Renting vs. Owning – What’s Really Involved With Living Together?

Boyfriend and I want to buy an apartment together. I asked my parents for a loan. They said they’d help me buy a place of my own but not one with him. They said I’m too young and haven’t been dating him long enough for me to make such an investment and that it’s too risky. I’m 22 and been dating him a year. Advice? – Nerve Confessions

I thought this might make for an interesting discussion.

First, there is the financial aspect of this scenario. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but in theory buying  an apartment with someone you’ve been dating all of a year – at 21/22 no less – seems like a huge financial risk.

I’d also be uncomfortable moving in with someone – at any age – where it was just his name on the paperwork. There just doesn’t seem to be any security in that.

How does one handle the legal aspects of co-habitation? Do you request that your name be put on the lease or mortgage? Or do you just cross your fingers and hope it works out and decide to think about the rest later?

Do you do credit checks on each other? Would you really reconsider living together if their credit or financial history doesn’t appear to be as sound as you’d like it to be?

What if the person you’re thinking of moving in with has never fully financially supported themselves? Would that be a concern?

As far as the poster’s age goes, when did people start moving in together at such a young age? I freely admit that I am an Old and could be out of touch. But is it me or does it seem that people move in together much more quickly these days? There was a time when living together meant you and your partner were on your way to something more long term. Now it feels as though this is just something people do and don’t put much thought in to it other than it will help them cut down on expenses.

I also wanted to discuss the whole renting vs. owning thing. Eliza brought up in a comment recently how she met a man who lived in a less than stellar apartment. She pointed out that it was a rental. Do people really care about whether or not someone rents versus owns? Why or why not?

Thoughts?

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43 Responses to “Renting vs. Owning – What’s Really Involved With Living Together?”

  1. Craig Says:

    How does one handle the legal aspects of co-habitation? Do you request that your name be put on the lease or mortgage?

    You begin by drawing up a contract which lays out exactly what happens if the couple doesn’t work out, i.e. one buying out the other, etc. Also, if one party is putting down the whole downpayment, they want to be sure they that credited to their share as well should things go south. The deed should be drafted with the parties owning the property in a joint tenancy. This means if one dies, the other gets the whole property, as opposed to the deceased’s half going to their heirs. Both names don’t have to be on the mortgage, but both better be on the deed – as that’s what grants the legal ownership interest.

    Do you do credit checks on each other?

    No need. The lender or landlord will do that as part of the application process. All will be revealed at that time. If someone’s credit pops as bad, they’d better have a good explanation for what happened in the past and show proof of ability to pay their bills going forward.

    What if the person you’re thinking of moving in with has never fully financially supported themselves?
    That’s a huge red flag if they are a grown adult. Unless their means of support is a large trust fund that’s unconditional and irrevocable, walk away.

    Do people really care about whether or not someone rents versus owns? Why or why not?

    Given equal resources, someone who owns but is house poor because they bought beyond their means is not in a better situation than someone who rents a place they can afford comfortably. Home ownership isn’t much more than a tax shelter these days anyway. I lived in a real shithole from 2004-2009. No one could figure out why a lawyer lived like that. It was by design. The insanely cheap rent allowed me so save buckets of money for the downpayment on the swank condo I currently own with the Mrs. Sometimes it’s all about doing what you have to do in order to get where you want to go. That’s the reality for those of us not being bankrolled by mommy and daddy throughout life.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

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    • VJ Says:

      The shorter version: Sadly your parents are right, and you’re too young. And they’re right not to want to subsidize such a likely temporary arrangement. It’s their money. But it’s your life, so if you want it? Save for it. That may take some years as Craig suggests. By then you’ll know if Mr. ‘Right Now’ was or is closer to ‘Mr. Right’. Cheers, VJ

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

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  2. Kay Says:

    I bought my first place when I was 23. My boyfriend and I had been together for 2 years and although I saw ‘long term’, I didn’t see ‘marriage’ in our future; I was okay with that. We decided to live together, it was convenient and more affordable that way. I would not have felt comfortable with this arrangement if my name was not on mortgage; therefore, I put in a little more towards the bills each month. I’m always thinking of what ifs, as in, what if we break up and I’m living in his place, then what? Obviously, that wasn’t a concern of his. So, two years later, when we did break up, he moved out. There was no fuss. The break up was amicable so I gave him two months to stay while he found a place; it worked out well.

