You don’t have to be married to your partner in order to buy a home together. Whether you are planning on getting married in the future but do not want to wait to start your life together or you are not planning on getting married, buying a home together is possible. Here’s what you need to know about buying a house together as an unmarried couple:
- Make sure you have a good idea of your budget. You might have already combined your finances. If not, now is the time to sit down and take a serious look at both of your financial situations to make sure you understand how much money is coming in and where it is going when it is spent. You will also want to talk about whether you want to combine your accounts or if you want to keep them separate. Buying a home is a big decision and one that will affect both of your finances. You will want to make sure you both are on the same page before you even start looking at houses.
- Decide whose name is going to be on the title and loan. You will likely have to make a decision about whose name should be listed on the title and loan. This can actually be a great thing for couples. If one of your is carrying a lot of student loan debt, their financial history won’t be considered if the other person’s name is going to be on the loan and title. You can put both of your names on the mortgage, but this can complicate the process.
- Talk to a lawyer. You want to make sure that you are getting the same protections and benefits as a couple that is married when you buy this house together, especially if your relationship were to end while you still owned this house. Marriage is a legal contract that, once dissolved, affords each partner certain rights. The same cannot be said for unmarried couples. You can discuss with your lawyer what kind of contract or agreement you should make so that you know both of you will be protected should the relationship end.