Anything material, like money, is always a tricky subject in human relationships. And for a lot of relationships, owning a house, or having a family are typical dreams to have. However, for a couple on Reddit, the matter of buying a house has made the ground unstable.
Sharing the expenses is a good sign in a relationship. Usually, that should help in avoiding financial disagreements. But not in this case. In the original post, a 22-year-old, and her boyfriend had decided to upgrade to a house from their rented apartment.
However, because of their substantial difference in wages, OP said that the house will only be bought in her name. As a result, her BF gave her the silent treatment for 3 days. Of course, this has also made the OP question herself if she was being the A-hole, which brought her to the AITA subreddit.
There are loads of details in the story that has left commenters divided. So, let’s start from the beginning.
Let’s Get A House
OP says that her BF is 25 years old and that they have been a couple for 4 years. They have also been living together for 2 years in a rented apartment. Their life was great. However, the two have very different wages:
“I recently got a new job and make around $80k a year and have been wanting to get out of our apartment and into a house. My bf on the other hand doesn’t have a very good work ethic and has had about 8 different jobs in the 4 years we have been together, all making minimum wage.”–Reddit
Their current living situation took this into account. Because of her higher wages, the OP would pay more of their expenses. But this did not mean the bf did not contribute anything:
“We currently split our rent 50/50 and he pays his bills (car payment, insurance, etc.) on his own and I pick up all the groceries, wifi, dog stuff. I’m totally fine with the fact I pick up more expenses since I make more than him and he’s never complained.”–Reddit
Nevertheless, OP still talked about getting a house, and her bf supported it wholeheartedly. OP’s savings were enough for the house’s down payment. But, as is clear from her bf’s situation, he really did not have much in savings, and would not be able to contribute towards the down payment.
Read: Internet backs man who won’t let parents move in after they kicked him out years ago
The Trouble Arose When Finalizing The Deal For The House
Given their situation, the two searched for a house that OP would be able to afford by herself. But the mortgage would still be split evenly between them. OP would also be paying for home insurance, water, electricity, and other utility bills.
They did manage to find one that was in their budget and they liked it. However, a few weeks before signing the papers, OP had something to say:
“I mentioned to him that I would like to be the only name on the home since we are buying it with my savings and we aren’t married and don’t plan to be married anytime soon.”–Reddit
The BF was upset with this since the house was supposed to be theirs, and not hers alone. She clarified that it will be theirs, but legally it will be just hers since she is not willing to risk $400k. The BF retorted that if the house only belonged to her, then why should he pay to live there? OP disagrees and explains:
“I disagree, it would be like paying rent anywhere else and when/if we get married we will change the agreement.”–Reddit
In a later post, she also added some more details to their story. She clarified that he had to keep changing jobs because of a mental health issue that they are trying to get treatment for. Also, she has seen her parents go through multiple divorces because of financial issues. As such, she has every intention of staying with her bf for life, but she has no present plans for marriage.
Read: Mom’s valuable lesson in give-and-take is a masterclass on why favors should work both ways
Most of the commenters were with OP on the post. However, even they had a tinge of suspicion as to why the issue rose so late into the whole procedure. Most NTA comments talked about setting a future clause that would let her bf buy into the house:
“NTA. Any lawyer or fiduciary would say this would be a very dumb move with huge risk to you.–Shaking-Cliches
OP, if/when you get married, then you can talk to attorneys and figure out how he can buy into the house in a way that takes his previous rent payments into account. I get that he’s upset he won’t have any equity, but that can come later.”
Others said that both sides had a point and that OP should try to reassess her perspective regarding the mortgage:
“No, it’s not like paying rent anywhere else. The dynamic changes when you two are in a relationship together. It is him assisting you in paying down your mortgage so you’re seeing a net benefit while he’s seeing a net loss. He is right to feel upset by it, BUT you are absolutely doing the right thing by not putting him on the house. You’re protecting your assets because you guys are not married.
Honestly I think it’d be fair for a 75/25 split on the mortgage and 50/50 on bills or at the very least you two should have a conversation on what would be fair for the both of you.”–PsychologicalBelt316
And, last but not the least, some were harsh about both of them and the whole situation. They pointed out that they should have talked way more about it:
This is a conversation y’all should have started long before actually looking for houses. You went in expecting to buy a house solo, he went in expecting you two to buy a house together. Neither of you clearly communicated this to the other until it was too late.
For the record, I definitely think you should NOT have his name on the house.”–Nothing_Rhymed
So What Should She Do?
Getting a house is a huge investment and a life goal for many. But trusting someone to pay half of its loan is just as big a risk. Do you think the OP should soften her stance a bit? We think that they should really have a heart-to-heart about what they expect from each other.
Let us know what you think in the comments!
Attention: While many of these stories are interesting, and we would love to take their word for it, the content in this article was taken from an unverifiable source (i.e., a Reddit forum). As such, we cannot guarantee that these events truly happened in the way that they are described in the original source.