As a foreign buyer, you may be wondering how to prove home ownership and how it is documented in the United States. How to prove home ownership varies greatly by country, and in the United States publicly recorded documents stored in local municipal offices are the basis of our real property ownership system. In other countries, like China, private documentation may be more important. Providing proof of land or home ownership can be one with several documents in the U.S. Here’s a look at how to prove ownership in the United States.
The Warranty Deed
One of the easiest ways to provide proof of ownership is through the actual deed to the property. This will show the current owner of the property and a description of the property. Property deeds come in different types including the general warranty deed. This shows the person who is selling the property (the grantor) and the person they are selling it to (the grantee). When the sale closes, the deed is recorded in the public record of the local city hall and this makes you the official legal owner of the home. If you obtain financing to buy the home, your lender will hold the grant deed in trust as collateral for repayment of your loan and the public record will show the lender with a lien on the public title of the home.
Deed of Trust
Your lender may have to execute a deed of trust when a loan is used to buy a property. This depends on the state and is most common here in California. A deed of trust shows the property deed is transferred in into the name of the trustee until the loan is paid in full. The trustee is usually a title company and remains until the mortgage debt is paid completely. A copy of the deed of trust can be obtained by the borrower, even though the borrower won’t receive the legal title until the mortgage debt is paid.
Another way to provide proof of home or land ownership in the United States is with a mortgage note. This document comes from the lender and shows a mortgage debt has been secured by the property. During the mortgage closing, the property owner will acquire the title and the seller will transfer the deed to the buyer. The mortgage note also shows that the owner has a mortgage lien on the property.
Satisfaction of Mortgage Letter
Another way to provide proof of land or home ownership is with a satisfaction of mortgage letter. When you’ve paid off your mortgage, you’ll receive the satisfaction of mortgage letter. This letter can be used to provide proof of ownership until you receive a clear title. It’s not necessary to hold onto your deed or title as a new copy can be reclaimed through the local county clerk’s office or courthouse. This is where you can go to look up your property in the land file records and get the title or deed, if you have lost it. Depending on local requirements, you may not be able to get a copy of it unless the title or deed is in your name and it may need to be notarized after you make a copy of it.