Should Single People Buy a Home Without a Partner?

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Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

In talking with a woman in Kona last week, it made me ponder what people do with the title to their homes. This woman has been taking care of an elderly couple, and one of them died. The other might not be around for much longer, either. As payment for services this woman has rendered over the years, the couple told her they will give her their house after they die. It's been paid off. She asked the best way to go about doing this.

Well, I am not a lawer, but I do play one on TV. If I were in her shoes, I'd have the remaining spouse hire a lawyer to draw a trust and name her successor trustee, and then deed the house to the trust and record the deed. But so many people download forms from the internet, especially quitclaim deeds. When they fill them out in correctly, as many do, it messes up title.

Also, you know what else messes up title? When you are in a relationship and want to buy a home for yourself. Should you, as a single person, include your partner on title? You can read more in my personal blog today at this link: Should a Single Woman Buy a Home With Her Boyfriend?

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

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Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Rainmaker
2,276,857
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

This is a good subject to cover in a blog, Elizabeth.  I've known horror stories of gals who bought homes with boyfriends.  Seldom did it work out well.  I agree with you, it is best to leave things separate until some permanence to the relationship is established through marriage.  But, most importantly, your suggestion that they seek legal advice other than simple forms from a book store, is spot on!  A house is too large of an asset to leave to chance!

Nov 04, 2018 10:55 AM #1
Ambassador
3,496,861
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Elizabeth- agree, agree, agree!!!!  Don't muddy your financial waters. If things go south, you have a lot easier way out. And yes, if you own your own home and are asked to move in with your boyfriend/girlfriend, keep it and rent it out!

Nov 04, 2018 04:59 PM #2
Rainmaker
2,085,406
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Myrl Jeffcoat It's my previous background in escrow and title that taught me most people screw up their own deeds. They just don't understand the particulars and what's needed to be valid.

Nov 04, 2018 08:27 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Kathy Streib When it comes to affairs of the heart, many people on both sides do not think clearly. But I believe women can be particularly vulnerable.

Nov 04, 2018 08:28 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,623,165
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Elizabeth... just as I was "old fashioned" in that I did not live with my husband before we were married or comingle finances, I'm a bit old-fashioned about owning property with someone you're not married to. But to each his own... and I've sold lots of homes to unmarried couples without judging their choices. 

Nov 05, 2018 03:07 AM #5
Rainmaker
3,737,245
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Elizabeth, I have sold many homes to unmarried couples over the years.   Once really became a mess when they broke up.    It is up to them how they want to take title, or who goes on the title.

Nov 05, 2018 07:42 AM #6
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Couldn't have said this better myself.  If you have to ask, there's a reason.  Don't do it.

The oddest titling issue I had to date was with a multi-generational family.  There was a wife, her husband and his parents.  The way they read to take title on line would have meant if the father-in-law died, his share would go to his next of kin.  What an eye-opener that was.  This couple was on the phone with a title attorney and got expressed in title what they wanted to happen.  If one of them died, it was left to the remaining on title.  

The way you hold title, and who you hold it with, is such a huge deal.  This is a great post.

Nov 05, 2018 08:29 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Nina Hollander I do not offer my opinion unless I feel like it is absolutely necessary. I did mention to one buyer that she might want to consider going on title by herself, and I'm so glad she did because a few months after closing, they broke up.

Nov 06, 2018 09:50 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Joan Cox The thing is when they break up and come to you to sell the house, then you need to represent both sellers equally. So it's more difficult for us but we do it.

Nov 06, 2018 09:52 AM #9
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Chris Ann Cleland In California we try to stay clear of title issues, and by that I mean giving advice about it. Because that's a legal situation, and since we don't use lawyers here for real estate, buyers are advised to do their own research. It's too bad an escrow officer can't just explain it to them, but she / he can't.

Nov 06, 2018 09:53 AM #10
Rainmaker
2,623,165
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents  hi Elizabeth... I remember reading some statistics some time ago that indicated that couples who lived together before marriage actually had a higher divorce rate than those who didn't. So much for "testing it out." And when I thought about it, I realized I knew quite a few people who had lived together for quite a long time, gotten married, and then gotten divorced quite quickly.

Nov 06, 2018 10:28 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,085,406
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Nina Hollander I must fall outside the norm as that certainly did not happen to me. We dated long-distance for a year, lived together for two more and have been married going on 20 years.

Nov 06, 2018 10:49 AM #12
Rainmaker
2,623,165
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

There's the exception to every rule, Elizabeth. And you're it in this regard!

Nov 06, 2018 11:49 AM #13
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