First Comes Love, Then Comes . . . Mortgage?

couple with keys to new homeReal estate trends show more young couples choosing to buy a home together before marriage. This trend is most common in couples between the ages of 24 and 35, who often purchase their first home with a partner. Purchasing a home as a couple shows commitment, provides financial security, and may garner significant tax benefits. But there are also many pitfalls to joint home ownership if you’re not married. How can you protect yourself (and your partner)?

Compare Credit Scores

You’ll need more than just a good salary to afford home ownership. You also need good credit. Creditors view unmarried couples as individuals, so if one of you has a low credit score, that may affect your mortgage options.

Decide Who Should Buy

If the relationship goes south, you’re still responsible for paying off the home. You can sign for the property as sole owner or as joint tenants, but no matter what happens in the relationship, once you sign your name, you’ve taken on the debt, even if your partner tries to renege on the deal.

Get It in Writing

In an ideal world, you and your partner’s cohabitation will be permanent. But if you’re not married, you’ll want to work with a real estate lawyer to make sure you’re legally covered. Prepare a written document that outlines the details of your arrangement, the division of home equity based on percentage of down payment and mortgage repayment each partner covers, and what happens in the event of a breakup.

Need help finding a home in metro Atlanta? Call The Premier Group real estate firm.