Buying a New Home – A Financial Post-Wedding Checklist
Your Gruene Estate wedding was perfect and the honeymoon was amazing. Now it’s time for re-entry into the real world. Moving on from the wedding planning process, it’s time to build that life with the man of your dreams. Buying a new home and moving in together is often the first step. Finding and purchasing a home can be a magical experience for you and your spouse – not only can it bring you closer together, but it signifies two becoming one. First things first: Can you afford to buy a new home post-honeymoon? After talking to Gruene Estate’s staff, here are a few pieces of advice and lessons learned from those of us that have gone through that first home buying experience as a married couple.
Financial Post Wedding Picture– Buying a New Home
You are now one with the love of your life! Take time to discuss finances and get a realistic picture of your home buying budget and budgets in general. Buying a home comes with a lot of costs upfront that require cash, you might need a few more months or even years of saving before you attempt to buy a home. Depending on the type of mortgage you qualify for, you may need anywhere from 3-20% of the cost of your home saved up for down payments, closing costs, and other added fees, which creeps up to tens of thousands of dollars before you know it.
Check your credit
Having your credit in order is equally important when considering buying a home. A credit score – again depending on the type of loan you’re applying for – can make or break your chances of getting approved for a home loan. If you do have significant debt, talk with your spouse and come up with a plan on how you can encourage one another in ways to pay it off. This is a great opportunity to let your husband be a leader and help you solve this problem as a team. Do a credit check online and consider a mortgage preapproval to understand your options for buying a home with your partner.
Determine how much you’re willing to spend
Moving in together is so exciting! Remember when home shopping for your first home, it probably won’t be your last. Take into to consideration future factors that will help you make the best home purchase: Are you expecting kids soon? Is there room for a home office? How far is the commute to work and will that mean less time with your spouse? Think through all the possibilities and plan accordingly.
Start the preapproval process to learn how much house you can afford. A lender will tell you how much money you’re allowed to borrow based on your personal financial information. However, if you’re approved to buy a $250,000 home, that doesn’t mean you can’t shop for homes of a smaller price range to not only save you money, but also to leave some funds available for other monthly expenses or home improvements. This is super important for newly married couples. Finances can be a huge stress on a relationship, so make sure you don’t over purchase what you can afford. Make these first couple of years about having fun and enjoying each other. To see how much you’re both willing and able to spend, sit down with your partner and a financial expert to discuss all possible scenarios.
Choose where you want to live
It’s not always known where life will take you after you’re married. Anything from your career to your family can bring you and your spouse to a new destination away from your hometown. This is one of the tough conversations you need to have with your partner before starting the house hunt. Where you live is permanent, or at least long-term, and will impact almost every aspect of your home buying journey. Plus, it’s important to consider how much it costs to live in areas you’ve never lived in. Compare your combined incomes and the cost of living in new areas to see where you might consider buying your new home and where you’d like to raise a family.
Talk about your ideal home
You may have an idea in your head of what your ideal home will look like. But, finding that perfect dream home is not always attainable. Some homes have good bones but need a lot of work, which is the perfect opportunity to make a home your own. Others will be move-in ready, with little work to be done. No matter what your first home as a newlywed couple looks like, decide whether or not you’re able front the cash or labor for the typical home improvements in early years of homeownership, or if you’d rather splurge on a turnkey home with less risk involved.
Looking for more advice on weddings, planning, and more? Check out our blog to answer some of your most burning wedding questions.
Photos by Gaby Casky Photography