If I buy a house with my boyfriend and provide the down payment, how do I protect myself in the event that we break up?

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If I buy a house with my boyfriend and provide the down payment, how do I protect myself in the event that we break up?

I will be receiving a Trust fund valued at approximately $90,000 and would like to purchase a home. I am currently living with my boyfriend who will not be providing any funds. My credit is really good but I am not currently working but he is, so I would need him on the mortgage to show income. Is there a document that could be created if something should happen and we break up? I do not want to lose my home or my investment.

Asked on December 7, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can draft an agreement under which you will provide the down payment, he will pay the monthly mortgage, and that if the property is sold, the amount of equity you will each receive from the sale will be figured out by your respective contributions to the principal. For example: say it's a $350k home, you will put $50k down (20%) and that by the time the home is sold, he has paid $25k towards the principal (the principal share of his mortgage payments). Out of the $75k total in principal paid in this example, you paid 2/3, him 1/3, and so the two of you will split the equity in that ratio (2/3 to you, 1/3 to him). The agreement could further provide that either of you could require the home be sold on, say, 90 days (or whatever amount you are comfortable with) notice, so that if you break up, you're not both indefinitely locked into co-homeownership. Or the agreement could specify that on notice from one of your that he or she wants the home sold, the one who to date has paid more of the principal balance can buy out the other's interest by reimbursing the amount of principal the other paid to date. There are other possibilities, too: the short answer is, you can have an agreement that protects you as long as you enter into *before* buying the house, and ideally should work with an attorney to draft it so as to protect you in the specific ways you want.


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