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3 Steps for Unmarried Couples Looking to Buy

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1-Sign a prenup for the home. Couples must have a conversation about potentially breaking up if they want to be co-homeowners. Establish a co-ownership contract before closing day. Do not “wait and see what happens” without a written agreement.

2-Choose the right title. Ownership titles are different in various states, but usually include: sole ownership (one person has the full ownership), joint tenancy (a 50-50 split ownership, with one tenant’s share transferring to the other in the case of death), and tenants in common (allows unequal ownership, such as a 75-25 split). All three approaches have pros and cons, but consider revising the deed to reflect your new legal status, using a “quitclaim deed,” if you decide to get married after buying.

3-Leave parents out of it. Younger couples often get their parents involved during the stressful homebuying process and final transaction. But doing so may cause more confusion, so it may be best to leave the parents at home. When parents show uncertainty about the situation, it causes an emotional roller coaster.

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