California Property FAQs
A Grant Deed transfers title ownership of real property from the current owner to the new owner. A deed can also relinquish a co-owner’s interest in real property to another existing co-owner. When a person or entity purchases real property, a Grant Deed is recorded showing them as the new owner of the property.
On the other hand, a Deed of Trust reflects loans against real property. In this regard, rather than addressing “title” to the property, a Deed of Trust addresses lien hold interests in real property. A Deed of Trust is recorded to secure repayment of a debt between a bank lien holder (lender) and the actual titleholder/owner of the property. The recorded deed of trust has priority over other recorded deeds of trust on the same property based on when they were recorded. For example, a deed of trust recorded January 1, 2017 would have priority over a later deed of trust recorded March 3, 2017. When a bank loans money to a buyer money to buy a home, the homeowner signs a deed of trust. This Deed of Trust is then recorded on the property to memorialize the loan and secure the loan.
In real property transactions, a beneficiary typically refers to the lender or bank who is named in a Deed of Trust. Every Deed of Trust will identify a named beneficiary who typically receives the deed of trust in exchange for their loaning money to a homeowner. In real estate transactions, the beneficiary list on a deed of trust is usually a bank; however an individual person can also be listed as a beneficiary. The deed of trust identifies the basic terms of the loan, such as the amount borrowed from the beneficiary/lender.