Deciding to get married is one of life’s biggest moments, and whether to buy or rent is one of the first and biggest decisions you will make as a couple. It is best not to jump into this big decision without being prepared. Here are a few steps and tips to make sure you can make an informed decision:
Decide if Buying a Home Makes Sense
Buying a home is normally the single biggest purchase a family will make and you need to make sure you are both ready for the commitment. You should ask yourself these questions:
- How long are we planning on staying in the area?
- Do we plan on starting a family in the near future?
- How are our finances? Are we financially ready?
- Are either of us committed to a lease now?
- If we did buy, what locations would we consider?
It’s important to go through questions like these to make sure you are ready. For example, if you knew one of your jobs was going to require a move in a year, it might make sense to rent now and buy later.
Find a Real Estate Agent That is Right For Both of You
If you think it makes sense to purchase a home, do yourself a favor and employ the services of a professional. Chances are one or both of you have a family friend who is a REALTOR® and who would love to help you along the way.
Getting married can be very stressful, especially if you add purchasing a home to the equation. Hiring an experienced agent who will be there to support both of you along the way is one of the best decisions you can make.
Set a Budget and Get Pre-Approved
I recommend sitting down with a local lender before you start looking for a home. Find out what you can qualify for so that you know in which price range to start your search. You also need to sit down with your spouse and figure out a budget so you know what you are comfortable with for a monthly payment. Just remember, this first home is probably not going to be your last, and one of the worst things you can do while starting your marriage is being financially strapped. You should both be comfortable with what you can afford and stick to the budget.
Learn to Compromise
The home buying process can be challenging for anyone, but it is especially difficult for a newly-married couple who is making such a big financial decision for the first time. I recommend, before you start looking, to both make a list of things that are important to you. Go over this list together and find some common ground. Once you are comfortable, share this with your agent so they can make sure they know your motivations. There will be stressful moments when going through the home buying process, so be patient and understanding with each other and learn to compromise.
Allen Green, Realtor
John Green & Company Realtors®