Buying your first home together this Valentines
Valentine’s Day is often associated with flowers, hearts and boxes of chocolates. However, for other couples this loving occasion might spark thoughts of taking the next step in the relationship.
For some couples that might be taking your first holiday together or even popping the question.
But what if the questions is “Shall we buy our first home together?”
People say buying a property can be one of the most stressful but exciting experiences of your life. So many things to think about such as location, type of property, what mortgage is right for us, how much can we afford to spend?
Whilst topics like these, and what colour would be best to paint the kitchen, can be subjects that might cause lots of debate between you and your partner, one question that can be easily forgotten is “how should we hold the property?”.
Whilst all things are going well, the conversation can sometime be neglected. It can also be one of those discussions that people do not want to have.
However, it can be one of the most important topics, especially if you have children from a previous relationship or you are putting in different amounts to the purchase price.
So what do we mean by this question?
There are two main ways in which people can choose to hold their properties; as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.
If you choose to hold the people as Joint Tenants, this means that essentially you both hold the property as “one” rather than in shares. The consequences of this is that if one of you were to pass away, the property would automatically pass to the other and this could not be altered by making a Will.
However, the other main way to own a property is as Tenants in Common. If you co-own a property as Tenants in Common, each of you owns a specific share in the property. These shares can be in equal shares, so 50/50 or in unequal shares.
In comparison to being Joint Tenants, you can include your share in the property in your Will and therefore leave it to whoever you wish.
This is often favourable if you are contributing different amounts to the deposit or the overall purchase price or if the “Bank of Mum and Dad” is helping you get on the property ladder.
If you have children, especially from a previous relationship, you may also want to protect their interest by leaving your share in the property to them if the worst were to happen.
Whilst no one wants to think about the possibility of a relationship breakdown or what’s to happen upon death, it is far better to make the right provisions in the beginning.
If you are looking to buy a property and would like to discuss how we can assist, please contact a member of our Residential Conveyancing department who would be pleased to help you through the whole process of buying your new home.