From Just Married to Just Moved: 6 Considerations for a Post-Wedding Home Purchase
Life moves fast after getting married to the love of your life. After committing to one another, the next order of business is to know where you two will settle down and build your life together.
Buying a new home is a great step in the right direction, but it’s important to check off any considerations and concerns before the purchase.
The Shift from Marriage to Moving In
It’s revealed that married-couple households make up 46% of all US households in 2020. Although the number is a decrease from the previous 55% in 1990, it’s quite a common step to get a home after tying the knot.
Getting a home after the wedding is a decision that makes sense in terms of feasibility. It’s also an attractive ordeal emotionally as the thought of having a place to call your own with your life partner is satisfying.
Make the right considerations and preparations without rose-colored glasses. Here, we have a general checklist of what you need to contemplate when eyeing a post-wedding home purchase.
1. Financial Health
Two is better than one when making a home purchase, which is why most people tend to wait for this milestone in their lives before achieving homeownership. However, it’s important to assess how financially healthy each person in the marriage is before buying a home.
Does each person in the marriage have their source of income? Aside from getting confirmation, look at the amount and stability of that income. Committing to buying a home can take around 15 to 30 years, so it’s a must to have a steady stream of earnings.
Does each person have their own savings? Couples start saving up for their dream house before getting married, but you can also assess your current accounts and see what percentage can go into buying a property to loosen the burden on your income.
While some may try to dodge the topic, it’s imperative to see whether you or your partner have any outstanding bills. These financial obligations may affect your ability to fund the home purchase.
Determining these different factors can help you determine your readiness to get a home. It also helps with setting up a budget, which serves as a guide for the rest of your decision-making process.
2. Down Payment and Loan
A home loan is important when you’re getting a house. Unfortunately, some mortgages can have too high of an interest rate and require a big percentage of the loan as a down payment. In these cases, look for government-insured programs suitable to your situation.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers favorable interest rates. Plus, it’s possible to pay as little as 3.5% of a home’s price for an FHA loan down payment if your credit score is at least 580. If you can pay as little as 3.5%, you can have more funds for other expenses in setting up your post-wedding home.
3. Title Ownership
A joint tenancy where the home’s title deeds are in your and your partner’s name entails sharing the asset in the event of separation. By arranging this type of title ownership, you can secure your rights to the property. For instance, your spouse cannot sell or mortgage the house without your permission and vice versa.
4. House Type
The ideal house for newlyweds can depend on the couple’s lifestyle and preferences. If you’ve never talked about whether you want a tiny house or a big home with five bedrooms and a yard, now’s a great time to check-in. If you have talked about it but it’s been a while, revisit the topic to see if you’re still on the same page.
5. House Location
With 50 states across the US, married couples have plenty of options regarding house location. Try to do some research if there’s a certain temperature or environment you desire for your home base. Or, as an alternative, you can simply decide to live off the grid and have a self-sustaining lifestyle. Either way, discuss the type of place you and your partner want.
6. Other Expenses
The national average of furnishing a house can take around $16,000, and that range can scale depending on the comfort and quality of what you’re getting for your home. There’s also the matter of getting appliances and installing home improvement projects. Remember to have some leeway in your budget for these endeavors.
Save the Date for Your New Home
After discussing the considerations above, you and your spouse must be a step closer to getting your home. While it’s a process that takes time, having a potential date and visualizing the space you share is certainly something to look forward to.