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California Recorder Information

The recording of real estate deed documents in California is handled by local recorders in the county where the real property is located. Go to the county page for specific information.

In California, every conveyance of real property or an estate for years that has been acknowledged or proved, certified, and recorded is constructive notice to subsequent purchasers and mortgagees from the time it is filed for record.

If a conveyance is left unrecorded, it is void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee of the same real property, or any part thereof, in good faith and for a valuable consideration, whose conveyance is first duly recorded, and as against any judgment affecting the title, unless the conveyance shall have been duly recorded prior to the record of the notice of action.

An unrecorded instrument is valid as between the parties bound by it and those who have notice thereof.

A fee simple title is presumed to be intended to pass by a grant of real property, unless it is evident from the grant that a lesser estate was intended.

A transfer of real property in California will pass all the easements attached to the land.

After-acquired title: When a grantor purports by proper instrument to grant real property in fee simple, and subsequently acquires any title or claim of title thereto, it will pass by operation of law to the grantee or his successors.

Every grant of an estate in real property is conclusive against the grantor and against everyone subsequently claiming under him, except a good faith purchaser or encumbrancer who, in valuable consideration, acquires a title or lien by instrument that is first duly recorded.

When the word "grant" appears in the granting clause of a conveyance, the following covenants, and none other, on the part of the grantor for himself and his heirs to the grantee, his heirs, and assigns, are implied:

1. That previous to the execution of the conveyance, the grantor has not conveyed the same estate, or any right, title, or interest in the estate to any person other than the grantee; and

2. That at the time of execution of the conveyance, the estate is free from encumbrances done, made, or suffered by the grantor, or any person claiming under him.

These covenants are implied unless they are limited by specific words used in the deed. They may be sued upon as if they had been expressly inserted in the conveyance.

When community property of a husband and wife is directly declared to be community property with the right of survivorship in the transfer document, and is accepted in writing on the face of the document by a statement signed or initialed by the grantees, will, upon the death of one of the spouses, pass to the survivor, without administration, and is pursuant to the terms of the instrument. This will be subject to the same procedures as property held in joint tenancy. Prior to the death of either spouse, the right of survivorship may be terminated according to the same procedure by which a joint tenancy is severed.