Should you buy a Boston condo for sale together?
Although it’s been legal for same-sex couples to marry in Portland — and all over Oregon — since 2014, more of those unions are actually happening now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it legal throughout the country.
So now that everyone’s tying the knot, adopting a dog, and settling down, does that mean they’re going to buy homes together, too? As your Portland Real Estate Buyers’ Team, we advise you to know what you’re getting into.
First off, if all you want to do is buy a house with someone, you don’t have to marry them. Marriage has never been a requirement for home ownership, and unmarried couples can get most of the same ownership rights under the law as married couples do. For example, two or more people — whether they’re partners, family, or just friends — can hold property jointly. They can also designate rights of survivorship, which says who gets their share of the property if they pass away. The names of both (or more) people will be on the mortgage and everyone named will be responsible for paying it off.
If you’re gung ho to be wed, you may be looking at home ownership as a next step. Not a bad idea, because after all, real estate is a great investment (especially in Portland). However, here’s a short list of qualities to consider in your home-buying partner, married or not.
Is he or she really up for the home-owning lifestyle? Even though Portland is so very trendy right now, it’s got to be the right place for you to live for at least a few years. Although it may be cheaper to make a mortgage payment than to rent, if you don’t stay in your home at least 5 years, you may end up paying extra in taxes, not to mention the up-front expense of buying a home.
Your mortgage lender will only approve you for a loan if they consider your employment situation to be solid. If one of you is thinking about a career change over the next several years, consider whether you could still afford your home on one income if things take a while to get back to normal.
Buying a home is work, even with the best real estate agent or buyers’ team on your side. It’s the great things that are worth working for! Still, you and your partner should try to share the responsibility of touring homes, asking questions, and filling out paperwork. Or — trust me on this one — it will drive you crazy.
Ready to go? Great.