By Quentin Fottrell
‘I’m getting pushback when I’ve asked for my share of the proceeds’
My long-time girlfriend and I moved to Florida three years ago. After renting a home for a year in an area we liked, we bought a home together. I was not working at the time, she was, so we agreed that it would make sense to not put me on the loan application, even though my credit score was higher than hers (however, we both have what would be considered “good” scores — north of 725 and 800). I believe the mortgage-loan originator thought that was also the right way to go. We made an offer on a home, signed by both of us, and it was accepted.
She had proceeds from a sale of a prior home and she paid for many of the inspection costs herself. We put 20% down for the purchase and took a mortgage for the rest. She did pay a larger portion of that 20% than I did. Both of our names were on the closing documents — those not specifically related to the mortgage — and both of our names were on the deed.
I also bought the adjacent vacant lot with my own cash and put both of our names on that deed. That was a separate transaction with a different party than the home purchase.
We proceeded to both make half of the mortgage payment each month for the home we share. We also spent money on home improvements and upkeep: New countertops, appliances, flooring, paint, et cetera. I paid for some of the expenses, she paid for more. I did all of the home improvement work myself.
Seventeen months later, we decided to sell our home. Looking back now, it looks like we may have sold at the top of the current Florida real-estate boom. The home sold for nearly double what we paid. After paying off the mortgage, net proceeds were just under $200,000.
At the time of the close, all proceeds were wired to her bank account, which I agreed to because it was just easier. The closing company said they typically don’t split wire transfers and I was OK with that. I thought we were pretty solid and I had no concerns.