San Bernardino, CA asked in Real Estate Law for California

Q: I live in a house that was gifted to me. If I sell this and buy a new home will it still be considered separate property

My home is considered separate because it was gifted, but if I sell this and buy a new home while still married, will the new home still be separate property or would it now be considered community property? I live in California.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell
  • Licensed in California

A: I suggest you contact an attorney before you sell your house, or transfer the proceeds of a sale into a bank account. In general, separate property that is commingled with another person, such as money in a joint bank account, may not be considered as separate property after it is commingled, because the property lacks traceability. Issues of traceability may not be obvious. There should be an accounting for certain items such as the allocation of joint mortgage payments and improvements contributed by your spouse. If the house is in your name, the proceeds from a sale of the house should be deposited in an individual account in your name to maintain traceability. You should be on title for any subsequent property purchased with funds from previous properties or bank accounts..

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