Lately, more and more couples want to experience what it’s like to live together prior to getting married. For many it makes sense to jump right in, stop renting and buy a house-but does it really? There are a few things unmarried couples need to consider before making one of the most important financial decisions of their lives.
Can’t we do both?
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is around $29,000. That is a substantial amount of money. Buying a house is also a huge expense….one that can drain finances. It is crucial for you and your partner to decide which is more important right now. If buying a house before getting married is your goal, there are still many things to consider.
How’s your credit?
If you buy a house before marriage, your finances will more than likely be examined individually. In the best-case scenario, you and your partner both have excellent credit and can secure a loan. But if one of you has poor credit, it may be better to buy a house after marriage to increase the likelihood of obtaining a loan. Once you’re married, the individual with better credit has the option of applying for the loan on his or her own.
Still paying on student loans?
One of the biggest obstacles for young couples looking to purchase their first home is outstanding student loan debt. The amount you owe affects your credit score which, in turn, will affect the loan amount you get approved for and the interest rates that follow. Depending on your situation, it may be in your best interest to focus on paying off student loan debts – and your wedding – prior to purchasing a home.
What are your state laws?
If owning a home together is a high priority in your relationship, you’ll want to research state laws. Some states do not allow couples to share legal ownership of a home if not legally wed.
Many components go into the decision of buying a house before you say “I do!”. Love and commitment aside, there are legal and financial concerns that should be considered to ensure that you make the best choice together.