It has come to my attention that I may be old fashioned in my idea of marriage before homeownership. A friend of mine recently told me her idea to buy a home immediately and push wedding planning to the backburner. While I understood her desire to get a head start on purchasing the home of her dreams, now that she had found the man of her dreams, I was still confused how this new way thinking began.
After doing further research, I discovered that more couples were committing to joint homeownership before marriage for various reasons. If you find yourself discussing purchasing a home with your partner here are some things to consider;
Purchasing a home together BEFORE marriage:
- Savings– Most couples spend the majority of their time at one partner’s home more so than the other. It is not long before they decide it would be easier to move in together and consolidate their expenses, rather than let one partner’s money go to waste.
- The Right Time – Since it is no secret that now is an amazing time to purchase a home, it has resulted in low inventory of listing. If buyers find the perfect home, chances are someone in the position to buy that home immediately may feel the same way about that property. This encourages couples to commit to their homes before committing to each other to avoid watching every home they fall in love with get removed from the market.
Purchasing a home together AFTER marriage:
- Strength in Numbers– With a combined income and good credit ratings for both parties, couples may qualify for a bigger loan and be able to put down a larger down payment on their home.
- Forever is a Long Time-There is a lot of security built in for married couples in the unfortunate event that things don’t work out. However, if any snags occur in the relationship of unmarried partners, they cannot receive the same legal protections. This makes breaking up co-ownership of a house quite challenging.
Whatever you decide moving forward, please keep in mind that when you feel it is time to make major purchases with someone, consider the legal implications. If you decide to purchase a home together before you are married, make sure you have your own legal counsel to represent you in the purchase and arrange ownership (tenants in common vs. joint tenants). And make sure to find the perfect real estate professional to help you through the process.