Buying a home is an exciting step in a relationship. Whether you are just starting out or have been together for years, it’s an opportunity to build upon your dreams and invest in your future. Although marriage is not for everyone, society was set up with spouses in mind. Without a marriage certificate, the law treats couples as separate individuals, which can pose extras risks and costs. Take some time to understand these risks, so you can get ahead of them. Use these tips to set yourselves up for success.
In order to qualify you and your partner for a mortgage, lenders do a deep dive into your income and debt. If discussing money is not a regular part of your relationship, now is the time to make it a habit.
Set aside an evening to figure out where you stand financially. Be sure to include:
Once you have a clear picture of your finances, do what you can to make it easy for lenders to qualify you for a loan. Two key areas to focus on are paying off outstanding debt and saving up money for a down payment on your new house.
It’s a tough conversation to have – but it’s important to have it. Discuss what would happen to the house and the mortgage if you split up or if something happens to one of you. Work with an attorney to draft a partnership agreement documenting each person’s rights and responsibilities, such as:
The document can be a straight 50-50 across the board, but it’s important to have it in writing to protect yourself and your partner if something happens.
Title is your right to ownership, and there are different types of title available to accommodate specific situations. It’s especially important for unmarried couples to choose the right type of title once you’ve set your sights on the property you want to purchase.
The laws are different in each state, so check with an attorney or real estate professional before you close on your new home. Here are three common ways to take title:
Much of the homebuying process is the same for married and unmarried couples, but it’s important to pay attention to the differences. Surround yourself with a team of professionals who know what you should plan for, like a tax advisor, attorney, and mortgage lender. Our loan advisors take the time to listen to your story so we can build a loan that works for your unique situation. Contact a loan advisor today to get started.