House Buying Agreement
Nowadays buying a property isn’t easy so it is essential that if you are in the fortunate position of being able to jointly purchase your first property, or you are moving up the property ladder with your partner, that you not only chose the right property but that you protect yourself with a property or family agreement.
At Evolve Family Law we’ve seen a big increase in enquiries about family and cohabitation agreements. That’s because it’s increasingly common for unmarried couples to be buying their first family home together with one partner providing all or the majority of the deposit. The deposit can be large as house prices are high in parts of Cheshire and because of the limitations of mortgage finance and lack of high loan to value mortgages.
Deposits are often given to one partner by parents or grandparents, either as a gift or as an advance on their future inheritance. With older couples, one partner may have raised the deposit from an earlier house sale or divorce settlement. It therefore isn’t surprising that the partner providing the deposit wants to protect the money in case of separation from the partner that they’re buying their new house with.
Some purchasers see the solution to the problem as the partner providing the deposit should buy the house in their sole name. However, that may not be possible if two incomes are needed to secure the mortgage or it may give the wrong message when you are in a committed relationship and buying a new property as your joint family home.
Family lawyers can provide a simple and effective solution; the family agreement. There are many different types of family agreement ranging from:
Cohabitation agreement between cohabiting couples
Declarations of trust between joint owners of a property
Prenuptial agreements between engaged couples
Loan agreements if parents or grandparents are providing the deposit as a loan rather than a gift. A loan may not be inheritance tax efficient so it is best to take private client advice on the deposit options available.
Whatever type of family agreement you choose the important thing is that the agreement is carefully drawn up to protect the deposit or family money so that you have the confidence and peace of mind to proceed with your property purchase with your partner.
Evolve Family Law