not married couple buying a house

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not married couple buying a house

My girlfriend is buying a house for us to live in. We are going halves on the downpayment but the deed will be in her name as will the mortgage. Basically I need to know what type of agreement/document we need to make so that if for some reason we break up, I can get my down payment back. so I can move and she becomes full owner of the house. She has already agreed verbally to this I just don’t know the legal way to put it in writing. Eventually in a couple years we are going to refinance and we’ll both be on mortgage/deed. However, until then I want it in writing that I’m going to be repaid the amount I paid towards the down payment but not towards the mortgage as we’re both living in the house and we consider it as rent from both of us.

Asked on February 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can create--and both sign--a written contract stating that if you should elect to move out of the home, she will pay an amount equal to your deposit and, once she does, you will "quit claim" your interest in the house to her. That is straightforward.
BUT--there's always a "but"--that won't take you off the mortgage, since the mortgage is an agreement between you, her, *and* the bank: you would need the bank/lender to agree to release you from the mortgage, and there is no reason they'd do this (not only does it offer no advanrtage to them, but it hurts them by reducing the number of peopel legally obligated to pay the mortage). You can have an agreement (i.e. included in the above-described agreement) that she will refinance the house in her name only, if you move out, as a precondition or requirement for her getting sole title (that is, for you to issue the quit claim deed giving up all your interest in the home), but that doesn't help you if she can't refinance (e.g. if she can't qualify for financing on her own). It may be impossible for you to disentangle yourself from the home, given the mortgage, if you are on it, since doing so will require either refinancing or bank consent to remove you. You need to consider the complication of the mortgage before going forward.


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