According to Zillow, Los Angeles exceeds the national average for younger single and unmarried couple home buyers age 24 to 35. More than one out of ten home buyers in this age range are part of an unmarried couple.
One of Zillow’s senior economists said “Singles can opt to purchase a home with their partner even if marriage is not a part of their future plans.”
Buying a home is a major financial and legal transaction. If you’re thinking about buying a home with your partner, here are some of the important considerations.
Who Will Apply For The Mortgage?
When you start the mortgage process, you’ll quickly learn that any applicant will have their credit score, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and assets taken into consideration. Sometimes one member of a couple will have stronger credit than another, and this member could be the best choice to apply for the mortgage even though the couple will buy the house and live in it together.
Who Should Hold The Title?
There are several ways that you can hold title to a home in California. They include sole ownership, joint tenancy, tenants in common, and a living trust. You should speak with your real estate professional about the advantages and disadvantages of each option when considering your unique situation.
How Will You Divide The Costs?
In addition to the mortgage, you will also be responsible for homeowners’ insurance and property taxes. Other potential costs include mortgage insurance and HOA fees as well as utility bills. Work with your partner to decide how you will split up costs before you enter into a purchase agreement.
What Happens If Someone Moves Out?
If you have fractional shares of the home and one partner decides to move, it can become a complex legal situation. A partner who leaves may need to be bought out of the equity that they have in the property. Many people consider refinancing their mortgage if one partner moves.
Other Considerations For Partners And Couples
If your partner isn’t on the mortgage, you will need to refinance the mortgage to add their name to it. In addition, the partner whose name is on the home’s title is the legal owner of the home.
There are many advantages to buying a home with your partner in addition to being able to live where you want and have the lifestyle you enjoy. There are many legal and financial considerations for both members of a couple when buying a home. This is why it’s a good idea to work with experienced professionals like California Platinum Loans and California Platinum Realty and also to consult legal professionals with experience in Los Angeles area real estate.
Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP, “Rising Trend in Unmarried Couples Buying Homes in Expensive Markets,” url: https://agmblaw.com/rising-trend-unmarried-couples-purchasing-homes-expensive-markets/
Kilroy, Ashley. “Questions Unmarried Couples Should Consider When Buying A House,” Rocket Learning, 12 July 2023, url: https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/questions-unmarried-couples-should-consider-when-buying-a-house