Though same-sex couples are gaining more equal rights, there are still other areas that remain a concern. One such thing is when gay couples decide to buy a home, which presents some problems because even though gay marriage is now legal in the Sunshine State, same-sex couples still face a number of issues. If you and your partner want to buy a property together, you need to know some of the factors that could keep the dream from becoming a reality.
The housing market is hot right now, and, median home prices are on the rise. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t find a good deal out there. The good news is that interest rates are at historic lows, underwriters have lessened lending standards, and FICO just remodeled their credit scoring system. What’s more, there are many kinds of loan products available, and, a lot do not require a huge down payment.
The 5 Biggest Mistakes Same Sex Homebuyers Make
When you begin to house hunt with your partner, you ought to be aware of some things. First and foremost, you ought to thoroughly go through both of your credit files and do so months ahead of applying for a mortgage. You’ll likely find errors, because, there are more than 40 million consumers with mistakes on their credit report, according to a news report by CBS News.
“The fact that same-sex marriage is legal in some places and not others makes it especially important for married gay and lesbian people to have certain legal documents in place, including a will and an advanced directive.” —CNBC.com
You should also be saving-up for a down payment, because the larger it is, the less your monthly mortgage payment will be, and, you’ll need money for closing costs. When you and your partner are ready, start your home search, but do not make one or more of these mistakes:
- Not having proper legal protections and insurance coverage. Even though gay marriage has come to Florida, there are still areas where you and your partner are not protected like heterosexual couples. Speak with an attorney and get the necessary legal documents so you are prepared for the future. In addition, you and your partner ought to have the right types of insurance coverage. These might not be exciting propositions, but, are necessary and you’ll be thankful you have them when you need them.
- Being unprepared for seller rejections. It’s not pleasant to think about, but some sellers might not accept an offer from a same sex couple. There are also situations where sellers reject offers based purely on the amount and/or the contingency clauses. If it’s the latter, consider offering a bit more and/or cutting down on your contingencies to get the seller to accept your offer.
- Taking-on new debt before closing day. Some buyers do a happy dance when their offer is accepted, but then, start delving into their futures. They purchase new furniture or a buy a new car, or, something else. This is a big mistake because your lender will probably check your credit just a few days before closing to see if your debt-to-income ratio has change. Even if you pay cash for it, that might present a real problem because your lender will also check your bank account to be assured you have money for closing costs.
- Not shopping around for a mortgage. Like any other big purchase, you should shop around to ensure you get a good deal–don’t just go with the first product you look at.
- Neglecting how the home will be titled. You ought to speak with a lawyer about this, because you want it to be titled correctly, especially if just one of you is taking out a mortgage.