Home Buying Tips for those Getting Hitched

This article originally appeared on the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation’s website as Home Buying Tips for those Getting Hitched

You’re getting married—congratulations!  Like many couples, you may be thinking about starting your life together in a home of your own.  In fact, according to a study conducted by Coldwell Banker, 35% of Americans purchased their first home together within two years of getting married.

Buying a home is a complicated process, but these tips compiled by GoBankingRates.com and realtor.com can help put you and your soon-to-be spouse on the right track.

1. Know your credit score and overall financial situation.

Have an honest conversation about your income, savings, and credit to help you determine if you’re ready to buy a home. We also recommend taking a home buyer education course to help you better understand both your financial situation and the entire home buying process.  Click here to find one in your area.

2. Consider your other financial goals.

There are a number of benefits to building your own home, from designing your perfect floor plan to saving time and trouble with Colonial’s Single Close Construction loan.Do you want to have kids, save for retirement, or go back to school?  Make sure you discuss your long-term plans together and how they will affect your finances.

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

A pre-approval will demonstrate to a real estate agent that you are serious about buying a home and will let you know how much financing you’ll qualify for.

4. Create a new home wish list.

Work together to come up with a list of must-have features for your home. You should also determine if you’d prefer a fixer-upper or a home that is move-in ready, because that can affect the size of the home and neighborhood you can afford.

5. Find a real estate agent.

In addition to helping you find your dream home, your real estate agent can help you understand all of the paperwork and help you negotiate the home price.

6. Shop around for a mortgage.

Research conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that almost half of borrowers don’t contact multiple lenders even though comparing rates can save them thousands of dollars. You should know what your mortgage options are and contact at least three lenders before making your decision.

7. Save for your down payment.

While many loan options no longer require 20 percent down, putting down more than the minimum will decrease your monthly payment and help you reduce the costs of mortgage insurance. You should also explore down payment assistance programs, like TSAHC’s, that can provide you with a grant to put toward your down payment.Need extra help with your down payment? Some couples are forgoing traditional registries and opting for registries that allow wedding guests to contribute to their down payment. Click here to learn more about these non-traditional registries and how they can help you achieve your down payment goals sooner.

8. Don’t forget about closing costs and ongoing expenses.

Closing costs are separate from the down payment and can increase the amount of cash that home buyers need to close on their home.  Ongoing costs, such as taxes, insurance and maintenance, can also add to the expense of owning a home. Make sure you fully understand and budget for these costs before you sign on the dotted line.

Looking for more content by the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation? Be sure to check out their blog.


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