First comes love... then comes the mortgage? Are you skipping a step? That's something you should ask yourself.

Here are a few things you and your partner need to talk about before you start looking at houses if you're not married.

  • Address the legalities, such as how much each of you will contribute to the down payment and for each monthly payment. What about the property taxes and homeowner's insurance? Who is in charge of the maintenance and upkeep? What will happen if you two decide to sell the property? What if you (god forbid) break up?
  • Have an open and honest conversation about joint ownership because without being marriage, should one of you get into an accident and die, the other will only get the house if it is designated in the deceased's partner's will.

Of course, you two are planning a future together, so a lot of discussion goes into that. A house, much like children or marriage, is a serious commitment, so make sure you two are both ready and prepared for it.