Buying a home can be a complicated process for anyone, but there are some special considerations you should take into account if you intend to purchase property as an unmarried couple. With the proper preparation, it’s possible to create an agreement with your partner that will allow you to harmoniously cohabitate and prepare you if anything goes wrong.

Many issues may arise from cohabitation, and it’s essential to consider and discuss how you and your partner are different before making a large commitment, like buying a house together. If, for example, your partner uses a lot of electricity or has trouble paying the bills on time, it may not be wise for you to buy a property together before first having a candid discussion. Laying out expectations for how you will split up necessary household expenses and chores will help create a positive environment in the future.

Mortgage and Title
One of the most important first steps is to determine who will apply for the mortgage. It’s generally best for the person with the better credit score to apply, although it’s sometimes possible to apply for a joint mortgage. It’s also essential to discuss how you should hold the title; there are many options that may suit how you want to divide up the house. If one person wants to own the property outright, that can be accomplished with traditional sole ownership, but you can also consider joint tenancy or tenants in common. Joint tenancy guarantees that the other will inherit the property in the event of one partner’s death. Being tenants in common allows each person in the agreement to fully own a portion of the property, with which they can do whatever they want. This will enable you to will your part of the property to your heirs or to sell or dispose of it however you choose.

Cohabitation Property Agreement
Although it may seem awkward to make a formal, legally binding agreement with your partner, it’s an option that you should consider since it allows you to set down the specifics of what might happen in any given situation– such as one partner wanting to sell– preventing future conflicts. Having a strategy for common eventualities like separation allows everyone to understand their responsibilities and avoid messy, emotional confrontations with a concrete plan.

Buying a house is a pivotal milestone; if you’re planning to do it with a partner, you should give all the financial and practical aspects of the arrangement the consideration they deserve before purchasing.