    I’ve just bought my another place and if I do move in with a significant other, I’ll simply rent out my apartment. If the relationship doesn’t work, I’ll have somewhere to go. This isn’t an escape plan, it’s like a prenump, an ‘I’m protecting myself because shit happens’ clause. People protect their assets before getting married, the ultimate commitment, why not before living together, where the commitment is less binding? If the relationship last and moves forward, I’ll consider selling my place and ask to be put on his mortgage.

    For those who don’t have a place they can sublet or rent out when moving in with a significant other, create an emergence move out plan; have first, last, and security tucked away so if and when the day comes, you’re not forced to stay or crash on a friend’s couch.

    Home ownership is a commitment, so yes, I do see it as a sense of maturity. After a certain age, roommates and landlords need to be well, nonexistent. But it isn’t for everyone and sometimes, as in these economic times, it’s not financially savvy. I dated a man who was financially ‘well-off’, yet, he rented and spent his money on art, amazing vacations, and even charity. That worked for him. I have a friend who moves EVERY year, clearly, there’s commitment issues there.

    The poster’s parents are right in this cases she’s way too young to buy a place with a boyfriend. I personally would not, then, now, or ever, unless we’ve been together long and have taken marriage off the table. In which case, we’d have a prenump-like rider which details the specifics of the mortgage in the event of a break up.

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  3. Snowflake Says:

    Moxie, you are right, co-habitating with someone at the young age of 21/22 is too soon. I married at the ripe young age of 23 and now looking back at the decisions I made at that time in my life (hindsight is 2020) I wish I had done things differently. I am hoping the poster will take some more time to thoroughly think things through. Set aside the buying a property with her boyfriend and take 3 – 6 months to think thoroughly the whole idea of living together. In my opinion with my short life experience, your twenties are to be enjoyed, you are only young once, you have your whole life ahead to settle down and play house later. Do not rush into things.

    Age aside, Craig laid it out pretty succintly the points one has to take into thought when purchasing a property with a significant other.Also if the relationship goes south, be aware that you also have to be financially qualified to buy the other person out (sometimes that can mean a 2nd mortgage if you are unable to come up with the cash upfront) or if not and all else fails or the other party refuses to be bought out and wants the property to instead be sold and the proceeds split this can take months or sometimes years depending on the market.

    The posters parents are correct in thinking this will be a bad investment especially when they have been only dating for a year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

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    • Howard Says:

      Now most of the rest of the world is married and with kids by 22. Have we underdeveloped our young people so much that living together at 22 is bad? However living together is not married. So the parents are right about the financial part. Tread carefully. I would be disinclined, at any age, to buy a place with anyone I have been dating that short a time and not even married to.

      Most people your age are renting. You can certainly go ahead and buy a place in your name. You don’t have to do everything together financially. If you still feel strongly about buying with him, do a partnership agreement that fully reflects percentage ownership based upon input.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  4. WO7 Says:

    Your parents are right. 22 and only dating a year is too early to make this kind of financial decision. In addition, it’s a risk for your parents. They may be willing to take this risk for you, but why should they take this risk on for some young guy you’ve only known a year.

    As for owning vs renting. Nothing is true for everyone, but a person who owns is usually more financially responsible than one who rents. Of course, a responsible person needs to save up before they buy. So you can be like Craig, be responsible, and still be in the saving up phase.

    And yes, there was a brief period of years where anyone could buy.

    But before that, and now adays, it takes a lot more to buy.

    You have to have great credit, and the ability to save up 10%-20% of the purchase price.

