Love and Finances: Buying real estate

by Kristina on June 24, 2015 · 2 comments

buying real estate, couples decision, couples finances, couples problems

Good morning Dinks. We have an interesting situation to talk about today.  Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Laura and she told me that she and her long time boyfriend are going through a rocky period and she doesn’t know if they’re going to get through it.

When I asked what the problem was (although I thought I might have an idea because he’s five years younger than her) she told me that he bought a house – without her…again.

Should one person own the family home?

This is actually the second piece of real estate my friend’s boyfriend purchased without her.  He purchased the condo they currently live in by himself.  Of course they discussed this at length before the purchase but at the time my friend wasn’t financially ready to buy a home.  She was still paying off student loans and asked him to wait a few years so they could buy a home together.

Her boyfriend having a typical Type A personality refused to wait saying the condo was a great deal because it was still in the construction phase.  He convinced my friend that it would be O.K. for him to buy it and her to live there because in a few years when the value increases they can sell it and buy a home together.  Although part of that may be true it didn’t make my friend feel any better.

What does it say if your spouse buys real estate without you?

This week my friend’s boyfriend dropped another real estate bomb.  He just bought a house with his parents, actually I should say he bought a new house for his parents.  This piece of news completely pushed – actually threw – my friend over the edge.

The first time she wasn’t crazy about paying rent to her boyfriend but she had hopes that someday they would own a house together.  Then instead of checking in on their relationship and her financial status he went out and bought another house…without her.  What does that say about their relationship?

Of course my friend is taking it personally even though I tried to tell her not to.  I explained that the new house is a family purchase and she should not take it as a reflection of their relationship.  However the only way she sees it is that her boyfriend bought another house without her and she doesn’t understand why.

Do couples need to own everything together?

I think it’s O.K. for each person in a couple to have their own money and investments.  However when someone is constantly making major purchases, like buying real estate for themself and their parents, before making a happy home with their spouse is there any other way to take it other than personally?

“I’m renting from my boyfriend because he doesn’t want to have a home with me” said my friend and at that point I couldn’t feel anything for her except incredibly bad.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 diane @smartmoneysimplelife June 24, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Wow. Harsh!

Everyone is different but… if your partner is making big financial decisions like this without you, there’s a relationship problem not a financial problem. A big one. I reckon it’s time to ‘rent’ elsewhere.

2 kg July 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

I agree with Diane. It’s a relationship problem. We are in the process of slowly buying rental property to finance our retirement. (I am an extremely good property manager. We do have IRAs but we prefer investments where we have more control over the investments.) My husband and I have agreed on the screening criteria for the properties. I look at them and buy them in my name to expedite the process if they meet our criteria. He works full-time and doesn’t want to look at the houses. He trusts me and I keep him updated. Later on we Quit-claim the property’s ownership to both of us.

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