How Can Unmarried Couples Buy a Home in Florida?

An unmarried couple posing with the house keys

Marriage rates in Florida have dropped significantly, but unmarried couples are more willing to purchase homes together even if they aren’t willing to tie the knot. Whether you don’t believe in the institution of marriage or want to see if you can live together first, buying a house is a huge decision that comes with unique challenges for unmarried couples.

How Unmarried Couples Can Buy a House in Florida

Here are some of the ways you can buy a house using a realtor, or a real estate attorney as an unmarried couple in the state:

As Tenants in Common

Unless it has been established, you and your partner can hold a title to a property in Florida as ‘tenants in common.’ This proves that you both own a part of the house. In case one of you passes away, their percentage automatically passes to a beneficiary or estate.

You and your partner can own the property split straight down the middle or a specific proportion, such as 80% , 20% for example. As tenants, you can also bequeath your portion to someone other than your partner if you wish in case you pass away. This is important to review with your title agent and real estate attorney.

As Joint Tenants

Many unmarried couples in Florida can also buy a house or hold a title as joint tenants with right of survivorship, in which case, they have complete survivorship rights. In this case, both receive an share property 100% each, and either will inherit the other’s share in the event of their death. However, you can only use this if you and your partner agree to be titled owners in this way.  A real estate attorney, title agent and closing agent will help you accomplish this.  

This kind of title ownership is advantageous for partners who have been together for years and are strongly invested in each other, even if they don’t plan to marry. A real estate attorney can list your options and advise you per your circumstances.

What Can Happen If You Separate

The split is clear and fair when you purchase a home with your partner as joint tenants or tenant-in-commons. But in most cases, an individual may move in with their partner in a house the latter owns and, in time, contribute to its upkeep and mortgage, leading to ownership issues. Some issues may arise even if they own a portion of the title.

In either case, the property is more than likely to remain under the ownership of the person whose name is on the title deed.  There are exceptions and specifics that may help one claim a different portion then what they are titled owners of. This can be a challenge, especially if you separate and neither of you is willing to compromise. A real estate attorney can help you sort things out and ensure you aren’t short-changed.

Contact Costa & Associates to Protect Your Property Rights

At Costa & Associates, we have aided many married and unmarried couples in acquiring real estate, and ensuring their legal interests are protected throughout the process. We can also aid you with closing without forfeiting your earnest money. Contact us for a free consultation today and book by dialing (305) 827-0100.


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