BluefoxToday blog : Las Vegas Realty News: Changing Your Marital Status During a Financed Escrow!

Las Vegas Realty News: Changing Your Marital Status During a Financed Escrow!

Las Vegas Financing ProblemsThis is part of my series:   “Things That Can Make Your Las Vegas Financed Home Purchase *Blow Up* in the Middle of a Transaction.”

My ultimate goal in this series is to make Las Vegas Home Buyers aware of the challenges of a specific home’s eligibility for financing.

Congratulations!  Your lender just approved you to purchase a Las Vegas area home by looking at your check stubs, debt to income ratio and you are now approved to purchase a Las Vegas area home!

Hold the phone here, *you* may be eligible to purchase a home but is the house eligible for financing?  This series is designed for you to research a home’s eligibility for financing.

DISCLOSURE:  I am not a lender, title company, home inspector, contractor or appraiser.  I am only speaking from personal experience by working with financed Las Vegas area home buyers.  Hopefully you have hired a Las Vegas area real estate agentwho will be able to spot things that can *potentially* cause problems with your financing (mostly FHA/VA) before your contract to purchase a Las Vegas area home.

Much of Las Vegas is currently priced in fire sale status.  Many times when you see unusually inexpensive homes there is a reason – they are not eligible for financing and the seller does not wish to rehabilitate the home to make it eligible for financing.

Today’s topic at hand is “Changing Your Marital Status During an Escrow“.

Here is another good way to mess up your escrow:  Getting Married in the Middle of a Home Purchase!  Especially if your potential mate has awful credit.  While this isn’t “house specific” like most of my series is – this is definitely a good way for you to “blow up” your financing on your Las Vegas home purchase!

Lenders are now checking spousal credit even if the spouse isn’t on the loan for the home purchase.

There are many who have cooked up a scheme in their head with a foreclosure.  “The home that was foreclosed on was in my name, not my wife’s name, we are going to purchase a home!” Probably won’t work.

Can I marry my boyfriend while I am buying this home?  Do you want to hurt your chances of having issues during your escrow – especially if he has marginal credit?

You have waited this long to get married, you can wait until the home closes.  There is no hurry!  You can always add someone to the title after close (doesn’t necessarily have to be a spouse.)  All you have to do is go to the Clark County Recorder’s Office and pay a nominal fee.

Thanks,  Renée Burrows 702-580-1783 Broker/Owner, REALTOR®


copyright 2006-2013 Renee Burrows, REALTOR®, Savvy Home Realty Solutions  702-966-2494

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Comment balloon 37 commentsRenée Donohue~Home Photography • December 11 2010 01:48PM


Great post, enjoying the series.  The issue I see most in Texas is buyers with pending divorces.  Baffles me how people stay separated for years and then want buy a house.

Posted by Greg Freeman (Citiwide Real Estate Services ) over 9 years ago

Folks can find more ways to not purchase a home without really trying, can't they...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Hey Renee -- good point!  Do NOTHING during escrow (don't marry, divorce, change jobs, move money around, buy things on credit . . . and hopefully don't get fired!)

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 9 years ago

Greg:  I was going to touch on that but I thought "who in the world would want to continue buying a home through a divorce.  Guess you answered that pressing question :)

Michael:  True!

Carla:  Yep, self induced killing of your loans :)

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 9 years ago

Renee - Great post!  I just had someone ask me the other day why someone with a good job, money in the bank and great fico can't get a loan.  I commented that there are so many reasons why and provided just a few and your post is just another example of how someone with all the right qualifications might still not be able to get a loan.

Looking forward to seeing more of your series too.  Have a good day Renee and a wonderful weekend.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 9 years ago

Renee, had no idea they would check a spouse's credit if they were not on the loan....will have to check and see if this is a possible stumbling block here in Denver.    Good to know!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 9 years ago

Donne:  too many variables huh?

Joan:  IDK about other areas but they are checking here!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 9 years ago

Changing your marital status in the middle of escrow certainly sounds like a potential problem.


