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Forced sale/partition of co-owned home in VA

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I currently own a house with my cousin we bought for $343,500 two years ago. Our relationship co-owning and living together started out great but went pretty sour quick, we just don't live the same type of lives and it doesn't work, example, I like having friends over watching football, he doesn't want anyone at the house ever, i do all the yard-work, and maintenance on the house, he does nothing. I can be quite messy and leave things laying around the house, he doesn't leave anything laying around anywhere. stuff like that. He recently approached me and said he would like to move out so he can buy a place of his own now that he's making more money and stuff, understandable. He stated best case scenario that he would like me to buy him out, 2nd option, he buys me out, 3rd option sell the house and split the proceeds.
I however, do not want to move or leave the house and am completely content with my living situation. Here's where it gets tricky.
After speaking with our realtor and going over comp's, we agreed that the house in mint condition (it is far from mint condition and would take months and thousands of dollars to get it that way) would sell for about 350k on the open market. Therefore we determined if sold today as is it would sell for about 340k.
We also went over how much each of us would receive in selling the house after, fees, taxes, sales cost and everything else is factored in. If sold at 350k, we would basically walk away with around 5k a piece, if sold at 340k, we both walk away with nothing.
Therefore, I gave him what i thought to be a generous offer of 5k to buy him out and i keep the house "as is".
He came back with stating he wanted 12k to leave, or he would offer 12k to buy me out. if thats not acceptable, he wants to sell the house asap.
I've stated numerous times, i do not want to move out, therefore i'm not open to buy-out offers. He is the one that ones to leave.
He now has brought his number to 9k but is now threatening legal action to force the sale of the house (which we both would walk away with nothing and probably lose money because of attorneys and all that comes with it) I don't think i should offer any more than what he would get if we sold it for in mint condition. (which is still far from mint, i though my offer was incredibly fair and more than generous)
is there anything i'm missing here?
Is there any legal precedents preventing the forced partition just because he wants to be spiteful?


Senior Member
He came back with stating he wanted 12k to leave, or he would offer 12k to buy me out. if thats not acceptable, he wants to sell the house asap.
That sounds like a most reasonable offer. Either buy half for 12 or sell 12 for half. I know you want to buy his half for 5, and do not want to sell your half for any price, but, In the words of the great poet Jagger, "You can't always get what you want".

If you force him to file a petition for partition, the house WILL be sold, and you'll probably end up with nothing.

When it comes down to the basic math, you're fighting over $7,000. I can guarantee you'll spend WAAAAY more than that fighting over the place.


Senior Member
I would like to point something out that has not been addressed. If both of you are on the mortgage, then whoever keeps the house needs to be able to refinance the mortgage into just their name. Otherwise, the one leaving will have his credit tied up for the duration of the mortgage and probably won't be able to buy another house. Neither one of you should find that acceptable.

With that little equity in the home, I doubt that either one of you would be able to refinance the mortgage without making a hefty additional down payment. If neither of you are in the position to do that, then selling the home is the wiser thing to do, even if neither or you get any money doing that.

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