Buying a home with a Sibling? First Time Home Buyer

Asked by Sam, Long Beach, CA Sun May 6, 2012

Hello everyone,

I'm looking to buy a home during the fall of 2012 with a sibling. I just recently spoke with a loan officer about getting pre-approved for 375k loan with the combined income of 100k annually. Although I would prefer to buy the house together, the loan officer suggested that I buy the home alone with 60k income annually due to the off chance the sibling want to buy his/her own home in the future. Obviously, I'm little concern with the loan amount being 5x/6x my annual income.

Should I buy the home alone?
Do I have a good chance of getting approved?

Annual Income: 60k
Credit Score: 805
Debt: 0
Down Payment Amount Available: 80k

Thank you in advance.

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Sam, Home Buyer, Long Beach, CA
Mon May 7, 2012
Thank you Barbara, Mack, Emily for your responses.
1 vote
Alex Montelo…, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Wed Nov 5, 2014
When this question was written in May 2012, it was a great time to buy a home. If Sam bought the house valued at $375k back then it would probably be valued at nearly $500k-$525k by now. I'd love to hear from her in hopes that she has a success story to share.

All the best,

Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-7387 Cell
BRE lic #01456982
0 votes
Dez637, Home Buyer, Lakewood, CA
Sat Dec 1, 2012
I purchase a house with my sibling 10 years ago when I was about 21. Though it sounded good at the time, eventually we both ended up getting married and the property caused a lot of conflict between us. If you can buy a house on your own, go for it! But don't ever do business with family members. I learned my lesson. Good luck!
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Wed May 9, 2012

If you and your brother/sister are close enough to consider buying a home together, why would you allow professionals outside your family to undermind your decision?

That being said, were you considering buying together because you want to live together or was it a decision based on you needing the other perosn's income?

If your main reason for buying together was just because you needed the extra income, but now you have learned you can do it on your own, where does that leave your sibling?

Changeing your mind to buy with your sibling because they may one day want to sale is like saying a married couple should not buy a home together because they may one day want to split up.

Seach your heart and do what you feel is best.

Best of luck to BOTH of you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Barbara Robb…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Mon May 7, 2012
I agree with Emily that you should buy a property that you can afford to buy and handle the payment in case your sibling does decide to buy their own place in a few years since now is the time to get a great buy. I know you can buy homes and townhomes under $300-$335K now although there is a lot of competition at that price point it can be done. There are surrounding communities like Lakewood, Buena Park, Anaheim, Fullerton, La Mirada, La Habra, and even futher south in Aliso Viejo and Lake Forest, Yorba Linda you can buy townhomes for that price range and less if you buy a 2 beedroom. Even in Long Beach there are properties under $250K in condos that are nice. Perhaps if you bought at a lower price if you actually have a 10-20% downpayment you could go conventional rather than FHA which would open more opportunities for you since most complexes have let their FHA approval expire. With a House or PUD(Private Unite Development) no FHA approval is required.

Hopefully I have been helpful,
Barbara Robbins-Olexa, Broker,e-Pro(R), SRES(R)
L B Brokerage
DRE LIc#797560
Servicing Long Beach and Neighboring Commubities for 33+ years
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon May 7, 2012
Yes, the loan officer is correct. If you buy the home yourself, you're on the hook for $375K and your sib is not. If you buy it together, you're on the hook for $375K and your sib is on the hook for $375K, which with an income of $40K will torpedo their ability to buy their own home in the future.

Let's say you buy this home together. How does the sib disengage? Typically, the remaining partner would refinance alone so that the other partner would be free, but - what if you couldn't qualify for a loan at that time? Suppose you miss a couple of payments and they have to cough it up? Suppose they get married, and something happens to them - the spouse, who you may not be on good terms with, could very well have a claim to your sib's share of "your" property!

Attorneys deal with this allatime; I strongly urge you and the sib to draw up a formal partnership agreement if you decide to pursue this together.

All the best,.
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Mon May 7, 2012
You may be able to qualify alone depending on what your monthly liabilities are. Don't get in over your head, you don't want to be a slave to your house payment. If you think your sibling will buy with you & then leave you in a couple years & now the house payment is all yours, take into consideration now that you may end up needing a roommate later on to help you with the mortgage payment.

Shoot me an email directly if you'd like to talk to me some more. I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
Long Beach, CA
0 votes
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