Buying a House Together When Unmarried
Buying a house with your spouse is an exciting yet stressful and overwhelming experience. However, buying a house together when unmarried is an entirely different ballgame. Things tend to get more complex when you are navigating the purchase with your significant other to whom you’re not married, especially if both of you are first-time homebuyers. But don’t worry as we’re here to help you. In this article, we’ll guide you through the entire process and, hopefully, make it clearer and easier for you.
Did you already live together?
Buying a house together is a massive milestone in a relationship. However, before making such a huge step, you need to be sure that you are making the right choice. This is especially important if you haven’t lived with your partner before.
Moving in together is a big deal, and you need to prepare for it. As you want to live in harmony, you need to have a serious talk first and make sure you’re on the same page. Regardless of the length of your relationship and how well you think you know each other, talking about what you both expect out of sharing a home is crucial to making things work.
You can’t really know someone before sharing a home with them, so it is a good idea to live together for some time before deciding to invest in a property together. If things don’t work out, it’s much easier to simply move out than to handle all aspects of selling a shared property.
What to have in mind when buying a house together when unmarried
As unmarried couples don’t have the same legal status as married ones, the process of buying a property together is slightly different. You need to be prepared for unique challenges, especially when it comes to seeking financing.
First, you need to discuss the crucial aspects of purchasing a property together and make sure both you and your partner are protected in case you split up. Further in this article, we’ll explain every step in detail.
Don’t rush the decision to buy a property together. Even though it might be an excellent time to buy a home in Sarasota, you need to discuss financing first and ensure you’re entirely on the same page.
First, you need to agree on a budget and how much you’re comfortable spending. Make sure to review both of your credit scores, incomes, monthly debt service, and any other relevant financial factors. Once you figure out how much each of you can contribute monthly, you’ll easily figure out how much you can afford to spend on a house.
Plan for sharing costs
Sharing costs is not always as simple as splitting it in half. You need to discuss all expenses you’ll be facing each month and make sure you fully agree on who will handle what. You should discuss who will be responsible for HOA fees, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs before searching for your new home.
A good idea is to open a joint bank account. It will be specifically created for shared expenses, and you can both regularly contribute. Also, it will be easier for both of you to keep track of who is handling each fee.
Sign a cohabitation property agreement
The cohabitation property agreement is the most important part of buying a house together when unmarried. It’s a legally binding document that keeps you both protected in case of a breakup. It’s an agreement about the potential division of property and other assets.
To ensure both your interests are equally protected, consider hiring a lawyer. Make sure your cohabitation agreement contains details about sharing expenses, buyout terms in case one of you wants to sell, dispute resolution process, and similar.
Carefully consider the title
Before finding the perfect home and relocating to Florida, you and your partner need to agree on a title. The title is a legal right to ownership of a property and usually comes in the form of a deed. There are typically three options when it comes to titling your new property:
- Sole ownership – This means that one of you is the legal owner of your new house. The other person will not have legal rights to the property. If you are that other person, in case of a breakup, you could lose all the money you’ve invested so far as well as the property.
- Joint tenancy – This might be the best option as it means you’ll both have an equal share.
- Tenancy in common – Lastly, tenancy in common allows for unequal ownership. If one of you handles the majority of the costs, it’s only fair that person holds the larger share of your house. However, keep in mind that one of you could decide to sell their share without consulting the other.
Mortgage application when buying a house together when unmarried
Financing can get a bit complicated when there is no ring involved. The mortgage process is slightly different as unmarried couples usually apply for loans as individuals. However, many banks offer an option to apply for a loan as co-borrowers.
If you decide to take out a mortgage on your own, you need to be careful. The entire debt will be left for you to handle. Plus, if your partner’s name is on the title, they’ll have rights to the house even if they aren’t contributing financially.
Therefore, co-borrowing might be the best option. In that case, the lender will review both of your debts, assets, credit scores, and incomes. Usually, they’ll pull three scores for both you and your partner and use the lower of your collective median scores. By combining incomes, you’ll also qualify for a higher loan amount.
The bottom line
Even though it’s not traditional, buying a house together when unmarried can be a smart investment in your future. To make the process even easier, make sure to hire the best realtor to help you find a perfect place to call home. We wish you the best of luck in the new chapter of your life!