Cars Have Titles Which Are Transferred Upon Sale. Homes Do Not. So, What’s a ‘Deed’?

One of my sellers whose closing is fast approaching called me in a panic last week because she couldn’t find the deed to her house, which she thought she’d need to bring to closing.

I explained to her that a deed is not the same thing as a title, and that all she needs to bring to closing is her driver’s license or similar ID to prove who she is.

In fact, there is no “title” to her house. A deed is a legal document which transfers property. It is not proof of ownership. When a deed is recorded by the county clerk, it results in the county changing its records to reflect the new owner’s name, and the deed, once recorded in the clerk & recorder’s database, is then mailed back to the new owner. At that point, it doesn’t matter if you lose or misplace your deed, because the county has the proof of your ownership.

This is different from how motor vehicles are transferred, where you have a title to your car and must sign it over to the new owner when you sell your car. If you lose your title, there’s a procedure for replacing it, but you need that physical title to sell your car.  Not so with real estate.

Many people share my seller’s misunderstanding about deeds And there are different kinds of deeds. The deed used most often is a “warranty deed,” meaning that the seller warrants that they are the owner of the property and, with that deed, transfer it to the buyer.

There are “general” and “special” warranty deeds. I won’t go into the difference here, since the purpose of title insurance is to provide the buyer with a guarantee (regardless of the type of deed) that they are receiving the property free and clear of any claims of ownership or indebtedness by anyone other than the seller.

When a property being sold is in the estate of a deceased seller, it is sold by the “personal representative” of the estate (called an “executor” in other states), and the property is transferred via a “personal representative’s deed.” If the property is purchased at a foreclosure auction conducted by the Public Trustee (who enforces the “deed of trust” securing the mortgage for the lender), then the transfer is via a “trustee’s deed.” 

Whichever kind of deed is used, the fact remains that the deed only exists as evidence of the sale, and it does not need to be presented ever again.

I am not a lawyer, and I am providing this information as I understand it from real estate classes and from my experience as a real estate professional. You’ll want to engage a lawyer if you require further explanation, and I, like any real estate licensee, can refer you to one or more real estate lawyers.

My Advice on Buying Solar Panels and Electric Cars

By JIM SMITH

In the wake of last Saturday’s green homes tour and electric vehicle showcase, I’d like to share the advice I give to people who ask me about investing in solar power and buying an electric car.

As much as I wish it weren’t so, you will not recoup what you spend on solar panels, insulation and other green home improvements for your home when you sell it. As with any improvement, you will receive a percentage of what you spend, but it will not be anywhere near 100%. Only make those investments because you’ll enjoy the comfort and savings for at least a few years — and because it’s the right thing to do.

Regarding electric cars, I recommend buying a used EV. The used car industry has yet to properly value used EVs. Currently electric cars are devalued the same way gas cars are devalued, which doesn’t make sense. Consider a 4-year-old gas-powered car with 100,000 miles on it. You can probably get it for half its original price, because so many components, such as transmission, timing belt or fuel pump, are worn and might fail. But none of those components exist in EVs. There are under 50 moving parts in a Tesla. The same age EV is simply as good as new.

A used Tesla built before mid-2017 is an especially good deal, because lifetime free supercharging transfers to the buyer (unless purchased from Tesla). I’ve seen many Tesla Model S cars for sale online under $40,000, less than half their original price. Here’s one I found just now on autotrader.com….

Lakewood Townhome Just Listed by Andrew Lesko

Just 2 blocks from Lakewood’s Bear Creek Greenbelt and just minutes to Kipling and Highway 285, this bargain priced townhome at 3129 S. Estes Street is located in the San Francisco West townhome community offering a great opportunity for the buyer looking for a property that needs updating and reaping the upside value potential. Although it would benefit from updating, this 2-BR, 1-bath townhome is quite livable in its present condition. It’s perfect for a first-time buyer or for an investor looking for an easy, low-maintenance rental property. A similar 2-bed/1-bath unit in the same community is listed at $260K. Visit www.LakewoodTownhome.info for more info and pictures. Bring your creative mind to the open house Saturday, Oct. 12, noon to 2 pm, or call Andrew at 720-710-1000 for a showing.

Price Reduced on Rare Ranch Home in Littleton’s Trailmark

You’ll love this ranch-style home at 9379 S. Jellison Way. Not only has the price just been lowered by over $21,000 to $598,900, but Golden Real Estate is offering totally free moving (within Denver metro area) to help move this listing. Call 303-525-1851 for details! View a video tour at www.TrailmarkHome.info, or come to our open house this Saturday, Oct. 12th, from 11 am to 1 pm. At this price, this home won’t last long!

