Some questions – IDAs, to marry or not

Home Forums Purchase Program Some questions – IDAs, to marry or not

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    I attended a workshop last year, but was not in a financial (nor paperwork) situation to do more- was still paying off biz startup fees and I didn’t have the required amount of time as self-employed in my biz.

    Then slacked since I got in a serious relationship with a man who owns a house. Taking things slow and I put the house thing on pause.

    The way things have shaken out now is that it’s likely it makes sense to move to a place in between where we live, that’s also a touch larger than his very small place. His house is about 75% paid off and is close in value to something we would hope to get. He has a little bit of concerns about house/equity stuff just bc his parents almost divorced as a kid, and he doesn’t have student loan debts like I do, and owns a house that’s close to being paid off, as well as significant retirement funds (I just started). Totally understandable. We are talking about the M word and the ramifications, neither of us is religious, we are committed, so it’s now the legal/financial stuff we are looking at when determining what to call a ceremony. Of course I suggested prenup to allay concerns, but also that there might be better financial possibilities if I buy the house myself with my lower income that qualifies for more stuff, and then we figure out things after (also gives him time to hold out for a better offer). My original plan before I met him was to buy something in this timeframe anyway, just now the location has shifted slightly.

    I make $35k tho with retirement savings I can get down to the $25k easily, which allows me to participate in a FSA program that matches 4:1 up to $2k (so total is $6k towards down payment/closing). That wouldn’t be available if we were married. I’m not sure if this is applicable also to NACA, tho I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. I am still waiting to hear from the local office since it’s just hit my 2 years as self-employed period so that I could submit paperwork.

    Anyone else hold off on things until marriage or do one of these FSA (also called IDA) programs? United Way is one of the agencies, tho I am applying thru WORC in Philly. Thoughts?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by daichovo.

    My understanding is that for NACA all “household members” over 18 need to be on the application whether married or not, just FYI. If he’s not a “household member” than you should be golden. But either cohabitating or married – y0ou may not qualify jointly.


    OK thanks. We are not cohabitating currently, but looking towards the future. We’ve both been single a long time before this and trying not to rush things, so it very well may be we are not ready yet anyway. We discussed that it’s ok that we don’t move in together for a bit, more because of job logistics than anything (I’m still on lease another 6 months and he’s looking for something closer than his current job). Anyway good to know.

    What happens if I buy, he moves in eventually, and if we did decide to marry legally?


    If you aren’t cohabitants now, then you would be the only member of your household, and could go through the NACA process on your own. If, after you purchase your house through NACA, you get married and move in together, that’s no concern of NACA’s. If you get married or begin living together while going through the process, then he becomes a “household member” and you would have to go through together – being married has nothing to do with anything in the NACA process specifically. I am co-buying a home with my mother, for example. Best of luck with whatever you two decide!


    The FSA rules don’t apply. But it doesn’t matter if you cohabitate now or not. If your plan is to buy the house so you can both live in it together you have 2 options: both of you get qualified or only 1 gets qualified with the other’s income/debt being factored into yours. The only way to leave him out of the picture is to let him slide under the radar and hope nobody catches it.

    With that said there are a ton of legal ramifications based on local regulations for cohabitation between non married or soon to be divorced individuals. You may be required by either naca or your state to have him on the deed depending on your situation. And if your state requires both parties on the deed then you will need to be qualified together. I guess this is a long way of saying if you are talking about marriage and you want the house to be entirely yours then you need to close before you marry and you can’t live with him before you close.

    One other point. If he ends up going through the process with you then he will need to sell the house and have the transfer of title in hand before you close on your new house. That sometimes takes a month or 2 after closing on the sale. The reason is naca members cannot own property when buying a house through the program. Just like the FHA first time homebuyer program considers first timers as not owning in the last 3 years. Naca just removes the 3 year requirement.


    Awesome NelsonT that really clarifies a few things. We’ll be discussing all this for sure!


    Hello daichovo,

    I’m having to step out of the box a bit, but what seems clear to me here is that the real questions are concerning your relationship more than buying a house, and that’s what you need to figure out first. In other words, you’re trying to adjust your relationship to best fit buying a house, when you should be looking at setting the course of your relationship first regardless of the house.

    There are a myriad of possible homeownership options and outcomes depending upon the decisions you make regarding the relationship. As such, you should make setting a solid plan for your relationship when it comes to marriage, cohabitation or any other living arrangement, and in what time frame, your primary objective regardless of the house. The relationship should always come first and everything else builds around that.

    Once you have done that, the options and ramifications that exist regarding buying a home will then become clearer, and should help you more easily determine how and when to proceed with homeownership.

    Tim Trumble
    Online Operations, NACA

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