As wedding season approaches some couples are worrying about more than just whether to invite Great Aunt Mildred. If you have started a conversation about purchasing a new home with your future husband or wife, there may be a few things you should consider, like how to find the perfect lender, and elements of the process you should familiarize yourself with, such as having a home inspection completed.
Follow this guide to help as you embark on this exciting and rewarding journey:
Discuss, Discuss, DISCUSS
Talking with your partner about purchasing a house is of upmost importance. YourTango noted a number of points you should add to your agenda when talking about moving in together. Buying a house means you invest your time and money to be with your spouse. It is important to talk about your finances and what each of you want out of a home.
Also know what is important for each of you in a property. Establish whether proximity to work, public transportation or even good schools could make or break the purchase of a house.
It is also crucial to decide whether you and your partner are prepared to purchase a new home. Ensure that you make this investment for the right reasons. If you are not yet prepared to hold the financial responsibility of homeownership, relay this information to your significant other. You can use the extra time to save up for a down payment and fully prepare for the monetary commitment.
Keep credit in mind
There are a number of ways you can approach the process of purchasing real estate. When you begin your home searching journey and ultimately apply for a home loan. it might be contingent upon the credit scores of you and your partner. Realtor.com noted lenders typically consider a married couple a joint unit while an unmarried duo can be evaluated separately.
If one of you does not possess a particularly stellar credit history, it may be beneficial to start the application process prior to tying the knot to increase your chances of being approved and nabbing a lower interest rate.
Unfortunately, when applying for a home mortgage as one person, your household income is smaller and may impact the loan size lenders approve you for during the application process. Another option is waiting a few years to allow both of you to improve your credit score by paying bills on time and paying off any current debt.
Establish what you can afford
You can use a variety of different online tools, such as Zillow's affordability calculator, to get a general idea regarding the house you can afford using your annual income, debt and down payment amount. However, do speak directly with a lender to determine a more accurate price.
Additionally, it is important to shop around and meet with a variety of different mortgage lenders to ensure you not only get the most appropriate budget, but also acquire the best deal on a home loan.
Bankrate suggested asking your real estate agent for recommendations when you begin shopping around for a loan.
"Good Realtors keep a short list of good lenders and do that not because of referral fees, which are illegal, but because they trust these loan officers to be fair and to get their loans to close on time," said David Reed, a mortgage banker out of Austin, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. aren't the only titles you'll need to think about when deciding to purchase a home with your significant other. You and your partner can determine who has legal ownership of the property with the title.
If the title is communal, it is divided between both individuals. In some states it is mandated that couples jointly hold ownership of the property.
Discussing ownership with your spouse and signing a legal document outlining the specifications can help alleviate the risk of issues that might arise later if someone passes away or you decide to separate.
Benefits of buying together
A home is a substantial investment and sharing it with the person you love can help strengthen your bond. It can help you become more comfortable and unified in many different ways. For example, you will share space, expenses and a transition into a new life in a different neighborhood.
"Even the closest couples are still two separate people with two separate ideas and agendas," said Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC lifestyle correspondent. When embarking on the path of homeownership, "they learn how to be practical with each other and compromise … it bonds two people together and makes them family," according to realtor.com.
Getting married and moving into a new home together is a substantial change. Knowing the process and what to expect can help you determine when the best time is for you and your partner to find a house together.