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Any solicitors or financial/mortgage advisors on here?

I’m hoping someone can give me some advice on something. Basically,my partner & I are in the process of buying a house, and have had an offer accepted. However, we are also are separating, Now, despite us splitting up, we’re still very good friends, and my partner wants me to be able to buy the house as it works really well with me & MS. However, while I can afford the mortgage repayments that we’ve been quoted on my own, we still need to apply for a joint mortgage in order to borrow enough.

My partner is very happy to get a joint mortgage, even though we’ll no longer be living together. What I want to know is, what could the issues with this be? We’ve not told our financial advisor yet - my partner think if we do, then our advisor would be obliged to tell the bank, who would in turn decline their offer. Personally, I think there’s no harm in asking for his advice. Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks

C

Dammit, meant to post this anonymously! Oh well…

Hi C, Unfortunately, I think this is a complete no-no. Not from your point of view, but for your partner/ex. However amicable the split, why on earth would they want to be liable for the next 25 years, for the debt of someone who’s not their partner, they won’t be living with, and who is - we have to face it - seriously ill - hence a higher risk of reduced circumstances, and, ultimately, default. If this happens at any time in the next 25 years (assuming that’s the term of the mortgage), they’ll be liable for the lot. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, and might not be something you want to think about at the moment. But do you think your partner will never move on, never have another partner, never want a place of their own? How on earth will they be able to do this? For a start, they’ll never be able to get another mortgage, even if they argue they’re not paying anything on yours. They will still be personally liable if YOU ever default. Nobody is going to grant them another loan, while they still have this one round their neck. You get a very good deal out of this, but your partner does not. Although there is one possible pitfall for you too. Your partner will jointly own the property with you. What happens if, not in the short term, but perhaps in a few years time, they think again, want to extricate themselves, and insist the property is sold? You could find somebody with no connection with you, other than ‘once’ being in a relationship, has a say over YOUR house, that you live in! And, on paper at least, they would own half, so the default would be that they’re entitled to half the proceeds, regardless that they never paid a penny. It is possible to go to court and try to get a more just division, in cases where one partner has contributed much less, or - as in this case - nothing. But do you want all the hassle and expense of trying to overturn what the law says they’re entitled to? Please, think again, and don’t do this. No solicitor would advise it (and you and your partner would have to get separate advice, as there’s a clear conflict of interest). I know it must be terribly disappointing to have to pull out at this stage, but it’s the only sane thing to do. It will store up untold problems for the future, if you go ahead anyway. 25 years is a long time. Things might not always be as amicable as they are now - especially if one or both of you move on, and don’t want to be shackled together by this joint debt. And it WILL be joint, regardless that you believe you can pay. If you ever can’t, and the lender starts pursuing your ex, will they still be as happy and comfortable about it? What’s in it for them, to accept this responsibility, when, on the face of it, they don’t get anything? Tina

Hi C

I have to agree with Tina.

This is a disaster waiting to happen.

You and your ex may be perfectly amicable now but I can tell you with personal experience that if he gets a new partner, they will not be so friendly.
Generally you are only able to get one mortgage for your primary home. Subsequent ones are under different conditions. If your ex meets someone new and they decide to buy a home together – that’s when the feathers will fly because he will already have a mortgage with you.

It matters not one whit who is paying the mortgage – he will own half your home and half your debt. As Tina says it is possible to show that the division of the property should not be 50/50 but equal shares is the starting point. This is not the way to start a purchase.

I also want to take a bit of issue with the fact that you say you can afford to make the repayments and yet could not borrow enough on your own income. With the greatest respect if your income is insufficient to borrow the money it’s probably insufficient to make the repayments. On paper it may look do-able but have you accounted for all the additional costs that are incurred with home ownership?

I’m sorry to sound harsh but I think this will lead to tears in the future.

Pull out and find somewhere cheaper that you can buy independently.

