General chatter - Buying home in LA (does boyfriend have ownership)?

08-18-2007, 09:55 PM
This is actually a 2 part question. I'm currently in the process of getting a house. The mortgage company approved me for a loan. How often does the mortgage company fall through and not get you a loan? Even if they've told you that you qualify). :^:

My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years. I am getting the house on my own. (His name is not going to be on the title-he will not be making the payments). He will probably help with the utilities and things like that though.

My questions is, will he have any right to the property I'm buying??? We are not married (I don't want to get married). LA is not a common law state, but he keeps telling everyone "OUR" house. I don't consider it "OUR" house. I consider it MY house... he gets mad if I say anything to the contrary. :?:

I love him, of course, but who knows what is going to happen over the next 30 years? (Life of the loan).
SO...will he have any ownership in this property if my loan goes through???

Thanks a million for ANY advice & help! :)

08-18-2007, 10:04 PM
He will not have any right to the property. Your name alone will be on the loan and title paperwork. If the place burns down, the insurance check goes to you. If someone sues you or places a lien on the property, only you will be held accountable. He will get no benefit or burden of ownership.

If you feel like there is a small chance that if you were to break up he would sue for rights, consult a lawyer for specific information, or post here:

08-18-2007, 10:12 PM
The mortgage company sent me some paperwork to sign. It has his name in one place that stated how much money he makes every month. It made no mention of co-ownership or co-signing..etc..

Why would they put that one there?

08-18-2007, 10:18 PM
I would recommend a lawyer. This is to important to just be getting advice from us. Good luck!

08-18-2007, 10:52 PM
My dear, I know NOTHING about California law, but I see so many warning signs............PLEASE, PLEASE........I am begging you stop NOW... see a a small fee...........get advice......he is saying "our"

You may love him, but he is CLEARLY seeing benefits from his relationship with you.....paying some money for utitlies does not give him "our" makes him a renter... a room mate.......a friend with benefits.....I have BEEN THERE

Don't be a fool............if your job goes south, and you can't pay the mortgage...........he is loses lose it ALL

08-18-2007, 11:17 PM
I think you each need a lawyer and possibly couple's counseling together. It does not seem that you are both on the same page in the relationship.

I think you have to decide whether and to what degree he is your partner, and to what degree he is a renter or roommate. He needs to know where he stands with you, and you need to make your position clear, as well. A lawyer (whether you share one, or each get your own) can create a lease agreement or domestic contract that sets forth the obligations, and rights of each person.

Who will make the "rules" in the house. Will you both decide on things together, or do you get to make all decisions because it's "your" house? Do you want him to pay rent, utilities? What happens if he can't or doesn't pay his share? Will he be making repairs or help you remodel? Will you reimburse him for money he puts into the house? If you break up, how long will you give him to find a new place and get off the property. If you buy furniture together or seperately, how will you decide who gets what if you break up?

If you're not going into the house as co-owners, and partners you need to discuss these things just as if you were going to share the house with a platonic friend, or better yet, a stranger. Both of you will go into this with different (and unspoken) expectations if you don't settle these things before they have a chance to cause problems.

08-18-2007, 11:34 PM
I am a lawyer although I don't practice anymore. You've gotten lots of good advice here. Definitely find an attorney who specializes in real estate; not some personal injury attorney who tells you he can take care of anything.

Your boyfriend's name should not appear anywhere on the mortgage paperwork. It gives him a reasonable argument that you two had a oral agreement to own it together. Additionally, the mortgage company may be basing some of its pre-approval/approval on his income and that could work against you as well.

Lots of red flags, here. If he ever pays anything towards helping you to make a mortgage payment then he could conceivably argue that he deserves a percentage of any appreciation.

This is not time to try and save a few dollars. Dot your I's and cross your T's; and make sure you and boyfriend are on the same page or that's going to go very bad at some point.

08-19-2007, 12:17 PM
I also agree with the advice to get a lawyer. Your boyfriends name should NOT be anywhere on the paperwork. All though California isnt a "common law marriage" state, there are some rights that your boyfriend would have if you live together and make other purchases together, like furniture/appliances/autos, ect. So I would ask a lawyer for advice and have that lawyer draw up a "rental" or "lease" agreement that clearly states that he is living in YOUR home for (whatever is agreed upon, rent/utilities/repairs, whatever) that way you can prove that YOU purchased this home without him and that he understood that it is YOUR house and he is LIVING THERE as a NON-Right bearing lessor/renter.
Like someone else said this is not the time to "try to save a little cash" it is expensive to live/buy a home in California, and the value is constantly appreciating in value, so the little money you save on a lawyer today could possibly end up costing you up to 50% of the value of YOUR home when you sell it. (or are forced to sell to pay him what a judge feels he is owed when/if the relationship ends). Lets say you spend $200,000 for your home. In five years it is very possible that this same house is worth $250,000 so you saved $1000 by not talking to a lawyer...well you just lost $125,000 since some judge thinks you and he bought it with the intention of it being a "joint" asset.

