Monday 14 July 2014

Finding Out You Cant Legally Own The house You Are Buying

Stay at Home Mum, Emma Clement and Maegan Clement
So you're on a career break while having babies - you like to remind people you have a degree (with honours you know!) and you did have a successful career in London but living in the London boroughs means being out at work 7am to 7pm  which your husband also does, so being a play at home mum works best for your little family.

But hang on? You bought your little starter home with hubby way before getting married and having kids but the time has come when a little bit more space is needed - a bijou 2up2down isn't quite right for a family of four with a boy and a girl child. Your current home was your big leap up onto the property ladder - you worked hard to get it, you put in equally on your joint mortgage payments etc until you started that career break in pregnancy - in the 9 years you've owned it, the equity has grown and you've made enough for a decent deposit for the next house - a big jump to the family home.

You find a buyer for your house, find a house you'd like to buy and grab a meeting with a mortgage guy. This bit we knew would be tricky - what, with not actually being paid and everything for being a stay at home mum. We could apply for a new joint mortgage however as a rough guide, for two it's 3 times your income so if one isn't earning then it's just 3 times one income - plus student debt counts as negative equity - so the value of being an educated stay at home mum is negative. Applying for a sole mortgage is roughly calculated at 5 times your income so for a family where only one person is currently the earner, this is your option. 

Your breaking through the (slow) selling a house and buying another one process.
You hear the horror stories of friends buying houses, including the one where your fellow stay at home mum couldn't be on the deeds because this was their first home. 
This is your second house, your putting in equity you earned from your own investment in the first house so it's different right?

You get all the paper work - seriously! A book worth you go through it all, crossing the tees dotting the eyes and signing in front of witnesses. Your buying your home together, with money you made together from property you invested in together for your family.

However, some days later you receive contact from your solicitor - it is not possible for you to be a legal owner. Because the mortgage is in one name, your husband, it is only him that can be a legal owner of the property as set out in the t's and c's of the mortgage agreement. It basically comes down to this, should you both be on the deeds but only one of you is party to the mortgage, if there was a default on payment, the mortgage company could not claim against the person on the deeds not party to the mortgage. It does not matter that you are putting in your own earned money to the purchase, or that you have to sign an agreement accepting the mortgage terms as an adult occupier. 

I have to accept that the only way for us to purchase our family home is for me to go from being a homeowner to not, and to not have any legal entitlement to my own home. I worked hard to gain that first step on the property ladder and now I'm back at the bottom and it sucks. 

Fed up of being penalised for being an educated stay at home mum - even the prime minister is negative towards us!

Emma in Bromley xx

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Emma x