Unwed Couples: Should You Buy a House before Marrying?


It is completely normal for unmarried couples to want to purchase a house together. Many people in committed relationships buy their dream homes even if a wedding is not in the works. However, it is important to lay the groundwork and plan for this enormous responsibility you are about to take on. Buying a property is risky as it is so if you are planning to get one with your partner, here are things you need to know.

Get Legal Assistance

When acquiring a home, it is always a good idea to create a game plan under the supervision of a lawyer. This way, you can make sure you are considering every angle and protecting your assets the right way.

Determine How To Hold the Title

If you are purchasing a house with your partner, it is best to figure out how to hold the title. This is to secure your future and avoid ending up with nothing if the worse comes to the worst.

 

1. Joint Tenancy

Both parties get 50% of the ownership of the property. When one partner dies, the share of the deceased will be automatically transferred to the other.

2. Tenants in Common

With “Tenants in Common”, unequal ownership to the property is promoted. Usually, one partner gets 75% while the other gets 25%. However, the percentage of the share may depend on the financial contributions of each one. Unless it is stated in the other party’s will, the ownership will not be automatically transferred to the other if one passes away.

3. Sole Ownership

This allows you to yield tax savings if you and your partner’s income is different. If he or she has bad credit and you do not, a home loan application can be placed under your name. The rights of ownership will then be determined by the names on the deed and not on the mortgage.

 

Property Prenup and Cohabitation Property Agreement

Although it is uncomfortable to think about, it is advisable to plan out who gets who in the event of a breakup. Creating a Cohabitation Property Agreement can prevent possible legal battles in the future. It is a way to protect your share of the property, so make sure you create one with your partner and an attorney.

 

No one wants to think of the worst-case scenario in relationships. It is definitely easier to think of a happily ever after with your partner. However, we cannot predict the future even if we wanted to. So, the smartest thing to do when buying a home with your partner is to plan for the possibilities and preserve your assets by getting legal help.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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