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Framing Your Home's Deed

Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A

REM #LAW 746

By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin

Summary: A ThinkGlink reader would like to frame and post the deed to his home but was disappointed to see it is just a copy of a document. Ilyce and Sam explain that it might not look like much, but this homeowner should put it someplace safe.

Q: I bought a house and the deed I received looks less glamorous than I thought it would. That is, there are no cool stamps, and even the paper looks copied.
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I trust my lawyer that it is the real deal, but since I now own my home, I had wanted to make a framed collage of the deed, a special landscape map of the property, and use some of our best photographs.

While the deed is several pages long, I could use just the first page. But it bugs me that it’s so plain. Historically, would people frame their deed, to show it's "their house?" Or, do folks just stuff it in a bank box, never to be seen again?

Am I allowed to create a stamp and put a ribbon in it and sign it in red pen?

A: It’s good to know there are still some people looking for something more than black and white documents. Unfortunately, most people take their documents from the purchase of their home and file them away.

You should do the same thing with your deed and other closing documents. You can place them in a bank box or other safe place where you have access to them if you need, but where they’ll be unlikely to get destroyed in a flood or fire.

What you can do for your collage is to make a copy of the first page and then decorate that page as you please. You can look on the internet or check out the books at your local library that show what old documents looked like. Then, you can replicate that old look and feel.

Scan your document into the computer and use publishing tools to make the document look old, if you wish. You may even be able to replicate the old wax seal stamps that were used hundreds of years ago to give your document that old time feel and even add the red ribbon you crave for color. Either buy a frame or have the collage professionally framed.

Do whatever you like with the duplicate of your deed, but keep the original intact.

Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022 or contact them through Ilyce’s website




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