 Orange County Homes

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 9 years ago

Renee:  Great point and very important topic along with great advice and comments!

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) over 9 years ago

Renee:  You eloquently point out a HUGE fact and reality right now ... not every home on the market is "purchasable".  Getting appraisals to make them so can be very hard and an elusive process.  Right now, I run my own comps and do research on a property being considered prior to starting any portion of the actual mortgage processing.  It alerts me to the reality or challenges of the property being considered for purchase ... and also provides me some insight into what program might actual "fit" and serve my potential buyer well.  Sad situation, but true.  The more info I have .. the better I am able to assist my clients.

The other guidance you offer here regarding marriage and etc. is also spot-on.  The rule of thumb I offer up to my clients??  Don't do ANYTHING while in process before talking to me.  It sounds over-the-top, but it's the safest route to take.  Excellent topics presented very well!


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 9 years ago

Christine:  Most definitely

Jane:  Thanks!

Gene:  I am honored that you weighed in here with excellent advice!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 9 years ago

Renee - People do the darndest things. It matters not how educated they are. I had a Laywer client who asked his estranged wife to sign loan documents while they were in a contentious divorce. She flipped out knowing he was going to buy a fancy home. It was very costly for him. He needed a dunce hat. So true to never touch anything during escrow.

Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) over 9 years ago

I recently had buyers who HAD TO GET MARRIED to get the loan.  It was VA financing and they qualified best with both incomes, but had to be married.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I have bought two homes in my life and I have been married twice.  I find getting married less stressful than buying a house.  At least when you get married you know when the deal will close.  The financial results of the two are the same.  Just fork over all your cash to someone else.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Great advice, Renee.  If you don't have to get married (per Lenn) then don't change a thing.  The lending environment is tough enough.

Jane in L.A.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 9 years ago

Wow, Renee! Who knew that such things could have such a negative impact? Definitely something I'll be looking out for. P.S. please tell me that having a baby isn't one of the deal killing events....

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 9 years ago

Renee - This is an excellent series!  These days a lot of buyers need to hold their breath and not do a thing until they close.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 9 years ago

Getting married should NOT be something that pops up...  But, I guess in Vegas... 

Actually, I would think it would happen a lot in Vegas, but not really that often to people that live in Vegas.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 9 years ago

So, how long were you working with a buyer and had no clue that they were getting married?  I guess you didn't get an invitation to the wedding either.  The new spouse didn't come along for showings?  No one ever asked what the buyers plans were for the future or how many people would be living in the home?  In Minnesota the law is one to buy, two to sell.  It is wise to always have that conversation. 

Weddings are usually a long time in the planning stage, so bumping out the date to wait for a closing can be a problem.  I've had a number of transactions where the couple used only the credit of one of the spouses because the other had bumpy credit.  I'm sure it depends on the loan, but from what you said it sounds like it was a pre qualification with only pay stubs and a credit report.   We can't assume that everyone has infused knowledge of lending rules.   Most of us have spent years trying to get a handle on what could go wrong, and then all the rules change on us.  

Posted by Mary Jo Quay, I Move You Home (EXP Realty ) over 9 years ago

Renee, you are so right on the tricky short sale issues. Agents can get dragged into situations that they couldn't possibly make up.

I helped a daughter of a very good client search for a condo. "Tiffany" picked a short sale condo the seller wouldn't let us in to see, but Tiffany saw other units in the building and liked this model.

Tiffany barely qualified with a real lender (I tossed the internet approval) but I wrote it up hoping parents would help a little. So in a probable violation of license law I called her mom who instantly blew up. It seems that Tiffany wanted to buy the condo that her boyfriend owned with his ex-girlfriend. The ex occupied it but wasn't making payments or allowing it to be shown...ex wanted to ride it out to foreclosure.  Tiffany and the boyfriend were talking about a life together and decided the best way to move forward was to buy the condo in a short sale and get the ex-girlfriend out.

I had to call Tiffany and decline representation after presenting the offer....not fun or easy, but she got the message and dropped the offer. She hasn't spoken to me since, but her mom understands and is grateful.


Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 9 years ago

Renee - Very good advice. I could not see if this was the first of the series so I will have to go back and back in your posts and see. And i will be a follower. I too think just like Carla. I have had clients, especially this time of year, balloon their credit cards up. They just don't get it.

Posted by Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified (Dilbeck Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Rene,

There are so many things that can mess a home purchase if the Buyer( s) are careful. But I must admit, I hadn't thought of this one, LOL. Congratulations on the feature.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 9 years ago

Hi Renee...Congratulations on another Great Feature are so clever.

You make a great point..and maybe you should even check out you spouse to be's credit before getting married never mind buying a house. Nobody needs to marry debt...ugh.


Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Renee, great information.  I have been trying to read and comment on this series, but I have missed some.  This is a great series for people in the homebuying process!  Great job!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 9 years ago

For many men.. this should not be a surprise. .now is the "size" of our credit scores what matters? 


Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 9 years ago

It should be can I marry my boyfriend since he finally has decided to buy a home - LOL

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 9 years ago

Great point, and so packedwith important points. I know so often buyers, & sellers make critical errors, which have a unbelievable impact. 

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) over 9 years ago


There are a number of reasons not to marry the man with terrible credit. Having your home purchase ruined is but only one of them. 


Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) over 9 years ago

Renee, we just closed on a short sale, a couple of weeks ago. My seller had got married before we knew the short sale was approved.

This was not a problem as hubby was not around when she purchased in 06, so the title company had her do an affidavit. From the sellers perspective it was not a big deal.

I can see where it would be from a buyers funding.


Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

Renee, I actually had this happen (some years back) where when we were sitting at the settlement table the attorney asked my clients if they were married...  they said yes.  MY JAW DROPPED (as they weren't when we started) and they smiled back at me saying they wanted to surprise me.....  Surprise me they did.  AND the attorney AND the lender...  good news is that it didn't affect the closing other than it didn't close on time as all parties scurried to make sure she didn't affect the loan. Sage advice: DON'T DO ANYTHING IN THE ESCROW PERIOD.  PERIOD.

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 9 years ago

Renee: Excellent point so many don't know how  the loan can fall through with changes like this. If not fall through at least extend out approval time.

Posted by Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities, Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az ) over 9 years ago

I always tell my buyers, "don't even buy a stick of gum while you are in escrow". Its a bit extreme but you have to drive the point home with them.

Posted by Ryan Pringle (Realtor, GRI, Keller Williams) over 9 years ago

I want to thank everyone for their insight and also the stories.

Lenn:  OH MY there is one that is reverse!

William:  I have heard isolated stories that it could impact the lending process!

Mary Jo:  For some reason everything here isn't exactly conventional.  I sold real estate in Nebraska and everything seems to be more "planned" there.  Here in Vegas - not so much.  I had a client that asked me if they could elope a year and a half ago in the middle of an escrow.  Thankfully they asked.  An agent friend of mine has a hilarious story about him helping an ex and then the lender calls when they are a couple of weeks to closing and asks him "who is :insert new husband's name here:?"  LOL!

Leslie:  OH WOW!

Fernando and Bill:  LMAO at your comments!


Ryan:  Very good way to shock them into submission!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 9 years ago

Nice Article...

Leave it to the Banksters to check the credit of a spouse even if they are not going to be on the loan... Next will be your kids, parents, dog....

As for the cooked up scheme.. the Banksters should not have been lending out $300K for starter homes to individuals making $30K a year in the first place.

But it is what it is as long as we just go along with the program...

Posted by Paul Francis, Las Vegas Real Estate Agent - Summerlin Homes (Francis Group Real Estate) over 9 years ago

You have so many great things to share with your clients --- I love reading the latest....

Posted by Billie Hillier, Savvy Home Realty Solutions ( over 9 years ago

Paul:  One can always pay with cash :)

Billie:  Thanks :wink:

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 9 years ago


This is a good one. But it happens. Love certainly can throw people, home buyers in this case, off the logical track and into the world of unknown.

Posted by Esko Kiuru over 9 years ago

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