Buying a house is a pivotal moment in many people’s lives, often symbolizing the start of a new chapter. However, financial expert Dave Ramsey has some words of caution for those considering taking this big step with a partner to whom they are not yet married. Here’s why he says it’s a bad idea to buy a home if you and your partner haven’t taken that walk down the aisle.
The Risk of Premature Joint Homeownership
Ramsey addresses this issue during The Ramsey Show with a caller named JT. He strongly advises the caller against it. The reason is simple: owning a home with someone you’re not legally married to can lead to a multitude of problems should the relationship not lead to marriage.
JT is engaged and eager to purchase a home with his fiancée. JT’s situation is not unique. He’s caught up in the excitement of house hunting and has even signed a contract on a $350,000 property. JT and his fiancée make a great income and can afford the mortgage. However, Ramsey warned of the potential for unforeseen circumstances that could complicate the breakup of an unmarried couple.
Why Wait? The Logical Argument
Ramsey’s argument against homeownership before marriage is supported by his years of experience in financial counseling. He has witnessed the messiest of breakups, some of which involved the legal and emotional entanglement of shared property. Ramsey mentioned one particularly tragic story of a man who was in a joint homeownership arrangement with his deceased fiancée’s mother. These are the real and often heartbreaking scenarios Ramsey wants couples to avoid.
The Solution and Alternatives
So, what’s Ramsey’s advice to JT and others in similar situations? Wait until after the wedding. The urgency should be in the commitment, not in the real estate transaction. For those who can’t wait or have already entered into a contract, like JT, he suggests getting legally married before closing the deal on the house. You can still have a bigger wedding at a later date.
Ramsey’s Advice for Unmarried Couples
Ramsey’s advice doesn’t just apply to engaged couples. He extends the same caution to unmarried couples living together. The financial and legal ramifications of breaking up when you own a house together can make an already challenging situation even worse.
Final Words of Wisdom
Ramsey stresses the importance of patience and the right timing. While the numbers might look good on paper, and the house might seem like a steal, the potential complications of owning a house with someone you’re not married to outweigh the perceived benefits. It’s not just about the love and trust you have for each other but also about protecting yourself from potential legal and financial disaster. So, take Ramsey’s advice–focus on the marriage first and the mortgage later.
Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.
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