go down and pay at the County. And taxes are admittedly more of a problem when we are talking about a portion of a lot rather than an entire property, but my experience is that it's not a slam dunk.

Doc, sounds like you've got quite a bit of experience here, care to elaborate? As an aside, I'm not much for message board bickering, so please assume that my questions are on the level/benign and not an attempt to start some cyber war of words. If I can learn a bit, great, I'm all for it. My review turned up a trend in one direction, with exceptions of course, but I'm certainly interested in alternatives.

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"Dedicated service in real estate and land use law."
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javipa

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Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 3,167
Reply with quote  #9 
Final Answer:

Yes! 

If you want a marketable title.

Javipa

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RonaldStarr

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Registered: 07/24/05
Posts: 1,445
Reply with quote  #10 

Omar Passons “land use guy”—CA------------

 

If there is a renter occupying the property, that is open and notorious use.  I’ve also thought that were I to have a rental property that I were acquiring through adverse possession that I’d have a plaque at the front door saying “This is the property of Ronald Starr, telephone number …. “

 

There are two ways to do adverse possession, under color of title and under right of possession.  The first requires some document which proports to transfer an interest or create an  interest in the property.  The latter does not.  In some states, one has to have color of title to do adverse possession.  In some states one does not.  I believe that in CA one does not.

 

Good Investing*******Ron Starr********

 

wexeter

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Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 52
Reply with quote  #11 

The county recorder will always reject any deed that has not been notarized.  I have seen many rejected because someone forgot to get it notarized.  I'm not sure why anyone in his or her right mind would ever attempt to acquire property without a notarized deed.  You are asking for a lot of difficult times ahead.  If you take short cuts, you get what you pay for.  Simple as  that.


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