Buying Your First Home Together
In recent years there’s been a shift among young couples when it comes to the order of major milestones. The norm used to be – get engaged, then married, then buy your first home. But in the last decade, we’ve seen a slight rearrangement of these big moments. Some of the shift has to do with society becoming more comfortable with the living arrangements of unmarried couples. Also, we find that more people are prioritizing careers, thus waiting longer to get married. But in either case, it’s natural for couples to reach a certain point in their life where they want to own their own home. Instead of more years of renting, it just makes sense to buy a house. This change has couples asking their realtor and loan officer, “Should we buy a home before we get married or after?”
According to the experts, there are benefits to both! From a realtor’s standpoint, looking for a home pre-wedding has its advantages. You’ll know what to ask for on your wedding registry because you already know what kind of space you have and what items you need. It also allows you to enjoy planning your wedding and truly being able to relax on your honeymoon without having an impending lease ending when you return.
Purchasing after your wedding has some great benefits too, like not having to change your name on your deed, because let’s be honest, you have enough things to change your name on! Buying a home as a married couple also gives you another milestone to celebrate together and could allow you to feel less stressed about the financial side of things.
From a lending perspective, the benefits of purchasing before or after your wedding depending on your financial situation. If you are a couple lucky enough to have financial help with your wedding, then you can use the funds you’ve saved toward your home.
If you’re taking on most of the wedding expenses, you can use the money you receive from gifts for your new home! Family and friends often give financial gifts to help you start your new life together. If you are one of those fortunate couples, you can save that money and use it as a down payment on your home or put it toward your closing costs. An important note, if you’re buying within 60 days of your wedding, you’ll just need a letter stating you were gifted that money for your wedding.
There really is no right answer when it comes to deciding whether you should buy a home before or after your wedding. It all depends on your comfort level, your financial situation, and your priorities. Both come with wonderful benefits! Of course, if you ever have questions there are always experts available to help you weigh the pros and cons of each.
Jessica Deleo and Maddy Armstrong have been part of the Richmond Real Estate community for a combined eight years. Both Jessica and Maddy work closely with first time home buyers to guide and educate them in their home purchase. Jessica is a licensed, Virginia REALTOR® with Keller Williams Richmond West. Maddy is a licensed loan originator with Southern Trust.