The traditional concept of “family” has received a bit of a makeover in recent years as more couples are putting off the nuptials while still purchasing a home together. There is nothing wrong with this trend, and there are many ways a domestic partnership can benefit from homeownership. However, there are risks involved that some couples fail to consider. If you’re in a domestic partnership and are interested in homes for sale in Napa CA, keep reading to know about some important decisions you should make before signing your purchase contract.

Establish An Agreement

If you and your partner are going to be co-homeowners, we highly recommend you discuss each person’s responsibility in this venture (down payment sources, ownership share, improvements, etc.). Be willing to speak openly with each other or your legal professional before the deal closes to make sure all parties are comfortable moving forward. Your legal adviser can help you define the important questions surrounding any legal agreement that may help mitigate any conflicts should something come between you and your partner.

Choose How You Will Take Title

Once you get to the closing table you will have instructed your lender and title company on how you want to hold title to the property. There are a few different ways this can go and it may be predicated on what your tax or legal adviser recommends. Generally speaking, if you are purchasing as an unmarried couple, you can choose the title of sole ownership, joint tenancy, or tenants in common. Keep in mind there may be some variations depending on what state you’re in. Ask your real estate professional for a handout on this, all local title companies have plenty of information to share to help you in making this determination.

Know Each Other’s Finances

You and your partner must be well aware of each other’s finances and employment situation before buying a home together. Any surprise debts after the deal closes could wreak havoc on your ability to make your respective payments and cause problems in your relationship. You want the process of buying your home and making the payments to be as seamless as possible. Eliminate the chance of unpleasant surprises popping up and lay it all out on the table. A good place to start is with a credit repot which can be provided by the lender of your choosing.

Leave Mom and Dad Out of It

We realize that buying a home is a big and often stressful decision for unmarried couples and can lead them to consult with their parents over a variety of issues. The choices that you and your partner make should be discussed primarily with each other. While our parents usually mean well, a mix of opinions and emotions could complicate matters further.

There are plenty of home ownership opportunities and we are ready to help you and your partner take the right steps towards homeownership. Contact Connie and Jamie today or visit their website at, your trusted Real Estate Agents in Napa CA.