We’ve all heard the “kissing song” before. You know, the one that goes like:
Mark and Amy sitting in a tree
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes the baby in the baby carriage….
But as catchy as the tune is, the song misses one key point in the relationship – a classic step that typically comes in between marriage and babies. We’re talking about buying a house, of course!
For many newlywed couples, buying a house is one of the first major joint decisions in the relationship. So before you begin, make sure you have an idea of how you want to proceed. Here are a few tips:
1. Start the Process Early
“Six months is perhaps an acceptable amount of time to plan for a home purchase,” Green Residential suggests. “It’s just long enough that you should have enough breathing room to get your finances in order and iron out any wrinkles that could lead to trouble, but not so long that it feels like your purchase is far off in the distance.”
During this time, get your finances in order. Hopefully you and your spouse have had a few money talks prior to marriage, but this is your chance to get everything out on the table. Credit scores, debt, and budgets – discuss it all in detail. If there are any gaps between where you are and where you need to be, this six-month window gives you time to work through issues.
2. Have a Heart-to-Heart
Spouses – and particularly newlywed couples – often have very different opinions on what they want in a house. Never assume that you and your spouse are on the same page. At the very least, work through the following issues and questions:
- What area of town do you want to call home?
- Do you want a single-family residence or a townhome?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?
- Are there any deal breakers?
- What style are you going for? (Modern, contemporary, traditional, etc.)
- What’s your absolute maximum price?
Dig into these questions. When there’s disagreement, try to figure out why. Compromise is good and you’ll need to practice some give and take.
3. Do Your Research
- Research various neighborhoods to find out what sort of feel each area has.
- Keep an eye on homes that are being listed and sold, even if you aren’t interested. This gives you an idea of how the market is doing and what the going rates are for properties in your area.
- Use a resource like GreatSchools to research different schools in the area in order that you can make smart choices for your future children.
As you gather more information, you’ll start to feel more confident in your ability to make better choices. Eventually, this will lead to a well-informed decision on which house to buy.
4. Hire the Right Agent
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can buy a house on your own. Remember that the seller typically pays the buyer’s commission. This means you basically get an agent’s professional services for free. Go out and hire the best one you can find!
5. Get an Inspection
When you eventually do put an offer in on a house, make sure you get an inspection. For the small amount of money it costs, it can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, maintenance, and random expenses. Your agent should be able to direct you to a good inspector.
Buying a house can require immense amounts of patience. It’s important that you don’t rush the process or get caught up in your emotions. An emotional homebuyer is a foolish homebuyer. Try to look at your purchase decision in an objective light so that your finances don’t become a major sticking point in your new marriage.
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Article Submitted By Community Writer