(Closed) buying a house before the "ring"

posted 3 years ago in Engagement
Post # 31
14900 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Is “he” buying the house as in the house will be in his name and the mortgage will be in his name only… or are you both buying it and BOTH your names will be on everything.  If it’s the latter, then I don’t see why it would matter if you’re married or not.  If you are joint owners of the house, married or not, you are entitled to your half of the house.

I’d be annoyed if he were jumping to do this alone at this point though if you’re talking engagement, this should be a joint decision imo.   When we started looking for houses, we weren’t engaged yet, but I told him I wouldn’t be buying with him unless we were engaged since I was putting the entire down payment down and he wanted his name on everything.  At that point he wasn’t willing to live in and contribute to “my” house, but he didn’t have enough for half the down.  But it worked out, he proposed while we were looking and we found a house several months later.

Post # 32
5979 posts
Bee Keeper

sunnierdaysahead2:  I was under the impression that he blindsided her with the news of what he planned to do: “Imagine my surprise when he said he decided that he is going to buy a house this year. This can out of no where.”

Post # 33
1838 posts
Buzzing bee

eagerbeaver727:  I just don’t understand the need to save, he has been always been frugal and if he truly did not want to go into his reserves why he is applying his savings to home versus the ring?

Because he has decided that buying a house is more of a priority. I’d be more concerned about the fact that buying a home is the kind of decision couples make together … and to be planning on getting engaged soon and yet say that your bf’s announcement about buying a house came out of the blue … well … frankly it looks like maybe he isn’t planning on getting engaged soon. Or, perhaps worse, he is thinking of getting engaged soon but wants to make major decisions in a unilateral way anyway. You need to have a conversation about 1) where you stand and 2) how you are going to approach building a life together. 

FWIW (which isn’t much because we are all different and so are our relationships) we got a house (with both of us on the deed) three years before a ring. 


Post # 34
2398 posts
Buzzing bee

pinkshoes:  This: If you are joint owners of the house, married or not, you are entitled to your half of the house.

I have no problem with the idea of buying a house together before you’re engaged (my husband and I did it, and couldn’t be happier with that decision). 

However; after reading that you’ve been together for 5 years and he still hasn’t proposed, I would be worried. It sounds like he doesn’t want to actually marry you (sorry) or he would have proposed by now. He definitely wouldn’t buy a house without you. Once you said “hey boyfriend, I’m not comfortable buying a house together without being engaged” his response SHOULD have been “let’s move up the engagement timeline.” It worries me that instead, his response was “ok, I’ll buy the house without you.”

Post # 35
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Cheekie0077:  I felt the same way! Doing both was just not feasible where we live either (downtown Toronto). Apart from the practicality of prioritizing a home.. I have large looking hands/ fingers and didn’t want to cut corners on an engagement ring either. We waited about 4 years before getting engaged, and have now been married a year and a half. When planning our wedding, we both had a few of those oh my god I’m so glad we waited moments! Different strokes for different folks obviously.. 

Also, it does sound like we have similar personalities! 

Post # 36
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

eagerbeaver727:  I think a sit-down talk with him is definitely in order just to be on the same page.

My fiancé and I bought a condo together before we got engaged and he put in more money down than I did so we signed an agreement/contract for equal ownership and a promissory note stating that I will pay him back for the difference. But after we’re married, the contract and promissory note will be null and voided.

I was never a fan of owning something together before marriage, but my fiancé is different from the rest and I never had a doubt; in fact, it felt right.

We bought our place Dec 2015, got engaged Leap Day and will be married this July.

Post # 37
2155 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

eagerbeaver727:  One of my lifelong best friends was in a similar scenario-her Fiance did propose, they bought a house before the wedding, and now they can’t afford a typical wedding like all of our other friends had. Personally, I’d never ever buy a house with someone I was dating OR engaged to-both of those things can end quickly and it’s happened to numerous friends of mine. I would get married then buy.

Post # 38
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

I would sit down with him and clarify what your plans are, together, for the future. If you’re not comfortable with him buying a house in his name only while you’re not engaged or married, tell him so. Weddings can be crazy expensive, if you both want to have one in the near future, it’s a good idea to plan for it financially, and that could mean delaying home ownership, depending on your priorities.

Post # 39
1147 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

We bought our house (together) last June, and got engaged in October. He had always wanted to be in a house (or at least moved in together) before proposing. 

I think you need to clarify whether or not it would be a “we” thing – if you’re both contributing to the down payment, and both of your names will be used on the mortgage, there is a certain way you can have it written up so that you share ownership. Our friend is a lawyer and explained the particular details we’d need to include so that in the event that we split up or god forbid one of us died before getting married, it states that our ownership was entirely 50/50. Technically, I saved 99% of our down payment, but we purchased our home together, our mortgage, insurance, everything is listed in both of our names so we have equal rights to the property. 


Maybe if you revisit the idea of purchasing together, with those things in mind, it would make you feel better about it? I can definitely see you being upset if it was more of a “he is buying a house on his own” kind of thing, but if it’s an equal partnership/purchase, then that makes more sense to me and should alleviate concerns about “his commitment” to you. 


ETA: I think your gut feeling does need to play a role in this as well, of course. I have never had a doubt with my fiance once we started discussing marriage and buying a house that our commitment to each other wasn’t strong enough or anything like that. But I understand that other people may have reservations about entering such a legally daunting and financially significant purchase without being married. Only you can decide how heavily that weighs on you!

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  panda_bear3.
Post # 41
2706 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

eagerbeaver727:  you had to coax him to get a time frame for a possible future engagement.  He doesn’t have enough money ^right now^ to buy a ring yet he’ll buy a house this year?  Stall. . He’ll buy a house but your name won’t be on it. 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  mrstodd2bee.
Post # 42
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Why don’t you ask him?

You said you have told him you don’t want to move in until your engaged, maybe he is looking at houses so when you do get engaged you can move in right away?

This best answer will not come from us, but your partner. 

Post # 43
3308 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

If he tells you that he can’t get a ring because he’s saving for a house, then yes, it’s a stalling tactic. 

Post # 44
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

It generally doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a place if you can’t commit to five years.   Some people are flippers but there is more risk there than the average Joe should deal with when buying a home,  you need to look at it as a longish term situation.  If you plan to be married in less than five years you should be involved in this.   The legal concerns of yours are a bit strange – you’re worried about ownership yet don’t want yourself on the title?   I just don’t get it but I don’t need to.  I’m just saying that if you want to be married you need to be involved.

With a “good career” and reasonible spending habits, handling a ring and a house are not mutually exclusive.   I would just make sure he knows August is the deadline and then it’s engagement or you break up.  Do you need the ring?  or can you just be engaged so it’s offical and planing can start?  Because in all reality,  the house is a MUCH better purchase for your future.  Rings retain VERY little value… and it almost makes me sick whenever I renew my insurance policy and look at the apprasial (it’s worth more than my car now – ahhh!) 

As long as he’s 100% clear on your deadline and the consequences (men need it black and white with these things I find),  he’ll either make it or not and that’s up to him and if he doesn’t then it’s up to you to deal with it or leave. 


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