More than One Primary Residence
I have a client who recently asked me an interesting question. “Can my spouse and I have more than one primary residence?” It seems that they can’t live without each other, but they can’t live in the same house either. Quite the conundrum!
First things first… I’m not a marriage counselor.
I say that tongue in cheek, but it’s also very true. Often, my clients look to me for both legal and personal support. I take that trust seriously and always do my best to help wherever I can. In this case, I wasn’t sure where the conversation would end up.
Isn’t It Romantic?
This couple married late in life… he was 75 and she was 60. Theirs was a decade-long courtship of love and laughter. Dreams of shared retirement led them to a sweet wedding in her garden oasis, celebrated by their closest friends and his daughter and her family.
With fully established lives, they each had their own homes, full of a lifetime of memories and belongings. Needless to say, they also both brought a lot of deep-rooted habits and independent routines to the new partnership. Merging proved to be a bit more challenging than anticipated.
He snores… LOUDLY!
It turns out that he has sleep apnea, which includes a lot of medical gear and sound effects. Unfortunately, she is an extremely light sleeper. Not a good combination.
They spent the first six months of their marriage trying to adapt to sharing a home. They found that there were many things that came together effortlessly, but when night fell, it was a different world. Try as they might, they couldn’t sleep in the same house, let alone the same room. So they started exploring their options.
Could they each have their own primary residence without having the higher second property taxes?
The short answer is Yes, but with conditions.
There are many factors to consider:
Proof of primary residency:
- Is mail received there?
- Is there a car registered?
- Is this the address listed for voter registration?
- Is the address on the driver’s license?
- Are the residences in more than one state?
- Is one of those states a community property state?
- Depending on the state, a residence audit may be required!
- Most likely, the mortgages would have to be held separately.
- Solid bookkeeping is a must
- Married but filing separately
- Potential implications to itemized deductions
So can we each have our own home, then?
Although a tricky situation, it is not impossible. This is where a strong partnership with both an attorney and accountant is necessary, to ensure adherence to all regulations and relevant laws. Remember, an attorney will be your guide and protector in a home purchase transaction.
Does this sound like a situation you’ve been considering? Let’s talk through your options and make sure you are fully informed. Contact the team at the Law Office of Adriana E Baudry. We are here to help.
Disclaimer: Please note that this blog is informational only and is not meant to provide legal advice. Each situation is different and requires informed care and decisions. Please seek guidance from a licensed attorney before proceeding with your transaction.