Jane

Excellent advice from Tina and Jane…I hope you take it C

Hi

Just to add a bit of extra detail, my ex already does have a new partner, and is well aware that they won’t be able to get a mortgage of their own while they are still party to our mortgage. Our thinking is that we take a 5 year fixed mortgage. When the 5 years is up, we see if we can transfer the mortgage to my sole name. If not, and my partner want to buy a place, then we sell up this house and split the proceeds. We would put this agreement in writing - a sort of pre-nup. We know that selling somewhere won’t necessarily be easy, but that’s a risk we’d have to take.

(Jane, I take your point about the affordability, but the mortgage payments are a third less than the rent we currently pay. That doesn’t change the fact the a bank won’t lend me enough on my own - that’s just one of the daft ways that lending works (I actually work for a bank so I know a bit about I’m talkng about!)).

Thanks for all your thoughts & advice though.

no advice,but just to let you know when you post anon,your name on the post can only be seen by you,it shows as anon on here,so you are anon,if you know what i mean.

J x

I’m afraid I think the emergence of a new partner for one of the parties greatly increases, rather than diminishing, the risk of complications.

What kind of stooge is the new partner, that they wouldn’t mind their partner entering into a 25-year financial commitment with the ex, on the basis that it might be terminated “in five years or so, all being well”? To my mind the new partner must either be a saint, or not been told, or only a casual relationship anyway - but if the latter, what happens if it turns serious, and they have to be told, and they DO mind?

Please, walk away! I know it’s hard, if it was your dream-home, but there will be other homes, and, hopefully, other partners.

It’s bad enough if you can’t avoid this situation, because you already held joint property. But who knowingly goes ahead with this, when they’ve already split, and the partner is with someone else? I foresee trouble ahead - for all three of you, if I’m honest. There’s a limit to how easygoing any partner of either of you is going to be about this arrangement.

And I have to share Jane’s concerns that if you wouldn’t be granted the mortgage in your own right, it’s because it’s not deemed affordable on your level of income. OK, maybe you can get a five-year fix, at historically low rates. What happens when the fix ends, and rates soar (they’re very likely to be higher then than they are now, as it would be difficult to get any lower). If interest rates doubled, assuming your circumstances were otherwise broadly the same, would you still be able to pay?

Five years is a long time with MS. It’s even a long time without MS. What happens if you get too sick to work, you get behind on payments, and your ex IS pursued for them? Really, I’m struggling to see anything positive about this for any of you, except that you get the home you want in the very short term, but you’ll always be at risk of losing it, if your ex has a hissy-fit, their new mate has a hissy-fit, or you can’t keep up repayments.

Tina

I have been divorced about 5 years now. What my ex said to me when guilt was driving the conversation was substantially different to what was said a couple of years later.

Luckily for me it was not my home that was in question but a house that we had bought for our student daughter to live in. My ex paid NOTHING towards this property but he wanted to put his new wife on the mortgage and take me off. He was genuinely shocked when I refused.

Please find somewhere where you can be independent. To be reliant on the good will of am ex partner is madness. No house is worth loosing the ability to own your own future. I know how disappointing it must be to even contemplate loosing this property. This thread started with a question about seeking professional advice. If someone with more experience/knowledge than I thinks this plan is a good one – then go ahead with a light heart but please don’t do it without asking someone who has seen it all before.

Jane

Hi, regardless of the implications of problems this may cause between yourself and your ex-partner…I would consider the legality of applying for a mortgage together so you can obtain the desired amount to purchase the property. This may be seen as obtaining property (money) by deception and you could lose a great deal more than your home. Your basically decieving the lending company by applying this way…Dont do it, its far too risky.

I agree with what Tina and Jane say, this sounds bad news for all involved and also like a very complex situation. You say you haven’t told your financial advisor because your ex thinks the financial advisor would tell the bank. From this statement I m guessing that you don’t want the bank to know what you are doing. I think you’ll have to speak to your financial advisor whatever, he’s the expert and can perhaps give you more information. Cheryl:-)

Have looked closely at all the negative advice on here and am a bit disappointed. After all, one size does not fit all. You know your ex partner better than anyone on here does so go with what feels right for you. Who knows what the future holds, anyone could be together the day they sign for the mortgage and separate the day after. At least you have some sort of plan and why not look at the positive side of human nature for a change and go with what feels right for you. As they say, accentuate the positive. Bottom line is that things will either work out or you will be in the same situation you are now. Why not take a chance? Only you know whether or not he is a safe bet. Good luck. Gary

I am afraid that I agree with Tina and Jane. This one fails the, ‘What Can Possibly Go Wrong?’ test, big time.

