After months of planning and years of waiting, it finally happened. You had the perfect wedding day, followed by an amazing honeymoon, and now it’s back to reality.
You’re both excited and eager to start your new lives together. So it’s only natural that the next steps for most newly married couples are buying their first house together and purchasing a new car. But before you jump into either of these, there are some things you’ll both need to know.
Both of these often come with a few extra challenges. After all, now there are two credit histories, two incomes, and two people with past debt to take into consideration, plus all the extra paperwork that you’ll be dealing with. Getting all of your ducks in a row beforehand will make for a smoother process, better understanding and you’ll be better prepared for your future.
Here are some important things that you may need to do before you start house and car shopping:
1. Check Your Credit
Your credit scores will determine your ability to obtain a loan and set the interest rate for the loan. Improving your score can take months, so it’s crucial that you get started with this as soon as possible.
Do you have things that you didn’t know about in your report? Is some of the information incorrect? These all play a significant part in your score. The best thing to do is lower your debt utilization ratio to below 30% and address any issues that you may not have known about.
2. Save up money
You may or may not already have money saved for the down payment and closing costs. But there are many other expenses that many couples don’t take into consideration, such as money for any design changes, new furniture, and hidden surprises that often happen when you buy a new home.
3. Budget effectively
Whether you’re combining your accounts or keeping them separate, creating a budget allows you to put money away for different expenses and makes identifying unnecessary spending easier. The both of you will need to sit down to determine how much of your paychecks go towards the bills, towards upkeep, and wants are important based on your goals and expectations.
It’s essential when budgeting that you align your expenses with your income. Living outside of your means doesn’t leave much room for saving. When you have a clear understanding of your income, expenses, and spending habits, it makes determining your budget much easier.
4. Discuss your expectations
You want a sedan, and he wants a truck. She wants a wrap-around porch, and he wants a two-car garage, but both of you agree on having a sustainable home. Take the time to hash these things out beforehand. You’re both different with different tastes and different styles.
The best thing to do is make a separate list of the things that you each “must-have” and the things that you “want.” This is a conversation you’ll want to have before heading out to the car dealership or meeting with the real estate agent.
5. Don’t live for your house
Having the house of your dreams comes with a hefty price. You may qualify for a $400K mortgage or can get a $50K credit union auto loan. But this doesn’t mean you should take it. Go back to your budget, and look at your spending. Do you enjoy the way that you’re living right now? Are you living within your means to enjoy the lifestyle that you have?
If you both enjoy vacations or go out to dinner frequently, then the last thing you want to do is to be at the top of your budget. Otherwise, you’ll be spending all of your days at home.
If you’re like most people, you want to hurry up and get the ball rolling. You want the house, the car, and the kids. Unfortunately, this sense of urgency surrounds most newlyweds, and the pressure to meet these desires often leads to stress, fighting, and put in situations that will affect your lives and relationship in a negative way. The first few years of marriage are hard, and rushing into something that the both of you haven’t fully discussed can lead to unnecessary difficulties.
Article Submitted By Community Writer