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Bought a house with BF?

I know a few girls on the board have bought a house with their bf or fi. How did you handle the legal side? Any thoughts?

We are considering a move (for his job) and we're talking about whether it's better to buy a house together or have him buy the house. (We currently live in a house he bought - I sold mine - and I pay him a portion of mortage/utilities. We don't split 50/50 because he gets the tax advantages of the house and is building equity whereas I'm basically paying rent.)

Financially, either one of us could buy a house in the price range we are looking at on our own. I'm not sure I'd get a mortgage alone because I am self-employed with only a 2 year financial history in my company. I have great credit (so does he) so I wouldn't hurt our mortgage if we went in together. Regardless of whose name is on the deed, I'm likely to contribute to the down payment.

I know some people will encourage us to wait to buy a house together until we are married or at least engaged. There's no legal difference between BF and FI, so I don't really follow the logic on waiting until we're engaged. We plan to get married we just haven't got around to it yet. (I know that sounds bizarre to some people but it's not a high priority for us right now - moving, advancing his career, etc, are higher priorities.)

So how did you buy your house with your bf or fi? Did you have a legal agreement should the relationship end or did you just wing it? (In some regards, it's not much different than a marriage ending in divorce with a house involved, I'm thinking?)

Re: Bought a house with BF?

  • KatyRoseMKatyRoseM member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    When putting that much money into something you should have a legal agreement.  If your putting money down, I would want to own it too. If you break up without an agreement you may be able to get something, but it will be in court and expensive, if you have an agreement you know what you can get and it will not cost as much to get it.  I would see different lawyers separately and make sure you are protected. 

    Have fun buying the house together though, that sounds great. 
  • Basenjigirl23Basenjigirl23 member
    edited December 2011
    My bf an I have been together for 4 1/2 years, but we do not live together.  I bought my house on my own last May.  While he spends the great majority of the time here, (after work until around 9:30ish at night) and during the weekends, we agreed that we would not actually live together until we'remarried since I have a 5 year old daughter from my prior marriage.  I own my house, and he is not on the deed or anything, but he does contribute to the bills since he does spend the majority of his hours here when he's not at work. 
    I like the re-assurance of knowing that at the end of the day, if something ever happened, I still will have a home for myself and my daughter, but I also appreciate knowing that he supports this decision as well and is still willing to contribute financially even though this is not his actual "legal residence".
    I would recommend like the PP and if you are going to put the house in both of your names, make sure you see separate lawyers.  It may cost a little more, but if something EVER happens, you'll be very grateful.
    Good luck and have fun!!!  House buying is exciting!!!!!!!!!
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  • SKP82SKP82 member
    2500 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    Our house is in BF's name.  He pays the mortgage, insurance, etc and I pay the utility bills.  But we were in a different situation than you are in when we moved in together.  If it hadn't of worked out and we broke up, I would not have been able to afford the mortgage payment on my own, but he can.  I didn't want any legal mess to deal with if we broke up.  I also did not contribute at all to the down payment.

    In your situation, I would feel the most comfortable with having the house in both names and having a legal agreement written out as to what should happen in the even that you do break up.  It sounds like you have it together as a couple, but it's always good to CYA just in case.

    Have fun house shopping!  Are you moving somewhere very different from where you currently live?

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  • Beads921Beads921 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Since you could both afford the mortgage alone, I think you're in a fine place to purchase together. I also think that if you're going to be contributing to the downpayment, etc, that you should get your name on the deed, and all the perks that come with it, as well. This is what BF and I will be doing in another couple of years. 

    I don't really know what you need to do to protect yourselves in the event of a break up, but I'd suggest talking to a lawyer. When we go to buy, we'll be getting an agreement of some sort drawn up by a lawyer outlining what is to happen to the property should we decide to go our separate ways.
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  • vsgalvsgal member
    Eighth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    We bought a house together before we got married or engaged. The deed reads H "and" I.  That way we both have to be there to make legal decisions concerning the house.
    My advice to you is to keep receipts for every dime you both put into the house.  We had a ledger of the money he put toward the down payment and the money I put in the kitty.  We kept track of all money paid individually to the mortgage and house utilities.  We also made a personal contract that stated what would happen to the house if we split up.  We did this at the sale of the house when all was right with the world.  You are putting a lot of personal finance into this purchase.  We are not talking about a new outfit or shoes here.  A house is a huge, long-term investment. You need to cover your butt just as he needs to cover his.  
  • edited December 2011
    In my experience, it is better to buy alone. I bought a house, and at the time, I wanted it to be in mine and my ex-bf's name. My parents (who were helping with the down payment said NO! I pouted for awhile about it, but then got over it. We told everyone WE were buying a house, however, my name was the only one on all the legal documents. 2 years later, we broke up, and thankfully the house was in my name. Sooo... My thought is if you two haven't made it legal yet, don't buy a house together.
    ~~December 3, 2011~~
  • edited December 2011
    I would strongly encourage you to wait to buy anything together until you're married.  If you refuse to do that, make sure you get any agreements the two of you have in writing and looked over by a lawyer.

  • paintgirlpaintgirl member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    This actually has become a moot point since I asked the question. I've read that even if we have a co-ownership agreement on the house, we would want to re-title it as husband and wife anyway. (I was trying to avoid changing the deed after we got married.)

    So it looks like we'll either do a co-ownership agreement or just let him buy the house and add me after we get married. If I contribute to the down payment, we'll get a contract for that too - that it's a pre-payment of my "rent" or a loan of some sort that he owes me if we split up.
  • Hazel_BHazel_B member
    edited December 2011
    FWIW, I bought my house on my own when we were BF and GF. I pay the mortgage, insurance, utilities and all home renovations and work of that sort. FI wasn't prepared to buy a house at the time, although he moved in with me as soon as I got possession.

    My suggestion is, if you put money towards the house then have some sort agreement to protect yourself, particularly if your name isn't on the title.
  • motoLynmotoLyn member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    FI and I are looking to buy right now.  I will admit that he started to look at houses before we got engaged when we were just GF & BF.  At that point it would have been HIS house and I would pay rent towards his mortgage and do all the splitting of the utilities like I was a regular roommate.  But then we got engaged.  So FI can afford the house on his own and at first we were approaching it as he would still buy the house on his own and I would  get added to the deed after we got married.  We have an extra detail that  FI's dad is giving FI a substantial down payment towards the house.  So FI wanted to protect his dad's investment towards the house in case he and I ever split, so we're having a contract written up that deals with owndership of the house and who gets how much if we ever split.  I agree that there should be some legal contract to make it clear what happens, it's good to cover one's own butt.  But lately FI has been toying with the idea of putting both of our names on the bids when applying for a mortgage. 

    I know of people who are friends and purchase houses together and end up co-owning the house and either one person lives there and pays rent to the other co-owner or they rent it out and split the money.
  • Wrkn925Wrkn925 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    BF and I are looking at houses.  The house will be in my name, because he is self-employed.  I look better on paper.
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