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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Buying a house before marriage

Is there a benefit of owning a house before marriage? Except for the fact that you will get it if the marriage ends? Because it seems like it would be not only a pain in the ass, but you would lose money if you bought one before marriage.

Because letís say I bought a house, and Iím paying the mortgage. Then I get married... why would the other person contribute to the mortgage is they donít own it? Also if you put them on the mortgage, you still paid way more money.

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 09:01 AM
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Is there a benefit of owning a house before marriage? Except for the fact that you will get it if the marriage ends? Because it seems like it would be not only a pain in the ass, but you would lose money if you bought one before marriage.

Because let’s say I bought a house, and I’m paying the mortgage. Then I get married... why would the other person contribute to the mortgage is they don’t own it? Also if you put them on the mortgage, you still paid way more money.
If you buy the house before and added your new spouse to the deed, you’d still be entitled to your down payment back and any equity you built up. I would suggest never adding your spouse to the deed and continue paying the mortgage yourself and have your new husband pay utilities, food, insurance and things like that.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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If you buy the house before and added your new spouse to the deed, youíd still be entitled to your down payment back and any equity you built up. I would suggest never adding your spouse to the deed and continue paying the mortgage yourself and have your new husband pay utilities, food, insurance and things like that.


Thank you thatís really helpful advice.

The idea of buying a house by myself overwhelms me, so much responsibility and work and in an area that Iím totally ignorant. I just keep going back and forth on what to do.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

Also Iím kind of old fashion in that I like the idea of having one joint account when married. It gets confusing when itís yours vs mine. I think when things are joint, your more likely to make decisions for the greater good, verses If things are separate your more likely to make decisions based on things that benefit you.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 09:40 AM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

Heck, buy yourself a home. And then if you get married rent it out and alittle more to cover the monthly payments, failed appliances or repairs and the yearly taxes and keep it that way. In today world I don't think you should ever sell it to buy a home together because if he's that kind of thinker, he's only looking for what he can get out of you and the marriage.

So buy , get married and keep your home.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 10:00 AM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Originally Posted by RebuildingMe View Post
If you buy the house before and added your new spouse to the deed, youíd still be entitled to your down payment back and any equity you built up. I would suggest never adding your spouse to the deed and continue paying the mortgage yourself and have your new husband pay utilities, food, insurance and things like that.
Divorce laws vary a lot by state, so check w/ an attorney before you bank on such a strategy. Most places, if he can show that he contributed to the household he is in theory entitled to half of the assets that accumulated during marriage.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 10:06 AM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Heck, buy yourself a home. And then if you get married rent it out and alittle more to cover the monthly payments, failed appliances or repairs and the yearly taxes and keep it that way.
Some people make money this way, and some people take a bath. It's like most money making schemes.
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In today world I don't think you should ever sell it to buy a home together because if he's that kind of thinker, he's only looking for what he can get out of you and the marriage.
I think a standup guy could consider her a potential spouse w/o wanting to live in a particular house.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 10:44 AM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

The house would likely still be considered a shared asset in a divorce regardless of whose name(s) were on the deed. However, the value of that marital asset would be the *increase* in value since the marriage. So if it was worth $200k when you married and then $250k when you divorced, the value to be split is $50k from the increase since marriage. The full $250k value at the time of the divorce would not be split. If you keep the house in the divorce, then that's $50k of marital assets going to you. Your spouse would need to get $50k in other assets to balance it out.

If the house has increased a lot in value, then the house may actually have to be sold in order for both people to get a 50/50 split of the total assets in the marriage. If the house has increased by $1M, then each spouse would be entitled to $500k in value. But if there isn't $500k in other assets to give the other spouse, the house may need to be sold so each person can get $500k.

Another consideration is that the mortgage is debt brought into the marriage. I'm not actually sure how that gets split or if the other spouse would be responsible for some of that in a divorce. So if the house went from $200k->$250k but there's still $180k left on the mortgage, anyone know how that gets all worked out in a divorce?
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 11:37 AM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

I don't think it's legal here in Florida to be married and not have your spouse on the deed of your primary residence.

You would need legal advice in your state.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 11:51 AM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Originally Posted by Girl_power View Post
Is there a benefit of owning a house before marriage? Except for the fact that you will get it if the marriage ends? Because it seems like it would be not only a pain in the ass, but you would lose money if you bought one before marriage.

Because letís say I bought a house, and Iím paying the mortgage. Then I get married... why would the other person contribute to the mortgage is they donít own it? Also if you put them on the mortgage, you still paid way more money.
I'm not a lawyer, but I think if someone else is paying for the mortgage while they live there, and they're not a renter, you just co-mingled your assets. If you divorce, he could get half the equity, minus your down payment.

But ask a lawyer, laws are different all over the place.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 12:29 PM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Originally Posted by Girl_power View Post
Thank you thatís really helpful advice.

The idea of buying a house by myself overwhelms me, so much responsibility and work and in an area that Iím totally ignorant. I just keep going back and forth on what to do.
Do it! Dont live your life according to "what ifs" about any future partners. Live your life for YOU ONLY. I own my own house and I love it and its empowering.

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.


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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:48 PM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Originally Posted by Girl_power View Post
Is there a benefit of owning a house before marriage? Except for the fact that you will get it if the marriage ends? Because it seems like it would be not only a pain in the ass, but you would lose money if you bought one before marriage.

Because letís say I bought a house, and Iím paying the mortgage. Then I get married... why would the other person contribute to the mortgage is they donít own it? Also if you put them on the mortgage, you still paid way more money.
You need to check the laws where you live.

In many states, if not most/all, even if you own the house before marriage, the house converts to marital property after marriage because the payments are made with community income.

The reason your spouse would pay on the mortgage after marriage is because it's converted to marital property. Their name does not have to be on the deed or on the mortgage for this to happen.

Many states will not recognize your down payment and equity prior to marriage as your separate property. The general rule is that once community assets/income are comingled with separate assets, the asset is converted to community asset.

Also, never ever put someone's name on the deed to your home if they are not on the mortgage. Most mortgage companies will not even allow this. If you put them on the deed, they are entitled to 50% of proceeds on sale.

To protect yourself, find out the divorce laws where you live. Then, if you marry, get a prenuptial agreement that clearly states that if you two divorce, your down payment and equity at the time of the marriage is your sole property.

https://www.freecreditscore.com/blog...use-home-loan/

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:50 PM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Originally Posted by Girl_power View Post
Also Iím kind of old fashion in that I like the idea of having one joint account when married. It gets confusing when itís yours vs mine. I think when things are joint, your more likely to make decisions for the greater good, verses If things are separate your more likely to make decisions based on things that benefit you.
I agree that one joint account is a good idea. There is no reason that you and your spouse cannot have a joint account even if you own a home before marriage. After all the home becomes community property as explained in by above post.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:58 PM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

@Girl_power

How old are you? This would be good to know with the sort of questions you are asking here.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:03 PM
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Re: Buying a house before marriage

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Then I get married... why would the other person contribute to the mortgage is they donít own it? Also if you put them on the mortgage, you still paid way more money.
Because they have to live somewhere and they are paying their share. Also, you may find a man who already owns a house and then you'll have to decide what to do at that point. Right now, however, it's just you. If you want to buy a house, now is probably as good a time as any since prices seem to be rising quickly. If you get married and want to add your spouse to the deed at that time, you would probably have to refinance, since you would have a mortgage and the mortgage company isn't going to allow someone on the deed if they aren't also financially responsible for the loan.


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