In Australia we are bound by common law but what does that mean when it comes to property ownership and relationships? You may think that because you are “only” dating and not “married” that your partner has no entitlement when it comes to assets but this is not 100% correct. But is it such a bad idea to commit to a property whilst in a relationship?
When you move out of home you pay rent. When you live with your partner you pay rent – even if you have only just moved in together you still have to cover everyday costs so the question is why are you paying someone else’s mortgage off when it could be your own? Even if you are not that serious yet even if you spilt you have an asset in between you. Also according to the government if you are in a de-facto relationship you are entitled to half of their finances. You do not even need to be living with them.
At this current moment many couples are choosing to marry later in life and often purchasing their first home together before tying the knot. If you are already living with your partner, your finances will likely have already merged to some degree, and buying property together may have crossed your mind. After all it is easier with two incomes instead of one. However, keep in mind there is more at stake when it comes to purchasing a home opposed to signing a lease agreement.
Although it can be an awkward conversation ensure you lay the ground rules before committing to purchasing a property together. It’s worth having a frank and open discussion about potential scenarios, such as whether you would need to sell the home to pay off the loan or if one partner could buy the other out. If contributions made to the deposit or repayments are unequal, you should discuss up front how the proceeds of a sale would be spit. If during the event that a dispute occurs during a breakup the matter can be taken care of in Family Court however perhaps laying down ground rules before hand can avoid this.
Before investing with your partner consider the options, have the hard conversations and make sure it is something you are both comfortable with. Lay the “ground rules” and make sure it is fair and even. If you keep this in mind investing at this stage can be very successful and provide a strong financial future for the both of you.