There are some risks involved with buying a home with someone before you tie the knot. You’re embarking on one of the most exciting times of your life. You and your fiancé are planning a wedding and a life together.
Wanting to buy your first home and embark on the new journey is common. If you wait, you risk it going off the market or someone else snatching it up before you can. Here are some things you need to keep in mind to avoid potential legal hassles and protect yourself and your future spouse.
1. Plan a Budget
Knowing how much money you make together and what your current bills are, including any student loan payments or other debt, makes it clear just how much of a house payment you can afford. Most couples start off in a much smaller home than they’d like so they aren’t house poor.
2. Decide How to Divide the Down Payment
Figure out the best way to handle the down payment on the home and if equity should be divided accordingly.
3. Watch Out for Costly Flaws
Check the age of big updates, such as the heating and cooling unit, windows and roofs. How outdated is the kitchen? Make sure your prospective husband or wife is able to live with the house the way it is until you can save up money for a remodel. This might be the first time you or your future spouse have purchased a home. There are a lot of things you need to look out for.
4. Sign a Legal Agreement
What if you split up before you exchange vows? How is that situation handled? Think through all the potential scenarios and protect one another with a binding document that spells out requirements. Even though you might think you will never part from your significant other and that your lives will be perfect, go ahead and take the time to sign a legal agreement for what happens if the worst happens. If you aren’t married yet, this isn’t always the case and the other part of the couple could be forced to sell the home.