Buying a home together: A guide for unmarried partners

Buying a home together, unmarried buying home together, moving in together, couple moving in

March 6th, 2014, By Genworth Canada

Young, in love and considering buying a home together? Buying real estate as soon as you are financially able to is a very sound idea no matter if you are single or in a relationship, however a non-married couple needs to take a few additional steps to ensure their investment is solid. It is both financially and personally prudent to have some serious conversations with your significant other before entering the real estate market. Once you have taken these suggestions, you will be better prepared to stop paying rent and start paying into a home that you can call your own.

Your Financial House

Buying a home is a major decision and requires a significant investment by both partners. The initial down payment, the closing costs and the monthly mortgage payments will factor in to both of your expenses. If one of you has a bad credit history, it will make more sense financially to put the mortgage in the name of the person with the best credit, however, you will need to discuss this transaction with a lawyer. You also need to consider upkeep, maintenance and other expenses that come with home ownership.

Honest Conversations

Unmarried or ‘common law’ couples purchasing a home have an added set of discussions that will need to happen before investing in real estate together. This includes discussing arrangements, money and the cost of homeownership. These conversations can be difficult, but are crucial to both of your personal and financial lives. Additionally, while no one wants to think about breaking up – it is an important discussion as an investment in real estate is a business transaction rather than an emotional one.

Hire a Lawyer

After organizing your finances and having those honest conversations, speaking to a lawyer to assist in drafting a contract for the purchase should be the next step. Whether you sign a cohabitation agreement, a sole ownership agreement, a tenants in common agreement or another contract, these legal documents will help to establish the serious nature of the acquisition. This will allow you both to sleep better at night and spend more time nurturing your relationship.

Finding Your Home

Lastly, the two of you will need figure out the kind of home that you want. This step will involve looking at the size of homes, the amenities, the location and much more. Whether you decide on a condominium, semi-detached, fully detached home or townhouse, making sure it fits exactly what both of you want is very important. You want to end up in a home that you both love as much as you love each other. The change from renter to homeowners is one of the most exciting changes that you two will experience.


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