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 It’s Time for Commitment: Home-buying Help for Unmarried Couples

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It’s Time for Commitment: Home-buying Help for Unmarried Couples

Calling all committed couples out there – you know how the saying goes… first comes love, then comes home-buying, then comes… a boat-load of decisions you may have thought remaining unmarried would have helped you to avoid.

While this is not exactly how that age-old playground song goes, it is often the reality that unmarried couples, who decide to buy a home together, must face. Just like “tying the knot,” joint home ownership can be a life-changing - and expensive - experience.
Here are a few things for the happy couple to consider before taking the plunge into co-ownership of a home:

Talk the Talk – Before You Walk the Walk

Your relationship may be all “smiles and sunshine” now, but you MUST consider the alternative. In the unfortunate event that you and your partner decide to split, how will you split your assets or, worse yet, your debt? Hey, we hope it never happens, too; but, it’s better to be prepared now than to try to figure it out later.

Sign on the Dotted Line – Before You Sign on the Dotted Line

So, you and Mr. or Mrs. Right have had “the talk,” now what? Write. It. Down. Take all that “talk” and put it into a legally-binding agreement. Determine who owns what percentage of the property and who gets what if you sell or (cover your ears) break up. Again, can’t stress this enough – make sure it’s all planned out now, so you don’t regret it later.

Togetherness is the Key to Getting those Keys

Maybe you’ve decided not to walk down the alter just yet because you don’t like titles, but when it comes to buying a home as an unmarried couple, the title is something you want to make sure to get right. You’re in this together - so, a good rule of thumb is to do it all together… i.e. both names on the mortgage and both names on the title or deed. You can also protect yourself and your partner by establishing a will now, if you don’t have one already. Considering every “just-in-case” measure helps.

There is much more to consider when you decide to buy a home as an unmarried couple, but if you talk things through and write it all down ahead of time, you and your partner’s biggest decision may be Colonial or cottage? Good luck!