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Before You Buy a House Together: 5 Things Unmarried Couples Need to Know

Exactly how many couples purchase a home together before they get married? According to a Marriage and Homebuying Study conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, the rate is 25 percent of couples who are between 18 and 24 years old. As for couples who are at least 45 years old, the rate still holds steady at 14 percent. After all, the low mortgage rate is only one of many incentives for couples to take out a mortgage instead of continuing to pay an ever-increasing rent.

While purchasing a house is often a financially sound decision for the present, there are several legal matters to take care of to ensure it remains a good decision for the future. The reality is, while property laws for married couples are clearly laid out, the same issues are murkier when it comes to unmarried couples, making the financial future more uncertain if a breakup ever occurs. So before making this major decision, there are a few things couples should do.

  1. You should give full financial disclosure: Go over your financial records with one another and see if you can improve credit, or strengthen your finances in any way before taking out a mortgage.
  2. You need a home prenup: Also known as a home-buying prenuptial, this is more than a purchasing agreement. This specialized prenup will outline how the mortgage is going to be paid, what happens if a partner wants to back out of financial responsibility, if either wants to back out of the relationship, or what to do if you sell the house.
  3. There is more than one type of ownership: And you need to choose the right one. For instance, one partner could own the house outright, you could both be joint tenants or tenants in common.
  4. You need to preserve all your financial records: You may need to prove that you held up your end of the deal, that you paid for extra renovations, etc.
  5. Thoroughness is key: You need to be aware of the financial and family law issues at play. What happens if you do marry? If you have kids? Do you have an estate plan in place? Working with a legal professional can help you ensure that you have taken all the right steps.

At the Meyers Law Group, P.C., you can find all the answers you need. Our Long Island family attorney also practices real estate and estate planning law. When all these vital areas of life meet together, you can find the legal guidance you need with our legal team.

Ready to achieve your dream of buying a home? Call us today to learn how we may be able to help!