When a person buys a house, they may receive congratulations from family and friends as the “new owner”. Some new buyers may retort with the old joke, “Well, the bank owns it, but I live here and pay for it!”
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Of course, you are not a tenant with a landlord, so you have certain rights within your home…and that includes the right to be proud of your purchase! You also have the right to make changes to the interior of the home and property, in accordance with local building codes.
But you might be surprised to learn that even though the property was purchased through a mortgage agreement, you still own the house. Your name is on the title as the owner. The bank or mortgage company has an interest in the property and the mortgage note itself, but the lender does not own your home.
Your home is considered collateral for the mortgage loan. As long as you repay your home loan according to the terms, you are the legal owner of the property. Even if your mortgage is in arrears, the foreclosure process can take time and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to negotiate a deal or keep up to date with your payments. Until the mortgage lender successfully forecloses, you still own the home.
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So the next time someone congratulates you on the purchase of your new home, just smile, say “thank you,” and maybe invite them to your housewarming party — after all, it’s your house!
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