Where do you store the title for your house?
June 17, 2011 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Where do you store the title for your house?

Do you store the title for your house in your house, or elsewhere? If there were a problem, would a scanned copy do? Does the lawyer's office keep it on hand?

My partner and I own a house together but do not have a shared bank deposit box, etc., in which to have equal access to the physical document. I scanned it but I am not sure if this would be enough.
posted by Riverine to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't have to share an account to have equal access to a safe deposit box. My mother listed me as someone who is allowed to access her and my father's safe deposit box and I have a key. We don't even live in the same state.

(and yes, my husband and I do store our house title in our safe deposit box).
posted by cooker girl at 6:11 PM on June 17, 2011

Does the lawyer's office keep it on hand?

Dude, if you have a lawyer, I think that would be best...or you could ask the lawyer what they suggest as they've probably seen all sorts of messups because it was stored in X rather than Y.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:15 PM on June 17, 2011

Safe deposit box.
posted by Flunkie at 6:21 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

We have a fire safe for important documents.
posted by something something at 7:06 PM on June 17, 2011

Where are you located? We have a very nice, official-looking copy of the title, but the real one has always remained with our notary (that is, the notary that oversaw the buying transaction).
posted by ddaavviidd at 7:07 PM on June 17, 2011

going by your profile, which says you're in New York -

you'll need the original abstract when you sell the house. A scanned copy won't work for that. They can be expensive to replace if they go missing, too.

Probably the easiest thing to do is to store it with the title company that updated it the last time (that'll be the company that's listed on the paper backer). That way, it's out of your hands and you don't have to worry about it going missing or catching on fire or something.

(Contrary to this advice, we have our own abstract, and store it in a fireproof safe. Mostly because I totally geek out over legal descriptions and chain of title stuff and I love looking through it from time to time.)
posted by Lucinda at 7:48 PM on June 17, 2011

Safe deposit box at the bank. Failing that, put it in a fire safe.
posted by Gilbert at 8:55 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ideally, offsite.

Local bank, Safe deposit box.

End of story.
posted by Sphinx at 9:58 PM on June 17, 2011

Why don't you suggest to your local legislature that they enter the 21st century and not continue to require a physical hard copy of the thing? We got rid of paper titles in the 90s, haven't looked back.
posted by wilful at 10:26 PM on June 17, 2011

1- It is kind of nice to have a single title as a token for ownership. Like just in case someone messes up the computer, or a neighbor's property sells and the deed gets recorded incorrectly and slices three feet off of your land. You can march down to the county building and show them the title.

2- Safe deposit box.

3- But don't fret too much about it, because the county DOES have a record of it and it can be replaced for (likely) a few hundred dollars.

4- The titles for my cars are in a pile somewhere, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.
posted by gjc at 10:47 PM on June 17, 2011

Not that I would recommend this, but I have heard of people who, in lieu of a spendy fire-proof safe, store important documents in an envelope in their garden-variety flame-retardant freezer.
posted by Jezebella at 4:19 PM on June 18, 2011

If you're referring to the "deed" to your house and not the abstract, then it doesn't matter if you even have a copy as the only legally recognized "document" is the one actually on file with the recorder (or whatever the governmental agent is in your state). If you ever need a copy, pay a few bucks to get a "certified" copy from the recorder.

If you're referring to the "abstract of title" then the above does not apply.
posted by webhund at 4:20 PM on June 18, 2011

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