(Closed) Buying a house together before getting engaged?

posted 10 years ago in Waiting
Post # 32
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I was up front from the get go and said that I wouldn’t buy a house unless we were engaged. That is a huge commitment and he should be willing to commit to you if you are going in on this together. We looked and looked and found a house, DH propsed one week before we closed. He respected how I felt, and I knew that I could trust him to honor my feelings!

Post # 33
1382 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


Exactly the same thing! My family was very traditional and they could not understand why I had to date a white guy when I could just as easily date a Asian. Uh, not that simple brother. They eventually came around though. ๐Ÿ™‚ I knew they would, they love me. Tell your friend it’ll be SO worth the wait. ๐Ÿ™‚ My brother gave me away at our wedding (my dad passed away when I was young) and he was crying and more excited than I was! ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 34
2546 posts
Sugar bee

@Molly929: And maybe some people would say, “Oh that doesn’t apply to us, we’re never going to breakup” … but if that’s true, why aren’t you married? I just feel like you’re supposed to decide who you want to spend your life with, and THEN enter into long-term legal/financial commitments with them

We did decide that we want to spend our lifes together. We were 100% commited to eachother, but we bought a house first, and then got engaged. So what?

Of course we all have friends who bought a house with a boyfriend and things ended badly. But there are plenty of girls who are very happy with their decision. Owning a home while going through a divorce is just as much of a headache, in my opinion.

Post # 35
496 posts
Helper bee

@Neva: I don’t really see how this nightmare wouldn’t be the exact same if you were married, though. The same problems with selling the house and not agreeing on the division of property would be there.

And to anyone making the legal arguments – there is nothing stopping an unmarried couple from drawing up agreements with their own lawyers about how the house will be handled in the case of a breakup. If that is your concern, then just take the necessary steps to make sure you’re covered.

Post # 36
254 posts
Helper bee

@Bostongrl25:We did decide that we want to spend our lifes together. We were 100% commited to eachother, but we bought a house first, and then got engaged. So what?

Hmm, well to me that sounds like you guys actually WERE engaged, but you just didn’t call it that? To me engagement means “agreement and plan to be married,” (usually including a proposal).

Either way, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I couldn’t be comfortable buying a house with a guy unless we both knew 100% that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and that to me means “engaged” although I know for some there is some grey area where they ring isn’t ready yet, etc. so the couple doesn’t call themselves “engaged” yet even though it’s in their plans.

But I think your situation sounds different from the OP’s, where she says that discussions have been more hazy/vague.

Post # 37
1055 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I would not.  At least, I would not put my name on the mortgage so I wouldn’t be responsible for the debt if the other party changed their mind.  It might be that we could afford a house together, but I could not afford it on my own and wouldn’t want to be tied to that if we weren’t married.

If it works for you, that’s awesome and I won’t judge, it’s just not something I would do myself.

Post # 38
7321 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I think people are more saying, if marriage is a priority for you, you shouldn’t go into a living situation as binding as buying a house if you’re not totally sure marriage is in the cards. That’s a completely legitimate concern.

Post # 39
1640 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@BrightGreen: Actually, it’s much more of a headache to divide property that is not considered community property (i.e. you are not married). It might seem like it’s the same as divorce, but really, it’s not. It’s much more complicated to divide those assets when the couple isn’t married. 

Obviously it works out for lots of people, but it doesn’t work out for some, too, and it would be naive to go into such a large commitment with your eyes closed to the potential legal ramifications should things go awry.

Post # 40
47 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

We did, but we had been planning on buying a house for a year (and had talked about getting married for probably 2 and a half years). We knew we would get married, but owning a house was our priority. I thought it was better to put money into a house than a ring, it’s more of an investment. We both lived at home for a year (30 mins apart) after graduating.

By the time we started looking, I knew we would get engaged probably within a year or so, but I figured he would need time to save up some money once we bought the house. He had payed off his school loans so even though we were making about the same amount at work, I had significantly more because I had no loans. So, I figured we would get engaged whenever he could afford it. We knew we would get married, so I didn’t question buying a house.

I think from the outside, it looked a little weirder, but I knew we were going to be together forever so I just didn’t let it bother me. In the end, he ended up proposing 5 days before we closed on our house ๐Ÿ™‚ so technically we bought it after we were engaged, but we agreed to it and signed a bunch of papers and got the mortgage figured out before we were engaged. so yeah. he had secretly saved up money in order to surprise me. it worked.

but, i’d only suggest doing it if you guys are both in the same place. we had known eachother forever (friends for 7, dating for 4) before we bought a house. we knew we would get married, we just had to save a bit more.

Post # 41
726 posts
Busy bee

@BrightGreen: But it could also lead to “why do we need a piece of paper, we own a home, its like were married already”. You would think that marriage would come out of buying a home because it is such a commitment, but it could be used as a stall tactic.

It’s a tough situation especially when the marriage talk is vague.

Post # 42
2546 posts
Sugar bee

@Molly929: We werent officially engaged until a year later. In my opinion, you can be fully commited and have a plan to spend your lives together, without being engaged. We had been together for years and decided together to use our money towards a house, rather than a ring at that time.

It doesnt work for everyone, but it worked for us.

Post # 43
496 posts
Helper bee

@Krises: That may be so (I don’t know, I’m not familiar with either situation) but my point was simply that the examples provided here would still be problems whether you were married or not. And that by drawing up a well constructed agreement ahead of time, you would put yourself on an even playing field with married homeowning couples.

To look at it from another angle, my coworker just bought a house with his friend. Neither of them intend to live together forever, but they knew it made financial sense to go in on it together. They drew up an agreement with a lawyer about what to do if one of them gets in a serious relationship and wants out of the house, or wants to move their girlfriend in, etc etc. If two straight guys can do it then surely a couple can!

Post # 44
2357 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@KatyElle: I agree. 

OP, I think it would be worth bringing up marriage talks before you make this commitment.  You should at least know where he stands, regardless of what you choose to do.  

I would never make that big of a commitment without knowing if my partner even wanted to get married.  (I’d want to be married first, but that’s personal preference and unrelated.)

Post # 45
12326 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I lot of people buy a house before getting engaged, a lot of people dont want to.  I think only you can determine if you are comfortable in your relationship and if you want to do this.  If you are splitting the downpayment and morgage, then really there is nothing to lose.  Legally the house belongs to the both of you and can be divided as such in case of a break up  Heck, engaged people buy a house a break up, married people have a house and divorce.  Nothing is a guarentee, just do what you are comfortable with.   For me, I did not want to buy a house without an engagement.  But I also put down the entire downpayment and he wanted to be on the deed and not just have my name and essentially ‘rent’ from me.  We were commited and saw a future, but because of this,  I wanted the solid outwared commitment and wedding plans in effect before I was willing to do that.

Post # 46
1295 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Krises: Depends on where 

View original reply
BrightGreen is in Canada but she is right that in most cases up here there is no difference in how that property is divided. Also, like she mentioned, there is nothing preventing anyone from having their lawyer draw up an agreement. 

OP, I forgot to mention that we had every intention to marry so that is why I am saying I would do it again. If you are serious about this I would strongly urge you to find out what this means for you legally.

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