Please do be careful not to put yourself in a false position.

Alison

I would also agree with the girls. Gary is right to say that any of us could have separated right after buying a property and that is the unknown. But for you it’s not the unknown, it’s happened already and you haven’t even moved in.

This isn’t some small decision you have to make, it’s possibly one of the biggest decisions anyone makes. Please be very very careful, this is fraught with risk.

So what is the alternative? Will you be left with nowhere to live? What I mean is do you have any alternatives, in that do you have another housing option? I sometimes despair of us in that we become unwilling to take the sort of chances we may have taken if we didn’t have this s***y illness. Live life for today,take a chance and if it works out then great and if it doesn’t move on and rejoice in the fact you still had the blls to take that chance. I know that is an easy thing to say but I have taken the chances and sometimes they have worked and sometimes not but at least I know the negatives have been on my terms. I suppose what I mean is that I have this illness, it doesn’t have me and just now and again I get to make some decisions that are maybe not the “safest” but may just be the best. Whatever you decide , best of luck. Gary

Surely being in charge of your own destiny is the truly brave decision - not entrusting it to the whim of someone who’s already made the decision not to be with you, because you’re fearful you can’t do it without their borrowing power?

Tina

Not being argumentative but either decision is being in charge of your own destiny. I just think that if this is a house which ticks the boxes for you go for it. It may well be that your ex is one of the good guys, maybe it was you who gave him his marching orders but either way it is still possible that he may be one of the good guys. I just wish there was more positive stuff on here. I posted what I thought was really good news a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share it with everyone, the result - not a single reply. The post below mine was all negativity and received a host of replies, mostly all doom and gloom. I just think we should all try to find the positives in the host of negatives we encounter every day that we confront this unfair illness. Sure it has massive downsides but it is up to us to search for the upsides and then make sure they take centre stage. I seem to be out of kilter with the majority of people on here but will keep on trying to find a way to communicate with everyone in a way which doesn’t rub too many people up the wrong way. Ba happy Gary

Gary, thanks for being the sole voice on the other side! I think you’ve summed up fairly well why we’re wanting to do this. We, and especially I, have tended to be cautious and not taken risks in life. But the result of that way of life is that we’ve ended up denying ourselves opportunities that could help us flourish and make life worth living. It may have protected us on one level, but also greatly diminshed us too. One of the few areas where we have taken risks, however, is where we’ve lived - each house move we’ve made in the last 10 years has felt like a risk, and we’ve not known if it would work out. But it always has, and the places we’ve moved too have been real blessings, and we’re very glad we decided to take a leap of faith.

As weird as it sounds, even though we will no longer be effectively married, we are still family. My ex has been with me every step of the way since I was diagnosed, first as a friend and then as a partner. The cr*p that we’ve been through,not just with MS but also stuff in my ex’s life, means we know there is a deep bond. And I believe my ex’s new partner is a saint (they have a career in academia, in utopian studies. Which might sound stupidly idealistic, but it’s something they’ve devoted their entire life too, and aren’t going to hold petty grievances).

To be honest, I’m fed up with playing it safe my whole life. Like I said above, it may offer a protection of sorts, but my life feels shrivelled as a result, and the end result isn’t happiness, but disappointment in myself. If I were to imagine myself on my death bed and looking back at my life, I wonder which decision I would be most happy about making…

Seems like you’ve made your decision anon. All the best to you on your new adventure.

Anon, there sounds a lot more to this than there’s room for on here and that you’ve already decided what you’re going to do, so good luck and I hope it all goes smoothly.