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Key considerations for unwed couples buying a home
Strategies » Though still a small slice of the homebuying pie, more are saying “I do” to a mortgage before marriage.


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The "joint tenants" option designates equal ownership interest. If a couple specifies right of survivorship to the title, then the interest in the home is transferred to the other person on the title in the event the other dies.

With a "tenants in common" title, the homeowners spell out what percentage of the property each holds. That approach is more common with a group of investors buying a property together because it clarifies how much each investor gets from the sale of the property. It also lets each person sell their stake in the property.

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5. Review tax implications » One of the perks of homeownership is being able to deduct mortgage interest payments in your tax return.

In the case of an unwed couple filing separate income tax returns, the IRS will allow both to take their home mortgage interest deduction as long as they each have a vested interest in the property, said Mark J. Kohler, a tax lawyer and CPA.

A vested interest could be simply being on the title, or being a guarantor on the mortgage, akin to being a co-signer.

For more details, check out the IRS website: www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html.




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