You may consider yourself a homeowner, but, if you’re married, odds are you are not the only owner. Most married couples buy their homes together, which means they have to agree on things like what work to do or what upgrades to make — or when to sell the house.
But what if you bought the house with someone you’re not married to? For instance, maybe you and a college roommate pooled your resources and bought a house, rather than renting. You lived in two of the rooms and rented out the other rooms to your friends. This essentially meant you got to live rent-free, as those roommates paid you and covered the mortgage. It seemed perfect.
Now, though, you want to sell and get out of the investment. You’re done with college and planning to move for work. But what if your co-owner does not have the money to buy out your percentage and does not want to sell to a third party? They still live there and they enjoy having a home that also brings in money to cover the costs.
Experts warn that co-owning a home is one of the most complicated and potentially problematic situations you can find yourself in. You have to agree on what to do and selling the house outright can be difficult or impossible when you’re not on the same page. They have just as much of a right to decide what to do with that house as you do.
If you are in this situation, be sure you understand all of your legal options. Making a mistake could be costly. An experienced real estate attorney can help.