    So yeah, owning usually means someone is more financially stable and responsible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  5. dimplz Says:

    I think the biggest red flag here doesn’t even have to do with the boyfriend, but the fact that she needs to borrow money for her parents for a place. She’s simply not ready, and not having enough for the expenses that occur with owning a property just makes this scenario seem like she’s “playing house.” Don’t make stupid decisions with other people’s money – use your money for that.

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  6. Selena Says:

    If I were the parent making the loan, I’d want MY name on the deed. That way I protect my investment in the property regardless of what happens between the young couple. They could split up, lose their jobs, decide to relocate, or become discouraged when they see how many ongoing (and often unexpected) costs are involved in owning a home and keeping it repaired. I could end up being the one to sell it, hoping to get out just the money I put in.

    Once the child/couple paid me off, the property could be deeded over to the two of them – assuming they were still together. And by that time they would be a little older, have been together longer, and able to make their own arrangements regarding financing the mortgage.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

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    • Mike Says:

      Having your name on a deed means that you are legally the owner. Plus, what kind of yenta wants to exude that kind of control over their grown children. Let your 22 year old make their own mistakes you can’t protect them forever.

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      • Selena Says:

        Not about protecting a kid Mike, it’s about protecting a substantial investment. And we are talking about a parent making a loan here, not a gift.

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        • Mike Says:

          If it’s really a loan then make it a mortgage that has to be paid upon a lien like a bank does it. If you are “on the deed” than YOU are a partial owner which has tax, liability, and asset appreciation and depreciation consequences. If your name is “on the deed” YOUR credit gets wrecked if THEY decide not to pay the mortgage. Contrast, if you have the mortgage on a loan you are earning interest income and foreclose if they default. If this is really about making a loan.

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          • Selena Says:

            Yes, that would a similar plan. The parents may still want their name on the deed though, if the loan was substantial.

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            • Mike Says:

              No they DO NOT want their name on the deed for ANY reason, as a mortgage secures the loan, encumbers the property, and protects the loaner’s principal. You do not see banks with “name(s) on deeds.” It’s stupid and the only reason a parent would want that would be to continue to live the grown kid’s life for him or her.

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            • Craig Says:

              I have to agree with Mike here Selena. The parents would not want their name on the deed as a means of securing the house as collateral. That opens the parent up to all sorts of liability, and vice-versa – if someone sues the parent, the house can be taken from the child even though they didn’t do anything. What the parents want is a promissory note for the amount loaned that makes them a secured creditor by way of the home listed ascollateral.

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      • Angeline Says:

        If she really has a problem with the possibility of too much parental control, then she should get her own loan. Relying on your parents for it carries a priice, and if that price is more oversight than she’s comfortable with, the answer is easy. Want to live like a grownup? Be one.

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          Exactly. Parents’ money = parents’ rules. What a spoiled brat.

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          • fuzzilla Says:

            That said, I think Craig makes a good point – if the option of that much financial help is available to her, then she should take it and accept their terms. It’s not like they said she couldn’t date the guy. Makes me wonder if the guy is pushing her into the idea partly because he knows she’ll get that much financial help.

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  7. DowntownAngel Says:

    Personally I think buying while not married is the dumbest financial decision one can make, even when it’s done properly from the legal standpoint (the way Craig described it). Buying together means neither can afford it on their own, which means if they split up they will have to sell to a 3rd party, which if happens within 1-2 years of the purchase will cause them to lose SUBSTANTIAL amount of money on closing costs and agent comission. In NY this number can be comparable to the downpayment amount as closing costs are simply astonishing. So… i just don’t get it why you would put this kind of financial commitment in front of the actual personal commitment – it’s putting the carriage before the horse. If you must live together to “test” the relationship – rent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

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    • Mike Says:

      No, getting married is the dumbest financial decision one can make. This is a distant second.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

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      • Mike Says:

        Anyone that has given a thumbs down has not been the “monied” spouse in a divorce proceeding.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

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        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Jesus. We get it. Move on. You’ve made your point.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

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    • Craig Says:

