For many couples, buying a home with a significant other is often the next logical step to take to solidify a relationship. However, it may be confusing as you may not know what steps to take to make your dreams of owning a property together a reality. We’ve compiled a list of key things to keep in mind when taking a step towards joint homeownership with your loved one to make the process as seamless as possible.
Here are 5 key things to consider prior to buying a home with your significant other:
1. Consider both you and your partner’s finances
Before buying a property with your partner, you both need to be transparent about your finances. Are you both in a financial position to purchase a new property? Think about all the costs associated with purchasing a home.
Remember that you won’t just be paying for the mortgage, so make sure you factor in the down payment, transfer fees/closing costs, moving costs, repairs, maintenance, and living costs into your budget.
2. Consider how you’ll split the mortgage, maintenance and repair costs
You and your significant other should also discuss how you’ll split the bills. This is all dependent on how much money each of you makes.
If you don’t split the mortgage and bills equally, consider how this may affect your ownership agreement. If you were paying more for the mortgage, would you be okay with your partner owning half of the property, and vice versa? Ask yourself tough questions and discuss this honestly with your partner.
Ironing out how you’ll split the bills will not only make the process of purchasing a home easier, but it’ll make living in it easier too as you’ll both be on the same page with regards to household finances.
3. Get a lawyer to draw up a contract/co-ownership agreement
Don’t rely on verbal agreements when buying a property with your significant other. What happens if you split up or if an unfortunate circumstance such as death occurs?
Having a lawyer draft a written agreement detailing the conditions of ownership as well as what should happen in the event of separation or death will protect both of you from experiencing an unpleasant split or being potentially left with a huge financial burden.
With regards to a co-ownership agreement, couples need to be aware of the various forms of property registration, namely: sole ownership, joint tenant ownership and tenants in common ownership.