For many newlyweds, buying a home might be a first-time experience for both of them. A house may also be one of the most expensive purchases they’ll make as a married couple.
When you’re buying a home with your spouse, it’s essential to make the right choices when preparing for, looking for, and buying a home. Here are steps you can follow to move toward purchasing a home thoughtfully and safely:
Figure out your priorities
Unlike a new car or appliance, buying a wrong home or purchasing at the wrong time will affect your family for years. Before you shop for a home, determine what your priorities are. If you’re planning to have one or two kids, a small house is best for you. If you’re anticipating in-laws or relatives staying with you, choose a large, multi-family home.
Another essential factor is the neighborhood of your future home. Your priority might be the property’s proximity to your workplace or your future child’s school. Alternatively, you might be looking for areas with low crime rates. Make a list of what is important to you and narrow your search.
Research on your options
Knowing your priorities makes it easier to do thorough research on homes that match your requirements. You’ll find a variety of real estate listing sites that display photos and information on homes on sale.
Once you’ve filtered potential homes, visit the area to see the property for yourself. It also helps you identify concerns, like areas for repair and renovation. Speak to the neighbors to learn more about the area.
Figure out how to finance your home
You can choose to buy the home outright or apply for a mortgage loan.
If you decide to apply for a loan, check your and your spouse’s credit scores. When a married couple applies together, the lender will consider only the lowest credit score between you and your spouse. If you or your spouse have a less-than-ideal credit score, it might be more reasonable to have the one with the highest score apply for the loan on their own.
No matter which lender you choose, most of them will ask you to pay a down payment. Depending on their requirements, the down payment amount ranges from 3% to 20% of the home’s value. You might also consider state-funded lending programs that have less stringent requirements.
Find a trustworthy real estate agent
Getting the help of a real estate agent will ease the search and home buying process. They’ll get comprehensive information about properties that fit your requirements and steer you toward the right home.
A real estate agent also has access to information that you usually don’t. They’re updated with market conditions, allowing them to negotiate a price that’s less than the listing price. Real estate agents also help with tax issues and other areas of concern that could complicate your home buying.
When searching for a real estate agent, look around for recommendations from friends and family. It’s best if the agent comes from a reputable company.
Buying a home with your new spouse can be an exciting moment in your marriage. It can also be an emotional rollercoaster, and making informed, confident choices go a long way into buying a home you both like without compromising your relationship.