      Personally I think buying while not married is the dumbest financial decision one can make…

      I have to disagree with this statement. What exactly does buying while married get you in terms of extra guarantees or protections over a well-executed contract? It certainly doesn’t guarantee longevity of the relationship. I’ve had people come into my my office looking for a divorce 6 months after getting married. Why were they any wiser to buy a home right after getting married? I dare say that getting out of a house you bought with your lover is often a lot easier than getting out of a marriage. The former requires you to deal with one asset, the latter deals with all your assests and always requires court intervention.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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      • DowntownAngel Says:

        Spoken like a true lawyer :) Well, first I didn’t say you should buy right after getting married. I think you should buy when you’re fairly secure and settled down in your marriage, may be after a year, everybody is different. It doesn’t give you any extra contract protection, but does give you more confidence that you’re in a steady situation, not it the “testing” mode. Secondly, a divorce does not always require a trip to the court, only if the parties can not agree on the distribution of assets on their own

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        • Craig Says:

          So after a year of marriage, you think that automatically makes you more settled and secure than a couple in a long-term unmarried relationship? If so, you are naive. Marriage guarantees you nothing in life. Trust me on this. You’ve been sold a fairy tale. There is nothing inherently steady about marriage over a long-term non-married relationship, which is why so many marriages end in divorce. Whether you buy a home with your lover or your spouse, the risk of a breakup still exists either way. The focus should be on the character of the person you want to buy a home with, not the legal and/or religious status of the relationship. Lastly, a divorce does always require a trip to court. Maybe not by the parties themselves, but someone’s lawyer at the least is certainly making the trip to court – and you’ll pay dearly for that. Last time a checked, you can’t get divorced without a judge.

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          • DowntownAngel Says:

            Jeez. Just FYI, I am divorced, so I’ve been around the block and not into fairytales. I did not go to the court (but my laywer did to file papers) and his fee was something like $1500 which we happily split with my ex. The divorce was amicable. We agreed on the split of our real estate between ourselves :) I would personally never live with someone unless the situation was supposed to end in a marriage (or a break up) really soon. I don’t just live with people. I either get married or I live alone. A lot of women see living together as a seagway to marriage. My comment was that in that situation, it is better to wait until marriage actually materializes. You get married, you build a home together. That’s the natural order of things. If someone knows that they’re just going to live unmaried for a long. long time – than it makes no difference to them when to buy.

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            • chillybeans Says:

              DA, you got off easy-most divorces don’t end that easily (or cheaply). It took my Ex and I over two years, and well over $10K (just for me) in legal fees, plus several trips to court. We settled the morning of our scheduled trial. And even though we agreed on most big issues like custody, we fought like crazy over the house, which had built up a lot of equity.

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      • M Says:

        You’re right in that there are no guarantees it will work out. However, the percentage of couples that are still together 1 year after getting married is much higher than the percentage of couples still together 1 year after they start dating, or after they decide to start doing this. I was in such a situation where I moved in with my gf (fortunately, we rented). A year later, things had happened and we were no longer together. I have to imagine that if we were married, it wouldnt have been that easy for things to end.

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  8. joe-f Says:

    Why should his name appear on the deed? While I agree a contract between you two would makes sense, that just means you are going to have to hire Craig to litigate if things do go south and he doesn’t agree to your idea of how to separate the asset. What if the house loses value or gains value, how do you divide the gains or losses?

    I think you should take your parent’s advice. Put only your name on deed or your parents and you. Then draft an agreement with your boyfriend where he might pay expenses while he lives rent free with you. You pay the mortgage. If you guys break up, he stops paying expenses and moves out. If his name is on the deed, you are going to have to deal with a breakup and a split of the asset, which can be really messy if your boyfriend decides to be nasty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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    • M Says:

      The boyfriend would be an idiot to agree to this. In practice, both of them would be paying to live there. However, if the relationship ends, then the boyfriend leaves and gets nothing for the money he spent living there while she gets all the equity for herself? I have a better idea – Dont buy. You’re 22 for cryin’ out loud! Work a few years, get a few raises, and save money for a down payment. That way, you will be able to afford more, plus you wont need to get the parents involved. Perhaps best of all, you give the relationship time to play out. If you are still together a few years from now, then this makes a lot more sense. If it doesnt, you will have saved yourself a world of trouble. Who knows, maybe they get married, which simplifies this further. Until then, just rent.

