Putting your name on a lease with your significant other before marriage is risky business. What’s an even bigger risk? Buying that property together before marriage. Cohabitation, or, living together before marriage, is on the rise. There are many studies that support that it helps lead the couple to marriage, while other studies prove that it halts any chance of ultimately marrying. If you are even considering purchasing a home with your current partner, you need to have a plan.
You can’t just hope that it will work out. You need to plan for what will happen if it doesn’t. Figure out how you are going to sell the house, and how the profit will be split. People change. While you may be in love now, you might not be in two years. If you don’t have a fair plan of how you will divide the profits, and all of the other details, you’ll have to settle these matters in court.
While you might think it won’t ever happen to you, there are cases where one party decides they want to break up but don’t want to sell the house. In this situation, you’re going to be stuck until one party budges, or the judge decides what will happen. Also keep in mind, that you’re going to be paying money for court fees and lawyers, which add up.
There is a term you should know, called a “no-nup.” This is similar to a pre-nup, which states what will happen to shared assets in the event of a failed relationship. If you are thinking about buying a house with your partner before marriage, you should speak with an attorney beforehand about all of these details.
Usually, an attorney will suggest a property agreement. This will cover both of your property within the home such as the furniture, electronics, lighting, etc. It states how the property would be sold and who would live where after the breakup. Here are some questions that you have to ask each other before you decide to move in:
- Who will put in what for the house? Will you put up equal costs?
- Who is going to pay for any improvements or repairs? How will it impact each of your interest in the house?
- How is the house going to be sold?
- Can one of you buy out the other in the event that the house must be sold?
- Who is going to pay bills, and how much?
- Who will be on the mortgage?
Buying a house before marriage is not a joke. It is something you should carefully consider and get advice from professionals, not your family and friends. Figure out what works best for you and your partner. In many situations, the smarter move is to wait until after marriage to purchase a home.