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Post title expenditures normally do not buy into title. The improving estate obtains a right to reimbursement. Again, utter confusion reigns. Some courts apply the common law fixtures doctrine and hold that the improvement takes on the character of the property improved. Some courts reject the fixtures doctrine outright. Others allow a buy in to title to occur. Still others preface a buy in determination with a predetermination of whether the expenditures were not great in comparison to the value of the realty to determine if a buy in is warranted.


The improvement doctrine involves both tangible and intangible expenditures on property. Sums paid for major upkeep as well as taxes are relevant. Mortgage payments also come within the improvement doctrine. But again, confusion reigns because in purchase money mortgages some courts treat the principal portion of the payment as buying into title relying on the pro rata share apportionment rules. This confusion was eliminated by Section 2640 of the California Family Code in 1983. If the title is held in most forms of co-ownership by a married couple, the remedy is reimbursement to the separate estate without interest not to exceed the value of the property at ...

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