Home Buying in Hawaii>Question Details

Bonnie, Home Buyer in Hawaii

My boyfriend and I are buying a home in Maui, HI. We are not married and trying to make sure we cover

Asked by Bonnie, Hawaii Wed Dec 26, 2007

everything we need to protect ourselves. We are looking at at Joint-tennancy. As I understand it, if anything happens to the other, the home would go to the surviving partner, correct? It will be a VA loan, any recommendations? thank you! Bonnie

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Very few things are as easy as they sound at first. Ownership of real property in a meritritious relationship is definitely one of them. No realtor is qualified to speak to you about the effects certain types of ownership may have on separation, children (now or later), taxes and estate planning, use rights, joint and several liability concerns that may affect claims upon the property, - just to name a few.

In addition to being a sales manager for Century 21 All Islands, I have been a licensed attorney in another state for almost 30 years. Spend a few dollars and visit with a good local attorney before all the documents are signed. You'll feel a lot better about such a big investment.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 26, 2007
While you are on the right track to consider Joint-Tenancy, there are other things to consider like:

1. Who will be making the payments?
2. Who is contributing to the down payment?
3. How do you split the profit/loss when you sell the home?
4. What happens if one partner can no longer make his/her portion of the payment?
5. Who pays for improvements to the home?
6. How do you settle a dispute about the ownership of the property?

Since everyone's situation is unique to themselves, including your own, you would be best advised to sit down with a real estate attorney. I would encourage you to buy an hour of the attorney's time so you can make a sound decision. When you talk to the attorney, ask about the idea of a joint-tenancy agreement (it should address many of the questioned that I have posed to you).

Kind Regards,
Andrew Meislin
President

Lauhala Mortgage
74-5620 Palani Court; Suite 208
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Phone: (808) 331-0585
Fax: (808) 331-0583
Email: Andrew@LauhalaMortgage.com
Web-Site: http://www.LauhalaMortgage.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 7, 2009
Thank you for your reply Walt!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 26, 2007
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