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  9. Mike Says:

    Your parents should steer well clear of putting their name on a title or having any legal strings with the place. Step 1: GET A GOOD LAWYER THAT UNDERSTANDS REAL ESTATE LAW AND ESTATE PLANNING. You buy the place as tenants in common stating on the deed what percentage each one has. Upon the inevitable break up one party buys the other out or the house is put on the market and the proceeds split. If one party is recalcitrant in selling then the party that wants to move along has to go to supreme court and sue the other party for “partition,” which is essentially forcing the sale or buyout.

    Does this sound confusing, risky, and convoluted – you’re right, it is. However, it is WAY LESS RISKY than getting married, in which people jump blindly head first in love without realizing the state imposed contract that comes with it. When the inevitable divorce comes NOT ONLY do you have the pleasure of fighting over the primary residence, but all the other marital assets, including but not limited to the appreciation of funds brought into the marriage, accrued pensions and my favorite – the hypothetical increased earnings potential due to any degrees or professional licenses earned during the marriage.

    So, if you are AGAINST merely purchasing property together you should also be AGAINST marriage.

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    • Craig Says:

      You buy the place as tenants in common stating on the deed what percentage each one has.

      This is bad advice in my legal opinion. A tenancy in common has the huge downside that if one partner dies, the surviving partner now owns part of the home with the deceased’s next of kin. This creates an awkward situation where you may now own your home with a stranger and can’t do anything with it without their permission or going to court to partition it. Afterwards, it would be nearly impossible to sell a partitioned home with such a clouded title. Who is going to buy only a percentage of a house? It’s a legal nightmare.

      A joint tenancy gives you a right of survivorship, yet you can still bail on your interest just like a TIC. A tenancy in common is useful when you’re buying a property with others as investors – not when you’re actually residing in it with someone. If your partner buys the farm, you want your whole home to be yours outright. A well-drafted contract stating who put what into the home, and what happens in the event of a breakup provides all the protection you need.

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      • Mike Says:

        As a non-lawyer I was on the right track, wrong train – and THAT is why my first statement was to get a qualified lawyer like yourself!

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  10. Jenna Says:

    The New York Times just ran a piece on the downside of cohabiting before marriage. It’s not a moral or ethical thing. It’s an economic thing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/the-downside-of-cohabiting-before-marriage.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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    • Mike Says:

      I read the article – if it is difficult to “slide out” of cohabitating, than just imagine how dumb it is to get married as it is exponentially more difficult to get out of that relationship.

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  11. Amy Says:

    Regardless of the complexities described in great detail in the above posts, the facts are (IMO) she is too young, they have not been together long enough, and the fact that she has to ask mommy and daddy for a loan reinforces those facts. If the parents give in, they deserve what they get.
    At this point (after one year of dating, and at 22 y.o.), it would be a big enough step to RENT a place together and see how that goes.
    She sounds spoiled to me.

    Whether living together or not, marrying or not, buying together and putting whose name on the deed, getting a prenup….all interesting discussions, but all apart from the original question. She needs to grow up and become more independent. Then if she makes a mistake, it only costs HER (which is the way it should be).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

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  12. Crotch Rocket Says:

    Boyfriend and I want to buy an apartment together. I asked my parents for a loan.
    It sounds like mommy and daddy will be the ones buying the home, not you.

    They said they’d help me buy a place of my own but not one with him.
    I agree. Why should your mommy and daddy buy a home for your boyfriend? It’s bad enough that they’re considering buying one for you, but doing the same for a non-relative is a whole ‘nother level of financial irresponsibility.

