Did you just get married? If so, then you are in for the thrill of a lifetime! You will get to share all sorts of things with your spouse, go on adventures and just enjoy having a partner in crime. Unfortunately, not everything will be blissful. You may struggle with finding a place to live that both of you are comfortable with. Now that you are married, you are probably considering buying your first home. Just because you are married doesn’t mean that you are ready to buy a home, however. If you and your spouse are considering buying a house, here are some things that you should consider.
Your Credit Scores
It’s nearly impossible to buy a house if you don’t have a decent score. You and your spouse should have scores that are at least 620. While you may be able to get a home loan with lower scores, you will need to pay a lot more in interest. If your scores just aren’t where they need to be, then you should consider waiting a while. Take the time to pay-off debt and raise your credit score. If you notice any inaccuracies on your credit report, you need to dispute them. Just remember that it will take some time to raise your credit score. However, it’s better to wait to buy a house with a higher credit score than it is to rush to buy a house that you barely qualify for.
Where You Want To Live
A home is a big commitment. You can’t just pack up and move if you get tired of the location. This is why you and your spouse really need to consider where you want to live. Don’t choose a location that you might not be happy with in a year or two down the road. If you just aren’t sure where you want to live, then it’s a good idea to consult a realtor. They can help you determine the best location for you to buy a home. Keep in mind that a home is an appreciating asset if you give it enough time. This is why you should plan on staying in your home for a while. If you are interested in a particular location, you need to:
-Check out the schools that you are zoned for that your kids would attend.
-Look up crime statistics to find out if the area tends to be safe.
-Do your research to find the nearest places of interest to you like the grocery store, gym, doctor’s offices and shopping mall.
-Drive through the area at different times of day to check out the noise levels and traffic.
Many newly married couples get in over their heads when it comes to finances. They want the biggest and best house they can find even though they won’t be able to afford it down the road. Before you and your spouse start to look at houses, you need to figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend on housing every single month. Don’t just think about the mortgage. You need to factor in taxes, insurance, utilities and home repairs. You might just find that you can afford a lot less of a mortgage payment than you anticipated. It’s better to stay within your means and don’t let your eyes fool you that you can afford something that’s bigger than your wallet can. This will just cause you and your spouse to struggle financially, and it can put a lot of unneeded stress on your marriage.
Couples don’t always think about what their family will look like down the road. They buy a house based on their current needs and not on what the future might hold. While you can’t always predict how many children you will have and when you will have them, you can still choose a house that will fit a growing family. If you plan on having children soon, then you need to choose a house that can accommodate them. You don’t want to have to move again very quickly just because you chose a house that’s too small. Even if you don’t want to have children, you need to consider whether or not you will need extra space because you plan on having pets or overnight guests. It is often better to have too much space than it is to not have enough of it.
How Much You Have For A Down Payment And Closing Costs
You can’t just buy a house without having to shell out a significant amount of money up-front. The majority of lenders will require that you put at least 20% down on a house. In some instances, you may only need to put down 3.5%. However, this means that you will have to pay for private mortgage insurance, and you will also have a higher mortgage payment. This could cost you hundreds more dollars every month. On top of this amount, you will also need to factor in closing costs. Unfortunately, they can wind up being at least several thousands of dollars if not more. If you spent a lot of your savings on your wedding and honeymoon, this can be a lot of money that you just don’t have. You may need to wait a bit so you can save up for these expenses. If you find that you don’t have enough money for a down payment or closing costs, you can:
-Comb through your budget to find out where you can cut-back on expenses.
-Get a second job to save up some extra money.
-Look into down payment assistance programs.
Whether Or Not You Are Ready To Commit
Just like with marriage, buying a house is a commitment. You shouldn’t commit to buying a house before you are ready. There is nothing wrong with renting for a bit. This will allow you time to save for a down payment and closing costs. You are better off waiting a few years to buy a house and having enough for a down payment as well as some extra money in savings. If you and your spouse have jobs that may require you to relocate in the near future, you might not be ready to commit to buying a house just yet. Don’t assume that you will easily be able to sell it when it comes time to move. You may find yourself stuck with a house and having to pay both the mortgage and the rent on another house. If you just aren’t ready to commit to buying a house yet, don’t feel the pressure to do so. Many newly married couples do put-off homeownership for several years.
There are a lot of new things that you will experience as part of married life. Owning a home is something that many couples look forward to. However, you should never jump into owning a home before you are ready to do so. If you and your spouse are trying to decide whether or not you want to buy a house, you should consider some of the things mentioned above. By doing so, you can determine if this is something that you should do fairly soon or hold off on for a while.
If you are not sure that you are in a position to buy a home, The Kay-Grant Group has put together a comprehensive guide for home buying. While the article is intended for Millenials, anyone can use it as a guide for a first time home purchase.