Buying Real Estate With Your Non-Spouse…

Don’t shoot the messenger!

It’s not like I’m old-fashioned or anything, I’ve just witnessed a lot of horror stories lately with people buying real estate together before they’re typically “ready,” by traditional standards or not.

Here are three stories – and the last one’s a doozie!


#3 – Kathy Loves To Be Hated

A friend, of a friend, of a friend of mine has been her own worst enemy when it comes to relationships.

You know those girls that are only attracted to jerks?  Kathy is one of these girls, and each successive relationship is with a guy that was even worse than the previous one.

I’ve tried to have this phenomenon explained to me, but I still don’t understand it.  A girl once told me that when a guy treats a girl poorly 99% of the time, it makes that 1% of the time when he showers her with happiness all the more special.  Like I said…

Kathy came out of a miserable, awful relationship that lasted two years (the first few weeks were probably bliss…), and rather than taking some time to herself, she immediately jumped into a relationship with Peter that redefined the term “whirlwind romance.”

Within a month, they were shopping for condos together.  They both knew that “this was it,” and that the relationship could only continue at its current pace, and that engagement, marriage, and sixty happy years together were all but a foregone conclusion.

Kathy and Peter purchased a “lovely” condo down at CityPlace (for all the wrong reasons, such as the bowling alley that they NEVER used once, but I digress…), and they moved in together after only a few short months of dating.

To make a long and obvious story short, it wasn’t but a few weeks of living together before they simultaneously announced “I hate you,” and began to talk about how to dissolve this financial partnership that they had prematurely entered into.

Peter was a smart and savvy bond trader, so he concluded that Kathy should buy him out at a severely inflated price.

Kathy lost a boat-load of money on this “investment,” but I’m sure it pails in comparison to the wasted time and emotional energy she sunk into the relationship.

It seems only fitting that at my friend’s, friend’s wedding, she met up with the only guy there that could be defined as “the biggest a***** I’ve ever met.”  Apparently, they are very happy together…

#2 – A Friend In Need Is A Friend, Indeed!

I knew this partnership was ill-fated before it ever got off the ground!

A colleague of mine told me that her friends were buying a condo together, and I just assumed that one of them was purchasing the condo and the other would be renting/living there.

In actual fact, the idea was for these two 24-year-old girls to purchase the condominium together, both be on title, and split the responsibilities equally.

I’ve of the mindset that the perfect number of partners in any business relationship is ZERO, and I couldn’t begin to fathom how these two girls thought that this partnership would ever last!

What if one of them wanted to sell?

What if one of them wanted to get married and move into the unit with her spouse, effectively booting out the other?

The potential pitfalls are endless, and the only upside I see is the lower cost of living.

Jenn and Kimber bought a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhouse in the Queen & Bathurst area in May of 2009, and it was scheduled to close this past July.  The two girls go way back, and not only are they BFF’s, Facebook top-ten’s, and members of the other’s “Fab Five” for Rogers cell phone plans, but I’m sure they had photos of eachother in their respective lockers in grade six.

The two girls are “besties,” so what could possibly go wrong?

Well, they had a falling out in June and it was decided that they should just “cancel” the deal.  However, the only way you can “cancel” the deal is when you live in a dream-world and when you have absolutely no clue what kind of contractual agreement you entered into!  They probably told their agent that they should, “Like, totally, like cancel the deal-thing, or whatever,” but we all know that this, like, can’t be done.

One of them is now renting her bedroom to a friend, and the two girls are co-owners despite the fact that they don’t really speak…

#1 – Like Father, Like Son

This is my favorite story, and despite its sadness I take extreme pleasure in the ironic ending.  If you only knew my relationship to the parties involved, you’d understand…

Mike was a 55-year-old man who had just been divorced by his wife of 25 years.  She bought him out of their marital home, and he used the funds to purchase a nearby home in Richmond Hill.

Mike’s three kids still lived with their mother, so he wanted to be nearby so he could see them on a regular basis.  Mike’s oldest son, Tristan, was actually living with his grandmother (Mike’s mother), since he was such a royal screw-up and even Mike’s ex-wife didn’t want anything to do with him.

A few short months after the divorce was final and Mike, his ex-wife, and their three kids were getting situated in their new and separate lives in the two Richmond Hill homes, Mike met Cindy.

In yet another whirlwind romance, Mike fell for Cindy for all the wrong reasons (status, envy of others, social circles, etc), and before long Cindy was showing Mike brochures for houses for sale in the prestigious Forest Hill area.

For Mike, this was a no-brainer!  Living in Forest Hill meant he could tell all his friends, family, and complete strangers that he would never see again, “I live in Forest Hill…..and you don’t….”

Mike was lured in, and he sold his Richmond Hill home so that he and Cindy could pool their funds together to buy this Forest Hill townhouse and spend six months renovating it.

This meant that Mike’s kids went to live with their mother (Mike’s ex-wife), full-time, save for his eldest son Tristan who still lived with the grandmother.  Although in the next few months, Tristan moved out to Calgary to teach snowboarding.

Six months later, Mike and Cindy moved into their new Forest Hill townhouse only have a massive falling-out that ended with Cindy kicking Mike out, changing the locks, and hiring one of the best divorce lawyers in the city to go after Mike for everything he was worth.

Mike, having no place to live, was forced to move in with his mother – in the very bedroom that had just been vacated by Mike’s son, Tristan!

Mike is going to lose every single penny he put into the townhouse with Cindy, probably because he can’t afford as good a lawyer as did she, and he currently dwells on “where he went wrong” as he lives with his 88-year-old mother in her small, 2-bedroom condo at Yonge & Finch.

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  1. David Pylyp says:

    Great Posting!
    We should start an E section for horror stories.

    Thank you for bringing some humour to a huge topic.

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto