I've had something that's been troubling me lately and I wasn't sure where to ask for advice about this, but I thought this board might be a good place for some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together around 5 years, living together for about 3.5 years. Right now my boyfriend really wants to buy a house. I think he's probably in the right place for this financially, but I don't honestly think I am (still paying big student loans and not making too much money though I do have a steady job).
I'm pretty uncomfortable about the prospect of buying a house. I mean, it seems exciting, but I'm worried about the implications of doing this before moving our relationship to the next level. I spoke to my boyfriend about it, at length, and explained all the reasons I was uncomfortable (money, concerns about what happens if we break up) and my boyfriend's bottom line was that he's ready to buy a house but not ready to get engaged yet, he doesn't know when he might ever be ready to get engaged and to allieviate my concerns I will be left off of all paperwork related to the house (mortgage, deed, etc). He insists that he's finanically capable of taking care of it all himself, if I were not around, and that he's going to go ahead and buy the house even if I don't really want to.
I just feel nervous about making a large financial decision without knowing if we're making a definite commitment to one another, and I worry about my rights if I make contributions to this house (I'm planning on paying 1/2 of the mortgage and helping put up money for closing costs--but not the down payment). If we break up at some point, I will have no invested right in this property despite my considerable contributions and sweat equity put into the property. I will also be ineligible for any of the tax breaks for homeowners despite acting as homeowner in nearly every way.
My boyfriend insists on going ahead with this because he's financially ready and he worries that if he waits until we get engaged that the housing market won't be in the same place (and because he doesn't know how many years it will be until he is ready to get married). All of this is a large source of concern for me. He sprung the house buying thing on me suddenly (I thought we were going to renew this lease for at least another year), and I haven't been sleeping nights worrying over whether I need to just go along with it, or move out or try to find someone to talk to my boyfriend about this. I feel totally lost and I'm ready for whatever advice you guys might have. Thanks.