So, what if you decide, for whatever reason, to buy a property with your lover? Or, with a friend? Is it possible? Yes, of course. Is it easy? Not too difficult – most real estate lawyers, in this day and age, have handled these types of transactions.

Definitely check with an attorney, before you and your hunny go out shopping.

Things to consider, according to this Washington Post article:

[Chevy Chase real estate agent Patricia Kennedy] recommends that unmarried couples have one person buy the place if possible. If not, she suggests they sign what she calls a “pre-cohabitation agreement.”

[It] lays out who pays what for the down payment, closing costs, mortgage, taxes, insurance, fees, utilities, repairs, improvements and other expenses. And it specifies who decides what needs to be improved or repaired, and when.

It also spells out who signs the note for the loan and is thus obligated to the lender; the circumstances in which one party can sell or transfer interest in the property, force a sale or refinance the property; and how sales proceeds will be divided.

… “people buy as friends because individually they could not afford to buy. They sign the note together, and then one decides ‘I’m going to move.’ But you can’t just release the loan, you have to refinance” to get a name off the mortgage.

Then the remaining owner “finds that they may not be able to cover the mortgage on their own, or qualify for it.”

More: Caveat Co-Owner – By Sandra Fleishman, The Washington Post

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Updated: January 2018

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