“Staying Married and Want to Live Separately”

“Staying Married and Want to Live Separately”

Three times so far this year this has been the situation. It is hard for a lender to get their arms wrapped around this concept. Some lenders just won’t do this loan, but others figure out a way to make it work. Underwriters want to know:
1)    Is there a divorce pending? NO
2)    Is there a separation agreement? NO

For whatever the reason, they cannot live together so they are doing something about it. Most of the time they want to stay near kids, but there are other reasons as well that have been shared with me that turned out to be more information than I needed to know.

One thing that is good about this type of situation, yes there is something good here, additional homes that get sold instead of one of them having to rent.

Image courtesy 0f stuartMiles/free digitalphotos.net

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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

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Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Comment balloon 67 commentsJoe Petrowsky • August 29 2015 03:43AM


Joe, I have this very thing going on right now. 

Posted by Faith LaRosse, Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties (Springer Realty Group) almost 4 years ago

Good morning, Joe Petrowsky everyone's got a story....I think I've heard them all...and I know of a couple who do your scenario right now....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 4 years ago

Happily for my clients I have not come across this yet - and I thought I had sold a lot of houses in my career - but I guess that is why my dad took a job out of town! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) almost 4 years ago

Well you are right about the upside.  Interesting way to look at it.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

I have not come across this yet, but I suppose I will. Interesting.... at least you don't have to deal with divorce attorneys and people fighting in front of you...

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 4 years ago

Good morning again Joe.  I just don't understand why if one is not living with the spouse why they would want to stay married.  It's a mystery.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 4 years ago

Like Barbara I know more than one doing this living situation...both own homes and can afford to.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe,

I should have thought of this concept a long time ago!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 4 years ago

Joe, this is more common than most know about. And, it certainly complicates the mortgage situation. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky ~ good morning, Joe. I haven't run into this particularly, but I'm sure my time is coming. There must be a host of other financial and tax reasons why people decide to stay married but live separately.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe. I like the more information part: I'm sure you hear more than you care to. Different strokes........

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe -- yes, I know people in this situation currently too ---- for many lenders there might be a red flag for something they may consider a bit out of the ordinary on the surface. 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 4 years ago

In or  experience...it is a temporary situation...no one puts their life on hold forever.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

Joe, I had one buyer with this same situation.  They were THINKING of divorcing, but have not, and still living separately.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) almost 4 years ago

I think we have all dealt with this in one way or another.. Makes it hard when both incomes are needed to qualify.

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) almost 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky How about a bigger house with two master suites?

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

I haven't run into this yet -- maybe living apart is the only way they can stay married!  

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) almost 4 years ago

This is a good story to share and these situations do create additional real estate transactions.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 4 years ago

I say it's fortunate that I haven't had to deal with this scenario yet. I'm not going to say it's wrong but it seems weird. If you're living seperate lives what's the point? Tax benefits? 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) almost 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky - Interesting story. We have married clients that live in different states because that's where they work. 



Posted by Thomas F. Scanlon, CPA, CFP (Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's) almost 4 years ago

I believe that the banks shouldn't really care when giving a loan. It truly isn't anyone elses business how they choose to live. If they can qualify financially for the mortgage who is to say that it is strange. IMHO banks are asking way too many questions that have nothing to do with the ability to repay the loan. 

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) almost 4 years ago

That's a new one.  I guess some people just can't share the same roof in order to be happy.  Seems more like a partnership than a marriage to me.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) almost 4 years ago

We see it all in real estate!  Sometimes the request is for "breathing space," the children, image, or monetary reasons.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 4 years ago

Joe, some of the reasons may likely be more information than I would want to know as well.  Whatever works ... as long as no on gets hurt

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 4 years ago


I have known of cases like that, and it works/  We are all interesting creatures and certainly come in all flavors, that is the beauty of our world.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 4 years ago

Joe- I've known of something like this- no children involved, just two separate houses.  Eventually they did divorce. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 4 years ago

Joe - An interesting concept on married people but live separately.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 4 years ago

I wish you all the best regardless of what happens and success in all areas! Love and light and many blessings!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 4 years ago

Interesting. My question would be does that new spouce get to do the loan as if it's a primary residence?

