Congratulations! You’re married! If you are like many married couples, the next big step on your To-Do List is to buy a home. More and more couples are choosing to wait until after the wedding to buy a home because they don’t want the additional stress on top of wedding planning and work. Whatever your reasons are for waiting, you know that buying a home is a major milestone. We want to make sure you are prepared, so we’ve come up with a list of important things to know about buying a home after marriage.
Finances: Now that you are married and applying for a loan, you need to understand that your finances have also tied the knot. While you’ve probably discussed your spouse’s income or savings, there is much more you need to know. Make sure you thoroughly investigate all your finances before you begin the homebuying process to ensure you are aware of all potential issues that may come up. A lender will take both of your credit scores into consideration when reviewing your application, so it is vital you know where your partner stands financially. Bad credit scores and student debt can severely impact the loan value and interest rate a lender is able to offer you. If one of you has a poor score or a large sum of debt, it could influence how you choose to proceed with the loan. You may need to proceed with only one person on the loan and decide who should be on the title of the property. Once you are ready and have your finances straightened out, meet with a lender to get prequalified.
Compromises: Whether you’ve been living separately prior to the wedding or if you have been living together for a while, there are some compromises to make when purchasing a home. Any couple buying a home together will face the typical issues: where do you want to live, what kind of house do you like, what size home, etc. If you were living separately, you could also face the discussion of whose furniture you’ll keep or whose appliances or electronics are better. It is likely you won’t be able to use everything both of you have. Get ready to spend time compromising on everything the two of you own, on top of the compromises involving the home you choose.
Name Change: Waiting to purchase a home until after the wedding is great, but do not wait to change your name after you’ve begun the homebuying process. There is a significant amount of paperwork that is done by your lenders. If you decide to change your name in the middle of it, the process will be completely thrown off and even delayed. You should either change your name completely before you start the process, or wait until after you have closed on your home to avoid any conflict.
It’s More than Just a Financial Purchase: Buying a home with your spouse is not just a financial investment, it is also an emotional one. The homebuying process is stressful and mentally draining; you are going to need to support one another. You are also going to have to discuss all possible future outcomes, such as divorce and separation—especially if your loan or title is going under one person. If your relationship turns to that direction, you don’t want to be caught off guard or have the obligation of a mortgage payment to fall on one of you. There needs to be an honest conversation between spouses to discuss every aspect of the homebuying process to ensure you are on the same page and completely ready.
Waiting to purchase a home until after marriage can be beneficial, but there are some challenges that can arise. Have a complete picture of your spouse’s finances before you choose to move forward with this investment. Buying a home together should be an exciting milestone, so don’t let compromises or finances get in the way.
If you have any questions about the homebuying process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators.