Client-Focused Representation In Real Estate Matters

Protecting yourself when buying a home with a friend or relative

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Real Estate Transactions |

Home prices have become too high for many Massachusetts residents. Getting a mortgage can also be virtually impossible for single buyers. 

For these reasons and others, people who aren’t married couples or even romantic partners are increasingly buying homes together. This includes siblings who buy a home together to live in and care for an elderly parent, friends who buy a home to turn into a vacation rental or old college roommates who want a home but can’t afford one on a single income. 

One Realtor says that in some areas it’s “common for multiple generations of a family to purchase a single-family home due to the convenience of what that home can offer.”

Be careful when you make a joint purchase

The process of buying a home is essentially the same as it would be for a single buyer or a married couple. However, don’t go into this with just anyone. You want someone who will help you get approved for a mortgage – not hurt your chances. 

You also need to have someone you can rely on to pay their share of the mortgage as well as insurance, taxes, maintenance costs and homeowners’ association (HOA) dues, if applicable. You’re engaging in a significant (and possibly long-term) financial transaction with them.

What legal agreements should you have?

Unmarried couples who buy a home together often have cohabitation agreements that detail each person’s responsibilities as well as how things will be divided in the event of a breakup. Some type of cohabitation agreement is also wise for any home co-owners. As one person who teaches real estate explains, it “will usually define the disposal of the home in the event of a breakup or death of one party and also describe each person’s financial obligation to the home.

An additional property agreement is also wise. The teacher explains that this “should list in detail any appliances, furniture, and other personal property articles brought into the joint household, and those amassed during your period of living together, and indicate how this property will be apportioned and handled if one or both parties decide to move out.”

It’s wise for each person to have their own legal representation when drawing up these agreements to help ensure that their rights are protected and that the agreements are fair to both. It also may be wise to have experienced legal guidance throughout the real estate transaction.