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 4 years ago

This seems to be a growing trend in CA, or they divorce and continue to live together.  It certainly requires some thinking outside the box.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 4 years ago

Often it is job related when couples live apart and perhaps after a while they find that it works better for them like that.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 4 years ago

I helped a couple do this about two years ago and the underwriters had a tough time with it as you stated , but we got them approved. The reason made complete sense for the family and has worked out best for all involved. Two homes were sold and one was rented in the end everybody got what the wanted.

Posted by Patty Blackwelder, Top Producing Realtor-New Home Buyer Specialist (Twins Selling Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

I took a jewelry design class years ago and two of the older students arrived and left together each week. I got to know the woman first and then the man. Over time I learned that they had been together over 25 years, but each bought a separate townhouse in a single development. They loved the ararngement, but their family couldn't comprehend why they wouldn't just move in together. Sometimes I think they were onto something. But relationships are different for everyone. 

Posted by Dana Hollish Hill, Lead Associate Broker (Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties) almost 4 years ago

I can understand why a lender might be concerned with the ability to repay in these situations - what two people claim to be acrimonious and civil right now can often deteriorate into something quite ugly and contentious several months later.  I would imagine, though, that there are some  investors with a certain appetite for this type of risk.  I can't imagine what the prlcing is though!

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) almost 4 years ago

I'm glad that I've not had this situation.   Divorce is difficult but at least clear cut and has the outcomes defined. 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 4 years ago

Joe may be it is more information than you and Kathleen Daniels what to know, but curious George wants to know ..... LOL

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 4 years ago

People do what they have to do. Maybe living in the same property will rekindle the romance.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) almost 4 years ago

This is a very unusual situation in our area, Joe. They picked the right person to ask for help.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 4 years ago

I have not dealt with this one either. I do have a couple where the husband is 25 years older than the wife and when she was pregnant with their first child an underwriter thought they were divorcing and buying her a home for later. Their credit scores were both above 800 and they had income, retirement funds and property paid in full.  They did get their approval but it took time. Very weird. BTW, they are still married, living together and the child is 7.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

I have friends that have been living this way for years.....wait, they aren't still a couple. They just find it makes more sense financially for them to stay legally married. It's like being divorced without the paperwork. 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 4 years ago

I have a couple of friends that have gone this route for various reasons.  It sometimes makes a lot of sense.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 4 years ago

One of my previous clients was a couple who hired me to stage their home, and after it sold they asked me to help with decorating their two new homes. One house was for the wife, and the other for the husband.  The wife told me "we just need a little break from each other for a while.  When we get back together in six months we'll lease the other house out."  Seems like they had a plan :-)

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 4 years ago


Interesting situation doe sure . . . . When the two people want to each buy a home your just the mortgage professional to get them a mortgage.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe Petrowsky , That sounds like quite a situation that I have never encountered.  Have a great weekend.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Now I haven't run across this situation before. Very interesting, but I could see it coming up at some point in time. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) almost 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky I am sure you come across many such unique situations!

(I was married - and stayed separately for few months after I immigrated to US - but that's the extent of it - can't do that now or any more!)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 4 years ago

I have heard of couples  buying homes in two different states when they work in different states .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 4 years ago

Richfuscious say: Too much thinking (ego) and reacting (pride) vs living (carefree) and appreciation (contentment) robs many.

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 4 years ago

I have seen it several times and got to do the deals for both spouses. They told me they needed medical/insurance benefits and didn't see the need to divorce.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 4 years ago

Interesting. Haven't come across that one yet. But often I'll see two people buying a house and title only going to one person. 

