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Buying a Home as An Unmarried Couple

Buying your first home together is very exciting but there are a lot of things to think about beforehand, especially if you haven’t got a ring on it because unmarried property owners in England and Wales have different legal rights, compared to married couples. Being unmarried also affects your rights to the property should the relationship end or your partner sadly passes away.

1. Don’t jump the gun

Just because Uncle Ian said “renting a house is money down the drain”, does not mean you should jump the gun and buy a house. You need to want to be a homeowner and be ready financially. Naturally, you should also be in a good place as a couple because buying a home is a large commitment. When you buy a house with somebody else, there are two types of joint ownership you can choose from: Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

2. Calculate affordability

A home is more than likely going to be the most expensive thing you will ever buy. In order to afford it, you are going to need a huge loan from the bank – known as a mortgage. The bank needs to know that you are a good investment for them, so you will need a good credit score. This tool will help you to calculate how much you can afford to borrow – Affordability Calculator

And don’t forget about the deposit. You will need several thousand pounds to make a down payment on the house. The average first-time buyer puts down a 20% deposit on their first home, which could mean finding a daunting £20,000 or more. Help to Buy is a government scheme which can help you to buy a property with just a 5% deposit.

There are also other costs to factor in such as stamp duty, solicitor fees, survey fees, removals and insurance costs.

3. Compare credit scores

It’s important to fully understand your partner’s credit history. Both parts of a couple are assessed separately and the lower score of the pair is the one that is considered by the mortgage lender.

Before speaking to an adviser or lender, try and get access to your credit files so you can address any issues within because it may lessen the impact of any issues that have occurred.

You should also pre-empt any problems. If you’re on maternity leave, provide evidence of your return date and salary. If you’ve had a payrise but not your latest payslip, have your contract updated.

4. Shop around for your mortgage

We shop around to find the best prices on TV’s, laptops, and almost everything else from our daily lives, but almost half of us (47%) do not shop around for a mortgage when buying a home and 77% of borrowers only apply with one lender, which means they won’t find out who can offer them the best deal.

Shopping around for your mortgage could save you thousands of pounds as could investing in a mortgage broker because they have access to exclusive deals which are often better than those offered directly by the lender.

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