The Moneyist: I put $200K toward a down payment for a condo unit with my boyfriend. He is on the title, but not on the mortgage. How do I protect my equity investment now?

by | Jun 11, 2022 | Stock Market

Dear Quentin, I recently sold my apartment and put the equity earned (over $200,000) toward a new condo unit I own with my partner. My partner — we are not married — is on title, but not on the mortgage. He pays half of all expenses monthly without fail. What would be the best way to document and protect my equity in the event that we split up? Sincerely, Complicated

Dear Complicated, File this under “R” for “real estate” or “R” for “ruh-roh.” If he is on the title, he should be on the mortgage. It creates an imbalance of power within the property ownership agreement. Not only have you invested $200,000, but you are shouldering all of the risk. If your relationship with this man sours, and he walks away, you will be left to make the payments to avoid losing your home and damaging your credit rating, not him.  What’s more, if you pay the mortgage off, he will still be entitled to his 50% share of the property should you sell it. It’s a win-win for him. You also took $200,000 of your own money and commingled it in a shared asset. It’s a cautionary tale and a textbook example of what to avoid when buying …

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