Home ownership can be tricky for same-sex couples — especially since we don’t have automatic property inheritance rights if one partner dies, and we don’t have easy access to divorce courts to help us sort out disputes if we break up.
That means lesbian and gay couples need to take time to think through the best ways to structure home ownership and mortgages when purchasing a home, well before any problems arise.
We asked Mercedes Pasqualetti — general manager for HLM Financial Group, which offers accounting, tax, mortgage and financial planning — for advice on common scenarios involving same-sex couples and home ownership.
If there are five houses for sale on one block priced at about $300,000 each, how do you make your house stand out to potential buyers?
First, make sure your house is in “perfect marketing condition,” including a renovated bathroom and kitchen, said Barb Rowland, Realtor for Common Ground Real Estate based in Decatur.
“The house must look like it’s staged, ready to move in,” she said. “People want a good value.”
Justin Ziegler, also a Realtor with Common Ground, has been in the business for just over two years. He said people don’t always have the imagination to see a house on the market the way it could be after they move in, so it is important to make sure it looks like it is ready to move in immediately.
Design is about lines — how they collaborate, conflict and flow together. The loft of renowned designer Robert Gaul and his partner, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffehouse owner Philip Rafshoon, reflects Gaul’s taut mixture of eclectic collections and clean lines.
“My spaces tend to be a little more contemporary. I would say they’re eclectic, but an edited sense of eclecticism because you can get a little too eclectic,” he laughs. “I’m always collecting things so I have to always be editing it.”