Posted by Bob Haywood, BobHaywood.com (McGraw Realtors) almost 4 years ago

I have had this experience and can say I have had the thought myself sometimes but never out loud!

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) almost 4 years ago

I worked with an older couple who did this. They said that they didn't want to disrupt the family trust and they didn't hate each other....so they weren't looking for anyone new either. They just wanted their own space. It was very interesting. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 4 years ago

They love each other but don't like each other. Or love but not in love happens. Too expensive to divorce or waiting for something, someone to happen.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 4 years ago

I worked with a couple a few years ago who were looking for a second home. Their primary home was in Atlanta but the wife had taken a contract job for three years in Franklin. They would be living apart during the week and then alternating weekends; one weekend here, the other weekend there. It's not how Tom White and I would ever choose to live but I've seen others do this same thing.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 4 years ago

That's so funny the headline caught my eye.  My husband took a job out of state and we go back and forth between our home in Los Angeles and our other place.  Its kind of hard but it is working, sometimes its very romantic. But you must be very organized, I am always trying to improve on that.  And  alot of good systems. Funny... today I told him I should put him in my data base CRM as a team member because we were trying to look at our schedules.  He laughed because he runs an organization pretty large, but when I told him it was free he said ok sounds like a plan.  This way we can cross reference what we are doing at a glance. Might as well take advantage of technology.  I hope he doesn't mind his title... I am trying to think of something that sounds important besides assistant.... any suggestions?

Posted by Adele Langdon, Exclusive Realty Inc. almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe...Very interesting. A bit sad but if they aren't I guess I shouldn't be sad for them. I happen to love living with my husband.


Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) almost 4 years ago

I am one of these people...My wife and I are still married for our own financial and family reasons but haven't lived together for almost 15 years...It appears we are not unique.

Posted by Ernie Steele, Call me, let's get started!!! 717-273-3774 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty) almost 4 years ago

Joe, seems this happens a lot lately. Although, I haven't had any clients like this.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) almost 4 years ago

Hello Joe Petrowsky 

For some, divorce is just not a consideration or option.  But anyone married could understand having separate homes, right?  No, just kidding...but side-by-side homes could be fun...LOL

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe, lots of different ways to do life these days. Tammie White and I do business with all sorts of people who may have chosen a lifestyle very different from our own. I could see how the lenders could have some difficuties with this.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) almost 4 years ago

I have friends who have gone this route.  Not really surprising to me with the high divorce rate in the US, coupled with the high financial cost of divorce.  Marriage isn't the same as it was in my parents day, I imagine due to the changing life styles, economy, changing moral outlook etc...  I have seen separation living in different homes, I have seen separation but living under the same roof.... I guess it's like marriage... some will make it work, some don't...

Posted by Jon K. Judd, GRI, e-PRO, SFR, Delaware Homes (Keller Williams Realty - Central Delaware) almost 4 years ago

Joe-As I mature, the types of relationships that exist in the US constantly change. This is an evolving situation.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) almost 4 years ago

This is a new one!  I've heard of the "two master suites" before, but never two houses.  Very interesting and definitely cheaper than divorce!

Posted by Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA, Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties (www.HugginsHomes.com) almost 4 years ago

Unusual perhaps, but I bet it is becoming more common to maintain inusrance and benefits as well as stability.  Not to mention tax filing as married versus single just as head of househod. 

Posted by Cat Zwicker, CRS, Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results! (Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Joe - I have not run into this situation myself, nor have I heard of anyone actually living this way. I guess you are just lucky.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) almost 4 years ago

I have not has this one yet... But I know we all come see and hear things that surprise us every so often and just when we thought we had heard it all!

Posted by Amy Gutschow, Professional Real Estate (RE/MAX) almost 4 years ago

Congrats on your featured blog, hopefully you can keep them coming, topics that are featured take blogging talent!

Posted by Vick The Broker . (Olympus Executive Realty INC.) almost 4 years ago