Purchasing Real Estate With Only One Spouse on the Deed

Dated: 07/27/2020

Views: 42

A large part of my real estate business is working with investors and repeat clients. I also have clients that are purchasing second homes for vacation purposes or for rental proceeds. Here is what I have learned about buying a house without your spouse, and the potential benefits:

1)  Easier to get a mortgage: If your spouse has a lower credit score, 620 and under, it will be easier to get approved for a mortgage without your spouse. When you take this route, you will need to make sure you have adequate income to purchase the home on your own. The lender will look at your debt to income ratio, and will not include your spouse’s income and/or debts.

2)  To preserve assets: If your spouse has any liens or judgements against them or is vulnerable to asset confiscation, it would be wise to purchase a home on your own. By buying a house in your name only, you protect it from creditors. Take into consideration when your spouse incurred the debt. Was it before you were married, or after? This also applies if you’re buying the place with money you had before getting married. If you purchase the house with your own sole-and-separate funds, you probably want to keep it a sole-and-separate property.

3)  Divorce: Although you never plan on divorcing, if this were to happen, and the property is in the name of one spouse only, the titled spouse will keep control or ownership of the home.

4)  Estate planning: If you decide to remarry, having the home in your own name simplifies the estate process. As the sole owner of the property, the home will go directly to the children of the owner in the case of a death.

5)  Taking Title:  Taking title as a sole and separate property means that both spouses get to live in the home, but only the titled spouse has ownership interest. In this case, the titled spouse is the only one on the deed.

Other things to consider:

Texas is a community property state. You will need to have your spouse sign a quit claim deed to the property relinquishing their rights to the home. This is not necessarily an easy task to do.

Add your spouse to the deed at a later time. If it is wiser and cheaper to qualify for the loan on your own, you can add your spouse to the title after you close, giving them ownership rights.

Janet Wingrove has been a licensed realtor in the State of Texas since 2007 and has been selling real estate in San Antonio ever since.  "My #1 goal is to help you achieve your real estate dreams!" - Janet

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