GOOD LUCK!!!! GET A LAWYER! And, if your b/f is smart he will get one also.

08-19-2007, 12:29 PM
Yes please listen to their advice! When we first moved out here(to rent), homes in this area were selling for $80,000. That was 6 years ago. These same houses now sell for $250,00!!!! That is crazy. I wish I had the money/credit to buy back then. Oh well. We live in Cali also.

08-19-2007, 12:47 PM
I live in Calififornia and know of no place where you can buy a home for $250,000. Certainly not in Northen Calif.
Sounds like the mortgage company is using your boyfriends income to qualify you.I would get that information off your loan application.This also protects him from being liable for a loan on property that he does not have title to.
Definetely see aeal estate lawyer.

08-19-2007, 01:45 PM
No. Cali prices are sky high. I live in So. Cal in the high desert and you can still get something in the $250,000 range. I think she is in Louisiana though.

08-19-2007, 02:09 PM
Buying a house is usually the biggest purchase people will ever make. This is, like you say, a 30-year commitment. If something goes wrong, it could wipe you out.

If you want to be safe about your future, go see a real estate lawyer. Don't assume you know what the law is. It's worth the money, especially compared to the amount you will be investing in the house and what you (do you have kids you want to take care of too?) could stand to lose if your BF is the vindictive sort.

08-19-2007, 02:12 PM
The LA she speaks of is Louisiana, not Los Angeles.

08-19-2007, 02:17 PM
I live in Los Angeles and you can't touch anything for $250,000! We bought our (small! tiny!!!) house in 1989 for $200,000 and now they tell us we can sell it for $600,000 (did I mention it was SMALL?)

But anything that would be considered an "upgrade" would be more like a mil! IT'S RIDICULOUS! The only way you can make out ahead is to sell and move to a totally different market, but I'm a born & bred Angelino and I don't wanna do that.

If you don't want to go to a lawyer (excellent advice although when you're buying a house it's hard to come up with the extra cash!) what I would do is have the bf sign a landlord/tenant agreement. If he's "helping" with utilities then make his rent the average of the utilities.

That way if you end up splitting up in 8 years, he couldn't claim "palimony" because you had contract stating he agreed to be a tenant.


08-19-2007, 05:19 PM
Jasmine is the one that mentioned California real prices, that is what caused me to refer to real estate prices in California. You wouldn't be able to get a one room studio for $250,000, where I live.I don't know where HappyHousewife wants to buy here house.Her situation is complicated, though.Sometimes you can get lawyer for a short period of time, say 30 minutes and it won't cost much.She really needs legal advice.A friend of mine's fiance moved in with her and left abruptly taking some of her jewelry , and appliances and other personal belongings.Police wouldn't take a report because he was part of the household. Insurance company wouldn't pay either for the same reason.The house was hers , bought and paid for solely by her.

08-19-2007, 05:42 PM
I agree with those saying, don't do it. Postpone this purchase until you figure out the legal realities. You may love your boyfriend, but if you're not thinking of it as "our" house, then maybe you're not thinking of it as "our" relationship either. ??


08-23-2007, 04:47 PM
OH I Was thinking California also.....well either way, I would get a lawyer! If it is Louisianna or Cali, cover your butt.....

08-23-2007, 06:21 PM
I was thinking California, too...

Why did the bank even know who your BF was to put his name and info on the paperwork?

Also when you talk to a lawyer, ask what your rights are on evicting 'renters'. I know in L.A. (Los angeles), it's VERY hard.

If it were me, I'd leave BF living (where ever he's living now), and spend some time in YOUR house by YOURself for an extended period of time.

Whatever you do, don't sign any paperwork with his name on it.

08-24-2007, 12:13 AM
Regardless of the state of your relationship, you need to protect yourself and your investment. Right now, you aren't married. Period. So, if you want this house to be a reflection of your investment and efforts you need to take the appropriate steps to make sure that it can't be taken away from you. This would be different if you were legally married, because then each partner has established rights and the courts would be there to sort things out based on legal duties/rights/responsibilities. Courts aren't generally there to sort out boyfriend/girlfriend financial issues. Just watch Judge Judy!!! You'll see the difficulties that arise from committed but unmarried partners that separate. It becomes a nightmare.
Do the right thing, protect yourself, and get your boyfriend to pay rent/utilities. Have a lease in place and establish in writing his financial committments as a tenant. If afterwards you choose not to collect rent and things go belly up in a year, you won't be successful in sueing him for rent. But you WILL have protected your financial investment in the roof over your head as you will have established a landlord/tenant relationship and not a quasi-partner-part owner relationship which makes things messy. Make it formal for your peace of mind. Who knows what will happen down the road? If he "doesn't understand" or squawks about your need for peace of mind, red flags should go up right away...ONE warning sign that I see is that you say that he will "probably" help out with utilities and stuff. Why the heck would you let what I presume is an able-bodied employed man live off of you??? I don't get it. It costs to live. He needs to chip in. It seems that you haven't sorted this out yet!!!! See a lawyer and protect yourself. Please!!!