There are many pros to buying a home. In addition to being an investment and a way to build equity, the benefit of buying a home is that you have the freedom to make it yours.
Home buying can be a lengthy and tedious process but no need to fret. This article will provide you with the tips you need to be successful when buying a home after marriage.
Before putting a home under contract, you'll want to have a solid handle on all of the things we will be exploring in this article.
Start With Savings
After the wedding, it’s time to sit down with your partner and take a look at finances. Pay off any outstanding bills from the wedding first and then come up with a home buying budget. This starts with understanding how expensive of a house can I afford?
Factors that affect this are your income, debt to income ratio, and how much cash you have for a down payment. This is where being strategic after your wedding comes in handy!
A common wedding gift from guests is cash and by putting that money into a savings account, you could use it to go towards your home purchase. Having a down payment or money set aside for closing costs will help determine what house you can afford.
Once you know a suitable price range you can start looking at neighborhoods and locations that fit your budget criteria. Some things to consider are safety, proximity to work and stores, and the school district if you plan on having children.
Check out these additional ideas for getting a good feel of a potential neighborhood. Part of this research should be looking into property values in the area. This will help you understand if the neighborhood is growing. If you only plan on living in your first home for a few years and then selling, this is important to consider.
Here are some other things to consider when going through the home buying process as well.
Use Your Wedding Registry
Even before the wedding, if buying a home right away is the plan, consider using your registry for items that you will use in your new home. Dishware, towels, bedding, and appliances are all great registry items.
According to brides.com these are the must-have registry items that you may want to consider adding to your list. If you know you want to buy a fixer-upper, consider adding gift cards to home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot to your registry as well.
Find a Realtor
When it comes to choosing a realtor, take your time and find a person that is the right match for you and your partner. Seek recommendations from family and friends or people in the community.
Make sure to meet in person before hiring them so you can make sure your goals and vision for your home buying process align. This part of the process is very important and being upfront and honest with your realtor about your expectations and home preferences are key to making sure the realtor you are picking is a good fit.
Make a Home Wish List
An important conversation for you and your partner to have is what you are looking for in your new home. A helpful way to do this is by having a list of must-haves followed by a list of features that would be nice to have but are not deal breakers. Features to consider are number of bathrooms and bedrooms, closet and storage space, and kitchen size.
Decide what is important to your family and help guide your decisions. For example, if you like cooking and having company over make sure your home is a space that is open and big enough for having parties or family dinners.
Understand Additional Expenses
Down payments and closing costs are a large portion of your home buying budget but not the only expenses to take into consideration. You also need to factor in inspection costs, insurance, and if you were previously a renter, remember you will now have taxes to pay.
This article breaks down the fees that come along with buying a home for the first time. You’ll also want to factor in moving expenses. This is crucial if you are moving across the country as your moving costs will be higher.
Plan For The Future
If you have pets or plan on starting a family, the size of your home is something to consider. The square footage and the number of bedrooms need to be large enough to accommodate your growing family, pets, and any potential visits from in-laws.
Also if you are a remote worker having a home office might be on your wish list so you have a private working space. These are all things to discuss with your realtor so they know to include those features in your home search.
Pay Less Upfront To Make Renovations
If you and your partner are the DIY types buying a fixer-upper versus a home that is turn-key might be an option. Buying a home that needs some work and renovating will be less expensive initially, however, you'll need to factor in any renovations, repairs, and materials cost.
Also knowing what work you can do yourself and what type of work would require bringing a contractor in should help guide this decision. Here’s what you should know about buying a fixer-upper home.
Waiting until after your wedding to buy a home is a good idea if you need more time to save for a down payment, and if you are not sure where you want to live yet. Tackling both a wedding and buying a home at once can be stressful.
By waiting until after the wedding you can enjoy the celebrations of your marriage and then focus on your future together. Remember, although the home buying process can be stressful, it’s an exciting time in your new married life!
About the author: The above article on buying a house after a wedding was written by a seasoned writer who enjoys real estate, home improvement, and finance-related topics.