Sub-dividable Property North of Golden Just Listed by Kristi Brunel

This sub-dividable lot, just under an acre, is located in a parklike setting at the base of North Table Mountain. The address is 16826 W. 57th Ave., Golden. It was just listed at $699,000. The property includes a spacious 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom home, an oversized 3-car garage, a horse stable with storage and pasture.  Experience wildlife and the feel of country living just a few miles from downtown Golden, close to trails, shopping and great schools! The possibilities are many for a buyer with this property. Call listing agent Kristi Brunel, 303-525-2520, to set a private showing, Find more info and pix at www.TableMountainHome.info. Kristi will be holding a Happy Hour Open House tonight, Thursday, Oct. 10th, 3 to 5 pm.

At Saturday’s ‘Green Homes’ Tour, You’ll Learn What’s Possible for Your Home

The Metro Denver Green Homes Tour is an annual event that happens on the first Saturday in October, which is this coming Saturday. For $10 per person, you get to go on a self-guided tour of 14 Jefferson County homes with a variety of green features.

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about solar power and sustainability, but every year I learn things I didn’t already know by touring the homes on this tour.

Golden Real Estate is proud to be a platinum sponsor of this event each year. Also, I serve on the steering committee and help in a variety of ways, such as organizing the Electric Vehicle Showcase, which takes place during the post-tour reception, 4 to 6 pm in the CoorsTek parking lot at 10th & Jackson Street in downtown Golden. It coincides with the reception and Green Expo in the American Mountaineering Center (AMC) across the street.

You can register for the tour online at www.MetroDenverGreenHomesTour.org, but you’ll need to pick up your tour book and map, which you can do anytime on Friday at Golden Real Estate’s office, 17695 S. Golden Road, or on Saturday after 9am at the AMC, 710 10th Street.  If you don’t register online, you can do so at the AMC on Saturday morning.

Then you’re on your own, mapping out your own tour based on locations but also on what you read about each house in the tour book.

I couldn’t shoot video tours of every home, but I did choose two that the committee felt represented particularly interesting examples of sustainability. You can see those two videos on the website mentioned above. By watching those two videos you will learn things you didn’t already know, as I did by shooting them.

To quote from page 3 of the tour book, “In our ongoing effort to showcase a wide variety of solutions and lifestyles, you will see solar, of course, and also mini splits, ground source heat pumps and passive solar treatments. You can visit an Arvada sustainable new town home community [Geos] and enjoy many other sustainable lifestyle features such as co-housing, electric vehicles and water wise gardens. You will be viewing the tried-and-true in addition to the latest in innovative technologies, plus learning many steps used to eliminate red tape while going green.”

If you pick up your tour book at Golden Real Estate, let us show you how we transitioned to “net zero energy” using many of the features you’ll see on the tour, including heat pump/mini-split heating & cooling, solar panels, super insulation, and tankless electric water heating. Our monthly energy bill is $10.26 since having our gas meter removed two years ago. If you come in an electric car, you can plug in to our free ChargePoint charging stations — powered by the sun — while we show you around! Click here to read the Jan. 4, 2018, column I wrote describing Golden Real Estate’s transition to Net Zero Energy.

This Saturday’s tour is one of 79 such tours of 894 private homes happening this weekend as part of the National Solar Tour sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). And that doesn’t include, for example, last Saturday’s Boulder Green Home Tour, which had 10 homes on it. This is the 25th National Solar Tour, and we have participated for 23 of those years.

Don’t forget the Green Expo during the reception, 4 to 6 pm following the tour. Many companies which implement green solutions will have booths, and there will be an Electric Vehicle Showcase in the parking lot across the street. If you have an EV, bring it for display! If you’re interested in going electric, there will be test drives available. Also, Pedego Golden is bringing electric bicycles which you can test ride.  I have an electric bike, and I love it!

Also at the event will be the CSU Extension 4-H Mobile STEM Lab. The primary focus of the mobile lab is energy production and conservation, energy conversions and mechanical advantage for youth and adults.  Should be interesting!

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Leyden Rock Home Just Listed by David Dlugasch

This beautiful patio home at 8614 Rogers Way #B has 10-foot ceilings on the main level, hardwood floors, granite counters throughout, and an open floor plan. The living room has a 60″ wall-mounted TV that stays. It was just listed for $480,000.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and lots of cabinet space with a breakfast bar in the island. The basement family room is huge, with a 70″ wall-mounted TV included. It is carpeted and has a bedroom with a double closet and a full bathroom next to it. HOA dues cover common area maintenance and landscaping, community club house and pool, snow removal, and trash/recycling service.  A new roof was installed this September because the original shingles had been recalled.  There is plenty of storage space in the unfinished utility area. This home is close to walking/biking trails in the Leyden Rock and Pattridge open space, and only 100 yards to Daybreak Park. View a narrated video tour at www.ArvadaHome.info.  Open house is this Saturday, Oct. 5th, 11am to 2pm. Or call David Dlugasch at 303-908-4835 for a private showing.