    They said I’m too young and haven’t been dating him long enough for me to make such an investment and that it’s too risky. I’m 22 and been dating him a year.
    I agree on all points. You’re young, the relationship is young, and investing a non-trivial amount of money into that combination is too risky. They might as well burn their money in the fireplace this winter; at least that will cut down on their heating bill.

    However, mommy and daddy are willing to buy you a home. As bad as I think that is from their perspective, it’s a great deal from yours and I recommend you accept–with just your name* on the deed. If your boyfriend du jour wants to live there, he pays rent like any other tenant living in someone else’s property–though consult a lawyer first so you have the appropriate contracts drawn up and understand what is required to remove him if the relationship ends non-amicably. In the event one such guy turns out to be The One and you plan to get married, talk to an attorney about a prenup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

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  13. Jamie Says:

    The OP’s parents have given her a choice; as I see it: (a) look for a place in your name only and we’ll help, or (b) keep doing what you’re doing and figure it out yourself.

    If I were the OP, I would pick (a), find a small, conveniently located place whose loan payback I could afford within *my* means, and I would pay back that loan as fast as I could. If the BF is smart, he will be socking away his money, and then, if they break up, both parties can afford their own place. If they stay together, then when they’re ready to marry/have kids, they can sell her place, mix the money with his savings, and buy a big enough place for what they need.

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  14. Crotch Rocket Says:

    I’d also be uncomfortable moving in with someone – at any age – where it was just his name on the paperwork. There just doesn’t seem to be any security in that.
    Agreed; I would never voluntarily put myself in such an unstable position because I really like having a legal right to sleep somewhere. I’ve never had to “couch-surf”, as many of my friends have needed when cohabiting situations fell apart, and I don’t intend to start in the future.

    How does one handle the legal aspects of co-habitation? Do you request that your name be put on the lease or mortgage? Or do you just cross your fingers and hope it works out and decide to think about the rest later?
    If I’m paying toward a lease or mortgage, I want my name on it, period. Crossing their fingers and hoping for the best is how every single one of the above-mentioned friends ended up couch-surfing.

    Do you do credit checks on each other? Would you really reconsider living together if their credit or financial history doesn’t appear to be as sound as you’d like it to be?
    I’ve worked my butt off to rebuild my credit, and I’m not going to invite anyone into a situation where they could undo all that hard work unless their own history demonstrated a similar level of responsibility. That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, but it does mean they need at least a couple years of paying all their bills on time and little to no bad debt–or at least a record of paying it down without adding more. (In my view, “bad” debt is paying for something after you’ve finished getting the benefit from it.)

    What if the person you’re thinking of moving in with has never fully financially supported themselves? Would that be a concern?
    Of course it would be of concern, though it’s not necessarily a showstopper. For instance, I have no problem (and would even prefer) to support a SAHM. In that case, she would be supporting and contributing to the household in non-financial ways, which is perfectly valid. But it would have to be explicitly agreed up front that’s what we were doing–and if we got married the terms of the pre-nup would spell out exactly what her equity position would be if we divorced.

    when did people start moving in together at such a young age? I freely admit that I am an Old and could be out of touch. But is it me or does it seem that people move in together much more quickly these days?
    22? Most of my friends had cohabited at least once by then, and many of them were married. Nearly all of them had had roommates by that time, and those roommates were like a giant game of musical chairs–often including one or more significant others. (For instance, girl A and B get a place, then girl B decides to move in with guy B elsewhere, so guy A moves in with girl A, then they break up and guy A moves out and girl C moves in, girl A moves out and guy C moves in, etc. With a 3br place, it’s even more confusing.)

    There was a time when living together meant you and your partner were on your way to something more long term. Now it feels as though this is just something people do and don’t put much thought in to it other than it will help them cut down on expenses.
    That’s definitely a big part of it; living alone is expensive, and many “couples” cohabit purely for cost reasons even though they (or at least one of them) knows there is no long-term future. In a sense, these “relationships” are little more than roommates sharing a bed: he gets regular sex and she gets bragging rights. And that’s why the “OMG look I have a boyfriend!” crowd looks so incredibly stupid.

