My boyfriend has offered to pay the down payment on my first home purchase but wants to be put on the deed.

Asked by Katmama42, 90220 Wed Apr 29, 2009

Is this a good idea? And what other motives if any could he have for wanting to be so generous in doing such a thing. I know I will probably need at least 10 to 20 % down on my first home. And to top it off me and my 1 1/2 year boyfriend have been on and off, not really that committed or serious at this point. I think when I told him I was moving out of my rental property he decided he needed to think of something clever to keep tabs on me maybe? Please give advice on deed business.

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Mission Viejo…, , Mission Viejo, CA
Wed Apr 29, 2009
If you feel he will use this to control you RUN.
0 votes
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Apr 29, 2009
Hello Kat and thanks for your question/post.

First, it's hard enough dividing property among married couples, so dividing property among unwed couples would be extremely difficult and complicated. I'm going to err on the side of assuming that, basically, your boyfriend is a decent person who truly wants to help you in your home purchase, and also understands now may be the best time to do that in California. As such, he wants to protect his downpayment and investment in your home by requiring that his name be placed on the deed. This way, if you should default on payments to him or to the mortgage company, if there is any money left, he would be entitled to the fees. It is only natural that if someone invests a large sum of money in another person's home that the best protection is to be named as a co-owner.

Now, the bad news...

As the other Realtors have mentioned, if there are two owners for the property, the property cannot be refinanced or sold without the consent of BOTH owners. If, for example, you've decided to move out, sell the home and payoff your boyfriend, and he does not agree, you cannot execute any listing or sales contracts to leave the property, and can, in essence, be held captive until the other owner agrees to sell. If you have any foresight that he may be difficult or present problems if you want to sell, then he should not be on title with you.

Also, determining how much "ownership" to give could be a problem. If you purchase a home at say $100,000 and he gives you $10K for a downpayment, would he be happy to accept only a 10 percent stake of ownership in the home? Probably not.

My suggestion is that you talk with a qualified mortage broker to determine how much home you can afford, and the funds you'll need to put as a downpayment and to cover closing costs. As you are first time home buyer, the FHA (Federal Housing Authority) provides loan programs to first-time home buyers with FICO scores over 620 and a down payment of 3.5% of the sales price. If you can qualify for these programs, it would make a home purchase possible without help from any other source.

Whenever possible, for maximum control of your own financial well-being, it's best to keep your money separate from those of boyfriends and family members.

Good luck in your house hunting!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
1 vote
Ron & Karen…, Agent, Panama City Beach, FL
Wed Apr 29, 2009
First, there are many opportunities for financial assistance for first time buyers including obtaining an FHA loan where you would be able to get into your first home with just 3.5% downpayment. Closing costs run in Florida roughly 3% and in many cases, sellers will pay up to your 3% closing costs as well. Perhaps you would be able to purchase your home without his help.

Next, buying a home is serious business and should you and your significant other split up, once he is on the deed with you, he may receive 1/2 of your equity, not just the return of the downpayment he provided. When you purchase a home with a mortgage, you are responsible for repayment of the mortgage. Does he want to be on the mortgage as well? If he is offering to be on the deed only, I would think twice and definitely seek legal advice. Hope this is useful to you. Good luck!
1 vote
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Thu Jun 7, 2012

You sound too smart to fall for this!

If he wants to help you with your down payment why not sign a note to repay him the amount he loans you? There is no need to put him on the deed. The bank is going to loan you a lot more money are you going to put the bank on the deed?

Also, there programs that offer downpayment assistance for first time buyers, and guess what? You will not have to put the organization that helps you on the deed.

Go to HUD.GOV for details on down payment assistance programs. The state of California also has a down payment assistance progarm called CalHFA. Go to CalHFA.CA.GOV for details.

Best of Luck to you.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Michael Magaw, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Apr 30, 2009
It sounds like everyone is in agreement. This situation has too many potential problems. Regardless of how wonderful your relationship is today, statistics would say that there is a decent chance of your relationship not lasting forever. At the time that you need to sell the home and split the equity, you would be at his mercy. He has no obligation or motivation to pay the mortgage, so he can just stall until you give him what he wants. Regardless of what you agreed to now, he could always change his mind later, when he is upset.

It sounds like you already know what is right. But just in case you consider doing it, you should consider some of the following: who is obligated to pay the mortgage each month?, who is obligated to pay the property taxes?, who gets the tax writeoff?, what if he decides to move in to his new home?, what percentage of future equity does he get?, what if you find yourself upside down with the mortgage - will he forgive the invest funds?, etc. Also make sure that you don't need to refinance in the future, because again you would need his consent.
0 votes
Karen Miller, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Apr 29, 2009
PLEASE try to do this without putting him on the deed! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% down, plus closing costs. You can always ask the seller to pay the closing costs.

Good Luck,

Karen Miller
Century 21 Beachside
0 votes
Gary Michael, Other Pro, Orlando, FL
Wed Apr 29, 2009
By being on your deed you can not sell the property with out his signature.
You are really in a partership and he is not on the mortgage so you have the debt.
If you have a good relationship and you want to do it draw up a contract that it is a no interest loan
payable upon the sale of the home, that would be ok.
Make it a note. Don't put him on the deed you will be stuck with him.
0 votes
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