Can I sell my house (purchased before my marriage and in my maiden name) to my now husband? Is it feasible to do so?

Asked by janetmogavero, McKinney, TX Tue Sep 17, 2013

He has been paying the mortgage for 7 years and wants his name on the title, understandable. The only assets I have is the equity in the home, so he says I should get most that back to do with what I want ($44,000). I paid $127,500, and the agreed purchase price is $119,500.

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Patrick Jack…, Agent, McKinney, TX
Tue Sep 17, 2013
If you have both lived in the house as a married couple, your husband already owns half interest in the house. Homstead law in Texas. If he just wants his name on the title, that can be done without a sale. If you actually want to profit from the sale, see your tax advisor. Then talk to a title company. They can handle the name change or sale with minimal cost to you. I recommend Allegiance Title.
3 votes
Thanks. I will give them a call.
Flag Tue Sep 17, 2013
DELETEMatthew…, , San Antonio, TX
Tue Sep 17, 2013
The math is not adding up to me. Lets say you do this and I don't want to put a bad flavor in your mouth or anything but this is what happens.

You sell it to him for $119,500, you are already taking a loss on it.

You get the $44,000 "to do with what you want" is nice and all but in Texas that is community property.

I am not saying this will happen but I have seen similar before where a husband did this, he purchased the home from the wife (still community property) she made a profit, he filed for divorce and not only got the home but half of the profit too.
2 votes
The lender will not do this deal..... They will see that he lives there.... they will see this as an 'end around' the cash out loan rules.
It will NEVER happen.
Ask a lender.... not a real estate agent
Flag Tue Sep 17, 2013
Yes, there is that possibility. Thank you for giving me the advice. I am wanting to use the profit to start my own business and we have absolutely no savings to do this with. This would indeed leave me vulnerable. Trusting someone is very hard and not always smart.
Flag Tue Sep 17, 2013
Yes, there is that possibility. Thank you for giving me the advice. I am wanting to use the profit to start my own business and we have absolutely no savings to do this with. This would indeed leave me vulnerable. Trusting someone is very hard and not always smart.
Flag Tue Sep 17, 2013
Kenneth "Ken…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Thu Sep 19, 2013
Talk with any title company of your choice for those answers. Then it will be up to your lender as well.
1 vote
Thank you ALL for your answers. I'm definitely rethinking this whole possibility of selling the house to him.
Flag Fri Sep 20, 2013
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Sep 17, 2013
Janet, this a question that can best be answered after collaboration with an accountant and estate attorney.

There may be an excellent way to structure this, so consult with your team.

All the best,
1 vote
No.... there is no excellent way to 'structure this'
Those are words of people NOT IN THE LENDING BUSINESS who coach you into fraud like Mack.
Don't do it.... Fraud is a federal crime
Flag Tue Sep 17, 2013
Melissa Hail…, Agent, Plano, TX
Tue Sep 17, 2013
Texas is a "community property" state meaning that if you are married to someone then half of everything you own belongs to them....and vice versa. Technically, he already has ownership in half of the home.

If you wanted to get your money/equity out of the home - you have 2 choices:
1. You would need to sell the house meaning that the current mortgage goes away and a new mortgage begins (with a new owner).
2. You can try to refinance the house with a "cash out refinance" - meaning that you remain the home owner but you get a new mortgage for the full current market value of the home and you get to take the cash equity and "do what you want" with it.

I do caution you on the cash out refinance as it may carry a higher payment and there will be closing costs associated with getting this done. Depending on what the home is worth (appraised value) and what you owe on the existing mortgage, this may not even be an option.

I would recommend that you talk to a mortgage professional to see if this is even an option for you in your specific situation. If you want to add the hubby to the mortgage, and you decide to do the refinance, it should be no problem (assuming that he too can qualify for the mortgage).

Additionally - I agree with Matthew below - you need to make sure that your math works out right and that before you move forward you know what the market value or appraised value of the home is. That will be a key part of making this happen.

Good luck!

Melissa Hailey - North Texas Top Team, Realtors
Coldwell Banker Jane Henry Realtors
1 vote
Even though Texas is a community property state, doesnt it also state that this is only on property obtained after the marriage. If someone had a trust for $200,00 pre marriage I dont believe that would be an item that automatically becomes community property. I could be wrong. I have been looking at some divorce information.
Flag Sun Oct 20, 2013
Even though Texas is a community property state, doesnt a person usually keep what they brought into the marriage ? Meaning if the house was hers, it remains hers vs things purchased together once they were married. Those items are definitely community property. If she had say a CD for 150,00 before they were married, I dont believe that gets thrown in the "community property" pile
Flag Sun Oct 20, 2013
Thank you very much for all the information!!
Flag Fri Sep 20, 2013
, ,
Tue Sep 17, 2013

Tom Burris
Mortgage Banker
(214) 763-4629 cell/text/nights/weekends(Really!!)
Lending all across the entire Great State of Texas!!
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1 vote
I want to thank you for trying to protect my interest and have listened carefully to what you have posted on the other answers. Appreciate it very much.
Flag Fri Sep 20, 2013
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Sep 17, 2013
It depends in part on your state law. He may already have an ownership interest in it. I don't know.

Beyond that, though, please check with a lawyer. I don't want to get in the middle of any family fights, but let me say--as delicately and carefully as I can--that what your husband is proposing may not be in your best interest.

He can certainly be added to the title as either a joint tenant or maybe the two of you as tenants in the entirety. That means you two would both be on the title and if one of you died, the other would become sole owner. (But make sure your wills reflect that, too.) If you sold your house to your husband and he then died, the house would go to whoever he'd willed it to--could be a former wife, his children, his brother or sister, etc. It wouldn't necessarily be you.

Also, you paid $127,500 and he's going to buy it for $119,500. How did you establish that price? You're losing a chunk of possible equity.

Beyond that, let's say the calculations are all correct and you get back $44,000. What then? What are you going to do with that?

Please see a lawyer (and probably an accountant) before you move ahead on this strategy.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Appreciate your thoughtful answer. I don't mind refinancing with his name on title, he deserves that. Was wanting to garner some cash to put into a small business (mostly hobby) of mine.
Flag Tue Sep 17, 2013
Prc, Home Buyer, Plano, TX
Wed Feb 26, 2014
An asset that you purchased prior to marriage is yours, however, once your spouse starts making payments on it, it becomes co-mingled assets. Your only claim is the money you originally put in, then after that, it's commingled or 50/50. Consult a real estate and perhaps a divorce attorney. Good luck.
0 votes
Prc, Home Buyer, Plano, TX
Wed Feb 26, 2014
Sounds to me like there's a divorce in your future and he's positioning himself prior to filing papers. Wise up before you lose the only asset you have!
0 votes
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