First Comes Love. Then Comes
marriage Buying a Home?
Like so many things today, times have changed since your grandparents and even your parents purchased their first home. Most likely, they got married then saved up for their monumental purchase, their first home together. Today, many couples are opting to buy a home before tying the knot.
Here are 5 things to consider if you are choosing to go to the closing table before walking down the isle:
- Is your partner credit worthy?
- Do you live in a community property state?
- How will the expenses be split?
- What happens if the relationship ends?
- How will the home be titled?
1. Is your partner credit worthy, like, really credit worthy? Your partners credit score will have an affect on your overall credit worthiness. Some lenders will base the loan off of the lower of the two borrowers scores or combine the two scores and use the lower score. A lower credit score will have a negative affect on the bottom line number. It will also influence the type of loan you qualify for and you may not get the best interest rate. If your partners credit isn’t so great than you may consider buying a home on your own.
2. If you live in Missouri then yes, then you live in a community property state. Let’s say that you and your partner buy a home together. Then break up. Hey, things happen! One morning on Facebook you see her smiling face at a Las Vega chapel and realized she got hitched. Later, you decide you need a fresh start yourself and a change of scenery so you decide to sell the house. Well, wait. Does your ex and her new hubby want to sell the house? You see where I am going with this, their new spouse is now part owner. What if they don’t want to sell? What if they want to move in and they want you to leave? I’m not saying you couldn’t all handle any of these scenarios like adults but when emotions run high people don’t always behave they normally would. Again, this is another thing to discuss before committing.
3. How are you going to pay for the new fence, the unforeseen plumbing expense, the monthly mortgage and all of the utilities? In half, 70/30 split, you get a month and he gets a month? You need to speak openly and honestly about how these things are going to be paid for, especially if you have separate bank accounts and plan to keep it that way. Best scenario is that you put it in writing for both of your protection. If your partner has a habit of living beyond her or his means than you realistically have to expect that they may not have the cash flow for the unexpected events that will happen at some point or other.
4. What happens when you call it quits? See #2. Also, if the relationship ends will either of you be able to buy the other out? Will you have to sell? Who plans on staying in the house? Who plans on moving out? Who keeps Fido? Break ups can be difficult anyways so think about how dealing with a home together can take it to a whole new level of stress and emotions.
5. How the home is titled is very important. You will want it titled as tenants in common or joint tenants. A tenant in common is defined as a tenancy by two or more persons, in divided shares. At the death of one tenant, the property passes to his or her estate. A joint tenant is defined as a tenancy with identical interests. Joint tenants have a right of survivorship to the other’s share. The best thing to do is to make this a part of your estate planning. Have it in writing. I can recommend a qualified professional to do this for you.
Ready to begin the search for your perfect home? Be sure to check out my Guide To Buying a Home for great information. Also,check out what properties are available here. Not quite sure if buying a home together is still a good idea? Be sure to read Buying a House Solo for 5 easy tips on making buying a home alone easy.