Many would agree that buying a home with your partner before saying “I do” isn’t the wisest decision. Despite recent studies that have practically proven that simply renting a house with your partner before getting married significantly lowers the chance that marriage will ever occur, couples continue to co-habitate together. If you do decide to purchase a home with your girlfriend or boyfriend, you need to have a backup plan, as it is a pretty dangerous idea to go this route in the first place.
You cannot purchase the home, move in, and assume everything will go as planned. As humans, we are constantly changing. That person you love and are buying a house with today, might be a different person tomorrow, so you must make sure that you protect yourself financially and legally.
You should consult with a real estate attorney and have a written agreement drawn up regarding who owns what equity in the house, and who owns what personal items within the house, and how they will be separated should a breakup occur. If not, you’ll have to decide in court; court fees are not cheap.
The property agreement will cover property within the home such as furniture, electronics, lighting, and even pets. It states how the property would be sold and who would live where after the breakup. Here are some questions that you should definitely sit down and ask your partner before you move in together.
- How much will each of us put down the down payment?
- How will we split the mortgage?
- Who’s name is going to be on the mortgage?
- How will we split the bills?
- Who is going to pay for any improvements or repairs to the home, and how will it affect each of our equity in the home?
- How is the house going to be sold?
- Will one of us agree to buy the other out in the event of a move?
Please take buying a house with your significant other seriously. There are so many disadvantages. If you honestly want to move in together, a good first step is to rent, and see how that works out first. Get as much advice from family, friends, and professionals before you decide to take the plunge.