Getting married is a very exciting time and momentous moment. Buying your fist home together as a couple should be just as joyous and exciting, yet can sometimes be overwhelming. We have a few tips on how to discuss options prior to beginning your home search.
Finances + Credit
If it hasn’t already been discussed, learning of each other’s current financial status and credit history is better to do prior to starting your search. The type of home that you can afford and the loan amount that you can qualify for depends on your joint financial status and credit history. If these two key items aren’t discussed first, you could be wasting your time viewing homes that are out of your reach at the moment.
Do you both have a fantastic credit history or is one credit history stronger than the others? While it is customary to believe both people need to be involved in the mortgage process, there are times where it is beneficial for only one person to be on the loan. If one credit history is not extremely strong and/or has debt or delinquencies involved, that person’s credit can drive up the interest rate, drive up the down payment, and drive down the approved loan amount. This is an example of where it may be beneficial for only one person to be on the home loan.
Type of Home + Amenities
One of the best ways to figure out on what type of home will make both of you happy is for each of you to make a list of your must-haves and wants in rank of importance then combine the lists. Don’t forget that marriage is all about compromise! The number one item on one list may be the number thirteen item on the other list. One example of compromise might be if one person can’t have their number one, maybe they can have both number two and number three on the list.
Here is a list of things to keep in mind:
- Type (single-family, townhome, condo, manufactured)
- Construction (vinyl, brick, stucco, etc.)
- Location (commute time, neighborhood, school district)
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Square footage
- Lot size (backyard, front yard, no yard)
- Parking (garage, carport, street, parking lot)
- Layout design (open floor plan, traditional, split)
- Amenities (gas vs electric, deck, front porch, fireplace, etc.)
- Flooring (hardwood, tile, carpet, laminate, etc.)
- Finishes (countertops, cabinets)
Think of the Future
Are you going to have kids? Do you already have kids? What school districts are your kids going to attend or currently attend? Do you plan on having animals? How long do you anticipate living in this house? These are all fantastic questions to ask yourselves when considering what home best fits your needs. Take these into consideration and see if you can come up with more situational questions that may affect your future living situation.
If neither of you has owned a home before, learning of the home buying process can be a bit overwhelming. Here is what to expect.
- Apply for a mortgage and get pre-approved
- Contact a realtor
- Tour homes
- Choose a home and put in an offer
- Complete mortgage approval
- Home inspection
- Final walk-through
Home buying can be a challenging process when combining the interests of multiple people. Don’t worry, it is possible! Be sure to be honest with each other about what you can and cannot live without because living together in a home you hate is not the way you will want to start off a marriage.
For a free consultation with no obligation - please feel free to give us a call @ (720) 305-0757.