I am a 47-year-old woman living in New Jersey. Currently, I own a duplex with a family member.
My boyfriend and I had been looking at houses for about six months. We finally found one we both liked. After the home inspection, it seemed to be out of reach with all repairs it needed. At this point, he wanted to take out the mortgage himself and put me on the deed, with the agreement that the money I got from the sale of my home would go into the new house. He also asked me take out a $20,000 loan to renovate my home to make more on the sale.
Since the original deal fell through, I decided not to look at more homes with him. He is extremely picky and the process was just too much. I told him to go with the realtor and, if he found a property he liked, then I would look.
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The first time out without me he made an offer on the original house. He refused to show me paperwork and, when I asked him to call the lawyer to see what I needed to sign, he refused. He told me that he was only putting the house in his name and I would still be required to pay money from my sale into the house.
As an aside, I had been paying all his bills on time so that he would have a better credit score for our future purchase, he paid a nominal amount of rent and I paid all his bills. Then he started texting me to buy this or that on Amazon, for him or his band.
I had him leave on our fourth anniversary as he told me about his plans to not include me and had not paid his bills for 3 months.
Do I have any recourse on the loan he insisted I take out for renovations? Is there anything I can do? I am unemployed. We had no contract regarding rent. I did not sign the contract for the home he is now buying. Or do I just suck it up and take it as a life lesson?
Jobless and Boyfriendless in New Jersey
You got played.
But don’t blame yourself. He drew you in over time and convinced you that he wanted to build a future with you and, perhaps, for a time he did. You trusted him and you believe (or believed) in him. That’s a good trait. Of course, there were red flags: paying his bills and buying stuff on Amazon for his band, pushing you to renovate your home with a $20,000 loan. I trust you can cancel and/or repay it. I hope you didn’t give him any large sum of money for this new home.
Finance and romance will forever be intertwined. If you want to know whether someone is on the level, their financial life will give you a good clue. And Americans are skittish about such matters. Two-thirds of people in a relationship say they would consider breaking up with their partner if he/she had hidden a debt, according to a recent survey of more than 1,100 people carried out by market research firm YouGov on behalf of life insurer Haven Life. Any lack of transparency is a bad sign.
Another study found that people found the same photograph of a person more attractive when they’re told that he/she is a saver rather than a spender, according to “A Penny Saved Is a Partner Earned: The Romantic Appeal of Savers.” People are blank canvasses. We are always at risk of projecting our hopes and dreams onto them, despite all evidence to the contrary. “Money is a complicated subject for couples and often becomes an issue of power and control,” says Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, Calif.
It would be a very difficult case to pursue an ex-boyfriend for unpaid rent. This fellow’s fiancée wanted him to buy her a second home in her name only, in case they divorced. And this man’s wife left him after two days of marriage. You’re not the first person to be taken in by romance and charm, assuming he had any. And you certainly won’t be the last. Given that you could have ended up owning a home with this guy, staying right where you are sounds like a good outcome.
It’s a small price to pay.
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