The legalities of gay marriage and buying your first home together vary depending on factors including the state that you live in. If you are married and live in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, the procedure for buying a home is the same as it is for heterosexual married couples. Those that do not live in a state that recognizes their marriage will be forced to purchase their home as individuals rather than as a married unit.
Once you have found a home you would like to purchase and have worked out the details, you will need to complete a legally binding purchase agreement. That document includes the price and the terms of sale that are being agreed upon, specific property information including any known defects, contingencies and the names of all parties involved including buyers, sellers and agents. Contingencies are conditions that must be met before closing and can include a home inspection, financing and other specific actions by either the buyer or the seller.
The seller is legally required to disclose any defects in the home. Defects may include termite damage or plumbing, heating and air conditioning and electrical problems. Although not legally required, it is best to have a home inspection completed before you purchase the home. It is not unusual for sellers to overlook or have no knowledge about a defect of the home that an inspection will uncover. Licensed inspectors are trained to find and disclose current and potential future problems.
As part of the buying process, you will need to purchase title insurance. The title insurance company will conduct a title search on the property to make sure that there are no liens or easement issues against the property that have not been disclosed.
Once those procedures are complete, if you have not already done so, you will need to find a mortgage lender. The mortgage company that you choose will check both of your credit scores and will count both of your incomes in making a decision. It would be best to shop around to find the best terms available based on your personal and financial goals.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are no federal laws that prohibit discrimination against same sex spouses, but some states do have expanded laws in place. Knowing the laws in the state where you live will help you avoid discrimination based on your sexual orientation. If you live in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, mortgage lenders should recognize your marriage and, if you qualify, allow you to obtain a loan as a married couple rather than as separate borrowers on the same loan. The lender should also give you comparable interest rates to other couples with similar credit scores and income qualifications.
The legalities of gay marriage and buying your first home together are complex and can be confusing. Hiring a local LGBT friendly real estate professional at GayRealEstate.com will help take the stress out of buying your new home. They have the knowledge and expertise to help you make informed decisions that are in your best interest, negotiate on your behalf and ensure that no legal documentation is overlooked throughout the process.