Marriage and a Mortgage - Why Newlyweds Should Say "I Do!" to Homeownership

By: Emily Butzner

It’s no secret, weddings are expensive! From the minute she gets that diamond on her finger, a bride-to-be will spend many stressful months planning her perfect wedding. Every second of free time will be spent preparing for the big day and opening the checkbook for yet another vendor. And while the flowers will be dazzling, the dinner menu will be decadent and the guests will dance an unforgettable night away on the dance floor, the magical day will eventually come to an end. And after it’s all over, the newlyweds realize they spent their entire engagement anticipating the big day and not the part that truly matters, the happily ever after; the marriage. 

And what is an essential part to a good marriage? A HAPPY HOME!

Because we live in a time when so many young couples are living together before marriage, it’s easy to overlook the direct connection between starting a life with your significant other and buying your first home together. Of course there are individuals who already own a house and simply add their spouse’s name onto the deed. There are also couples who continue to rent for the first years of their marriage. But why do so many young adults think renting is safer, and cheaper? You’ve settled in your forever relationship; why not establish some roots together?

Sure, house hunting and thinking about mortgages and finances are stressful. Buying a house and planning a wedding at the same time can be extremely overwhelming. But, it’s not impossible. It’s actually a fantastic idea. Either way, your rent is getting paid each month so why not turn it into a mortgage payment?  I’m here to tell you there are so many perks to embarking on homeownership at the start of a marriage. 

REGISTERING FOR GIFTS YOU ACTUALLY WANT/NEED

Registering for gifts may be one of the most exciting tasks involved with planning a wedding. It’s one of the only times in life you can make an infinitely long wish list! However, choosing china patterns, bedding and kitchen appliances can be stressful when you’re living in a neutral colored rental home with limited space.  Starting the house hunting process while simultaneously planning your big day is a great indicator of what types of items you’ll want to register for. You’ll know what style you want, what type of storage space you’ll have and you’ll be more likely to pick items you’ll actually need or use. Additionally, buying a home will make you feel less guilty about asking for nicer versions of the things you both already have. A new home deserves new things, so throw away that old crockpot and those bed sheets from college and upgrade a bit! Filling up and decorating a house is pricey, so use that wedding registry to your advantage! 

TWO INCOMES BECOMING ONE

You know the saying, two is better than one! If you’re currently renting based on your own individual income, chances are, with your partner’s added yearly salary, you’ll be able to afford a decent home. Of course, it’s all a game of numbers, but if you were previously living separately, merging households will eliminate an entire rent payment and a whole set of utility bills each month. With that extra money, it’s definitely worth researching what size home you’d be able to afford. You could use the eliminated rent payment to put towards a down payment OR add it to the wedding budget. 

IT’S A PROCESS YOU’LL BOTH ENJOY

It’s no secret that most men don’t get super excited about the details of planning a wedding. Even though it’s a day that will forever be remembered in photographs, it’s still a day that will come and go. Going along with the little decisions is something that makes their bride happy, so they comply, but house hunting is definitely more a process that will intrigue a husband-to-be. Buying a house is a potential long term investment that is going to need to satisfy both of your checklists. While a groom might not care about place settings, favors and bouquets, he certainly will be interested in the home where you begin your marriage. And as an added bonus, shopping for a house is a lengthy process and allows you to spend quality time with your fiancé away from the stress of overwhelming wedding details.    

LOW DOWN PAYMENT PROGRAMS & PROFESSIONAL BUDGETING

When buying a home, you want to work with a mortgage professional that is going to have your best interests at heart. Financially, it can be frightening; the down payment, the interest rate, the monthly mortgage, etc. However, a loan officer who excels at his/her job is going to introduce you to programs that fit your needs. Young newlyweds, or couples who are putting a great deal of their savings into their wedding, can take advantage of low down payment programs. It’s a common misconception that a large down payment is required to become a homeowner. Buying a home is not a financial set back and any mortgage professional will work with you in planning your budget to accommodate your wedding expenses. 

A SOUND FINANCIAL DECISION FOR THE FUTURE

While you’re technically building credit by paying your rent each month, in reality, it’s just a check you’re handing over to your landlord. Buying a home is something that will benefit your future. You’d be making a solid investment and building equity. Even if you decide to upsize in a few years, the money you’ve put into your first home will carry over into every real estate decision you make throughout your married life. While having a place to live is imperative for survival, renting essentially is a waste of money. It doesn’t aid your financial future the way a monthly mortgage would. Just think, if you stayed in your first home for 30+ years, it would become paid off. If you stayed in an apartment for the same amount of time, there would never be a point when you’d stop paying a monthly rent. Buying a home will make you more stable, financially. 

A PLACE TO ACTUALLY CALL YOUR OWN

No more landlords! No more undecorated, white walls! No more pet policies! No more buying cheap furniture just to get you by! Having a home allows you to settle into your own style. It’s time to buy some paint and invest in some power tools and make your home your own! Plus, think of how satisfying it will be to come home from a long day and unwind with your spouse and your dog in a place that is truly yours!

To sum it up, buying a home does not have to be more expensive than renting. Therefore, it shouldn’t take away from the budget you have set out for your wedding. It is financially possible to have the wedding and the house you’ve always wanted. The first step is to see a mortgage professional. Share all your financial goals with your loan officer and they will prove that buying a home together doesn’t have to be added stress onto this exciting time in your lives!