Buying a Home with an Unmarried Partner

If you’re considering buying a place with your significant other, you can take advantage of the great real estate deals that out there right now.  You might fall in love with a great house, but later fall out of love with your partner.

Many couples don’t think ahead to this  outcome and are forced to sort out what they’re going to do with their house down the line.  If you’re married, there are plenty of California laws out there that will help protect you.  If you’re not, you won’t "lucky" enough to have guidance from the family law courts.  

Consider an agreement to document who is responsible for what and what you’ll do with the house if you split up.  Important things to consider are who will pay for things like the mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance.  More importantly, you should consider how you can realistically afford to sell or maintain the property in the event you do split up.   Allowing for concrete time frames to secure new financing and allocating responsibility for who will take care of the payments when the house is still in both your names are the big issues.

Unfortunately, many couples who purchased property before property values took a plunge are fighting over who will continue to pay for the mortgage, not how they'll split up the equity they were counting on.  If you’re looking to make a big purchase like this with someone, consider drafting an agreement to protect yourselves.

If you need help with drafting a property agreement, or assistance with sorting out how to split the property up now that you're not interested in holding it together, contact attorney Elena Rivkin Franz at (408) 940-5360 or