    I also wanted to discuss the whole renting vs. owning thing. Eliza brought up in a comment recently how she met a man who lived in a less than stellar apartment. She pointed out that it was a rental. Do people really care about whether or not someone rents versus owns? Why or why not?
    Owning is a huge financial commitment, which if managed well is a huge plus. Longer term, home ownership accounts for the majority of the middle class’s wealth, which is what politicians are usually referring to when they talk about “the American Dream”. Being at the mercy of landlords, renters have no real financial stability. Unless they’re one of the lucky few living in a rent-controlled property, any increase in the general income simply results in an increase in rent, so it’s impossible for most people to make any progress; many families are actually moving backwards once you factor in inflation. Ownership allows income increases to be retained, building equity and therefore financial security.

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  15. Jack Says:

    Don;t buy a place with anyone you are not married to – What is going on these days? This is insanity. Sorry, but you cannot be tied to someone that you are not married to.

    I think the problem here is that divorce has become so damn prevalent that buying a place together as an unmarried couple doesn’t seem like a big deal.

    That is scary as hell. I briefly dated 2 women who told me they had bought houses with their ex. I really don’t know how I am supposed to seriously commit to you when you have something huge weighing you down. It just seems like such unnecessary baggage.

    And the whole excuse about cost of living is BS. Get a roommate – done.

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  16. hb Says:

    Renting gives you much more freedom. I think it’s a big mistake at age 22 to 1) get a mortgage unless you can own in your own name and won’t have to make to many sacrifices and 2) to share a mortgage with someone that you are not married to and 3) do not ask you parents for a cent. If you can’t see what a poor idea this is, I’m questioning your reasoning abilities.

    This happened to two couples that I know. It was a mess all around. Breakup after buying a home together or one who paid half of the mortgage consistently but he neither made the downpayment initially or had his name on the deed.

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  17. Philly Gal Says:

    Finally, a subject I can truly speak on! When my ex and I decided to move in together, we did so for financialand practical reasons. We were always at my place anyway, so lets at least save on our bills. Not romantic, but real. We knew one another’s credit (mine great, his so-so) and financial situation. Both our names on the lease, mine on all the bills. But we also wrote and signed a cohabitation agreement that laid out the terms so no one could just walk out without some sort of notice or financial obligation.

    The relationship ended a few months ago and we still live together as we’re riding out the lease. Fortunately we’re making due and I don’t think either of us would have left the other hanging. But you never know! Back yourself up no matter what you do. If your parents help you buy a place, great.you can write up an agreement regarding his share….however he would technically be your tenant.

    There really is no rush, though. If you’re gonna be 2getha 4eva there’s plenty of time to buy real estate after you’re married.

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  18. Brian Says:

    Yikes. A perfectly loaded topic.

    Moving in together seems to have become a relatively meaningless test drive for people. Easing your financial burdens has to be the worst possible reason to move into that level of intimacy in a relationship.

    If a unmarried couple is even considering buying together (which is pretty crazy) it is important that the partnership is spelled out legally and that everyone’s financial interests are protected in the event of an issue. Probably not a bad idea to make commitments regarding contribution in that agreement as well.

    The whole cohabitation issue is going to be very different depending on where you live. In Canada a couple in a “conjugal” relationship are considered common law spouses after 1 or 2 years depending on the province. That has good and bad points. It serves to protect people from being ripped off, but, it also means moving unthinking into a much deeper commitment.

    I don’t think renter versus owner should even occur to someone as relevant in a potential partner. There are a lot of reasons for deciding to do either. If you are dead set on one or the other and the person you;re interested in is the opposite then perhaps it could be an issue. Making assumptions about someone who has chosen to rent is just stupid. I met my husband when he was in the midst of a bog life transition and was renting a very small apartment. If I had judged base don the superficial evidence I would have gotten him completely wrong.

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