Question Details

me, Other/Just Looking in Davis, CA

How does a couple buy a property together if they are unmarried?

Asked by me, Davis, CA Tue Feb 17, 2009

My boyfriend and I are committed but don't plan to marry. How do we go about buying a home together?

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You start just where you have started, asking alot of questions, researching your options on-line and with a knowledgeable Realtor and Attorney. Your deal is just like every other. Couples buy (married or not), Friends buy, business partners buy. Anyone who wants to buy together can buy together. I highly suggest that you have a good attorney. If one of you default on the loan, you both default. You want to be sure that both of you qualify and can afford your payments. I would even suggest talking about the "WHAT IF'S" so you know in advance. What if: One of you want to sell and the other does not?
What if: One of you comes into a financial crisis?
The rest of the process is the same as any other couples.
Best of Luck to you
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009

Karen makes excellent points when she suggests that you explore the “what-if’s” and how future events may impact this joint ownership.

The following is not legal advice. I am not an attorney, nor am I licensed in to practice real estate in California.

There is little challenge for you to purchase a property together, as long as you qualify for the mortgage. You should, however, explore and understand your options for how the property will be titled and the deed will be recorded. Title can be held, among other options, as joint tenancy or tenants in common. It is likely that you will explore one of these two. There may be more options for you to explore, though. Example, partnerships can be formed. Domestic partners can register in some states. Community property laws apply in some states…….which you may have some familiarity with. If you marry, this could apply.

In the event something happened to one of you, would you want your interest in the property to automatically go to the surviving partner, or to another person, such as a friend or family? How you hold title will determine this.

I suggest you research types of deeds and evaluate what best suits your situation and goals. It may be helpful to have a conversation with an attorney to make sure your understanding is clear and decisions are appropriate.

Karen suggests the discussion of “what-if’s”…..Consider what would happen if either of you encountered financial difficulties, chose to terminate your relationship, and how estate planning fits.

The actual process of the purchase transaction has very few differences for two unmarried purchasers when compared to that for a married couple. It simply helps to have clear understandings and a plan as you enter this.

Best of luck. Unmarried partners buy property together every day.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2009
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in ,
You both fill out seperate 1003's when you apply for a mortgage, not much more complicated than that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Its really not any different than buying yourself. You just have two peoples information and income. So, just double the paperwork on some things.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
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