Two Mother-Daughter Teams Ask How to Co-Own Homes

Dear Mr. Premack: I have a mortgage on a house in San Antonio where my mother lives. I’m her only daughter and am not currently living in that house. She makes the loan and tax payments. How can I add my mother, who is 69, to the deed so we can apply for the 65+ and homestead exemptions? – CR

Dear Mr. Premack: My husband and I are joint owners of our house, with a mortgage, in both of our names. He passed away last October with a simple Will leaving everything to me. We have not had the Will registered at the courthouse. I would like to have my daughter’s name added to the mortgage. How do I go about doing that? – CS

The common theme in both of your letters is that you want to adjust ownership of your homesteads. Both are subject to mortgages. A mortgage is officially called a “deed of trust” in Texas. It is a contract you signed in order to obtain funds to purchase the home. In it, you agreed to various restrictions meant to protect the lender and to impose liability on you for repayment of the promissory note which you also signed.

One of you wants to add your mother as co-owner of the home, the other wants to add your daughter as co-owner of the home. You see benefits to having mother-daughter partnerships, and ask how to accomplish your goals.

First CR: you want to add your mother to the deed, but that is a change in ownership that likely violates a provision of the mortgage which says something along the line of “I agree not to transfer or sell an interest in this home without permission from the mortgage company.” Thus, you must first seek permission from the mortgage company – which has no motive to agree,