unmarried couples property rights

It has been said that falling in love consists of uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense, and for many couples, buying a house together is an experience driven by excitement and emotion, especially in a market as hot as ours.

When a married couple in Texas buys a house, community property laws offer each person equal rights, responsibilities, and protections for their investment. But with more than 12 million unmarried partners living together in the U.S., and almost 13 percent of those being same-sex couples unable to get married in some states, it makes sense that the number of unmarried couples buying a house together is increasing.

For the unprepared couple, buying a house may mean buying trouble, too, as they fail to plan for the possibility of the relationship failing.

Dallas Realtor Franceanna Campagna has observed that firsthand with her clients.

“The home buying process is such an exciting and usually happy one, particularly for the first-time homebuyers, that people don’t like to drag in the three Ds of real estate: death, disaster, or divorce,” Campagna said. “However, I always advise clients that financial planning and estate planning is the best way to protect themselves and their investments from future unknowns.”

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It has been said that falling in love consists of uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense, and for many couples, buying a house together is an experience driven by excitement and emotion, especially in a market as hot as ours.

When a married couple in Texas buys a house, community property laws offer each person equal rights, responsibilities, and protections for their investment. But with more than 12 million unmarried partners living together in the U.S., and almost 13 percent of those being same-sex couples unable to get married in some states, it makes sense that the number of unmarried couples buying a house together is increasing.

For the unprepared couple, buying a house may mean buying trouble, too, as they fail to plan for the possibility of the relationship failing.

Dallas Realtor Franceanna Campagna has observed that firsthand with her clients.

“The home buying process is such an exciting and usually happy one, particularly for the first-time homebuyers, that people don’t like to drag in the three Ds of real estate: death, disaster, or divorce,” Campagna said. “However, I always advise clients that financial planning and estate planning is the best way to protect themselves and their investments from future unknowns.”

(more…)

Phillips Creek Ranch houseQuick draw McGraw! Seattle-based Redfin tells us Dallas has one of the quickest real estate markets in the country. That is, homes go on the market, and days, hours, sometimes even minutes later, they sell!

Redfin calls it “real estate flash sales”, homes that go under contact within only hours of listing. Dallas ranks No. 4 on the nationwide list, counting 184 flash sales within the past five months. Houston beat us at number 3 with 188 hot flash sales, Austin at number 5 with 163 during a five month period. Phoenix just beat all of us, with 560 flash sales from October 1 to February 26.

6522-Belmead-ext-575x382Remember this home? We posted it last week, $1.3: under contract.

As I told the North Texas Young Professionals Network/Collin County Association of Realtors on Tuesday, I am becoming concerned by our lack of inventory, now down to 2.5 months. Six months is considered a balanced market. What happens if the lack of inventory actually keeps us in our homes because we cannot find move ups/downs, and we cede any available housing stock to folks moving in?

I had lunch with home builder John Eller today, of Cambridge and Tegrity Homes. As fast as he is building, people are buying his inventory.

“It’s to the point,” says marketing director Julie Anderlik, ” I don’t have any photos of our homes until we actually get some vertical.”

Indeed, the esteemed New York Times has caught on:

The housing turnaround seems to have caught almost everyone in the business by surprise. As desirable as the long-awaited improvement may be, the unusually low level of homes for sale is creating widespread problems for buyers and sellers alike, leading to bidding wars and bubble-like price jumps in places that not long ago were suffering from major declines.

It is having an effect on pricing too, and creating little mini bubbles. As soon as this happens, people get panicky and think they have to move fast before prices even go higher. Indeed, nationwide sales prices are rising, 7.3 percent overall over of 2012, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index. New York had a slight decline, bottom-barrel not too long ago Phoenix had a surge of 23 percent. Dallas was up 6.5 percent; Tampa,  7.2 percent; and Denver, a whopping 8.5 percent.

Our prices are inching northward, but Dallas remains one of the best places in the nation for affordable real estate.

According to ZipRealty, an online real estate broker, Texas metro areas are the best places to find a real estate bargain. This is nice: Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 1 on its list of the Most Affordable Housing Markets of 2013, followed by Houston at No. 2 and Austin at No. 7.  They did this by comparing median home sale prices to median household income. In DFW,  the median household income is $47,418 and the median home price is $249,950. Let’s just round to $250,000. Nice.