Buying a home – before or after marriage?

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 2
Member
285 posts
Helper bee

My boyfriend and I bought a house in September 2012.  We’ve been together for 5 years and I’m sure we’ll get married.  I made sure that the house is in both our names, 50/50 ownership.  It’s working out fine, however, a mortgage is a big financial stress and we’ve made sure we are about 6 months ahead of our repayments so we don’t feel too worried about such a huge debt.

Post # 3
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee

We bought a house 2 years ago and we weren’t even engaged at the time.  It was a very good idea for us because the market in our area has really picked up over the past 2 years.  Had we waited to buy after getting married, we would have had to compromise on price, location, or ammenities, because supply is very low right now.  We actually sat down and discussed whether we wanted to save for a wedding or a down payment.  Our conclusion was that a wedding is one day, but we are going to live in our house for a very long time, and it would be better to invest in a house first while interest rates are low.  We were already living together and were already very open with each other about finances, so we didn’t run into many issues with the finances.  We also did a joint title, which is perfectly fine to do even if you’re not married and doesn’t really add any extra hurdles to the process.

Post # 4
Member
266 posts
Helper bee

I personally wouldn’t buy a house with anyone unless I was married to them first. I know nobody plans on breaking up but you never know and I wouldn’t want to go through a break up and sorting out through something as big as a house and mortgage.  Also I wouldn’t want to undertake something as big as a mortgage with someone I wasn’t married to.

Having said that if you are thinking about purchasing a house with a BF I would make sure that both your names are on it, so that you can always have a claim on the house if things don’t work out.

Post # 5
Member
1400 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My FI and I started house hunting together 7 months into our relationship (I moved in at the 3-month mark, it just felt right), and it took us 10 months and 200 houses to find our house, and I love it so much. But technically, it’s his house. He saved up for the down payment before we met, and because I was in school and then underemployed, he covered all of the rent and mortgage for the first two years we were living together. So I feel this is fair, and anyways, in our state, if we divorced I wouldn’t be screwed.  We plan to move some time in the next 10 years, and that house will be in both our names. I regret nothing 🙂

Post # 6
Member
1721 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

strawberriesandcream:  my FI was originally set on us getting a house before we got married. However once we got engaged and I started looking at costs of the wedding.. we talked and decided we wanted to be able to save and have the wedding we want and not be drowning in stress from paying a mortgage and trying to save for a wedding as well. I wont lie, I was pretty relieved that FI agreed to it. We have been able to enjoy wedding planning and save so the wedding will be completely paid off… And then in a few months we will begin house hunting 🙂

Post # 7
Member
4043 posts
Honey bee

strawberriesandcream: DH and I were together for 10 years before marriage and we are just now buying our first home together (will be married 10 months when we close). 

Even though DH and I were in a committed relationship and knew we were going to get married, we did not want to buy a house together before marriage. It is a very large financial committment and could become a legal nightmare if not married and things didn’t work out. That was just our perspective though. 

Post # 8
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2015

My fiance bought our condo before we were engaged. We were renting together in a city where the rent is quite high and it just made more sense financially to buy a place. He gave me the option to buy it with him or to just help with the monthly payments.  Since we were still just dating and he didn’t need my income to qualify for a loan or any help with the down payment, I decided that it would be best if he bought it on his own. I still think that was a smart decision even though we are now engaged. 

Post # 9
Member
13021 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We bought a house after getting engaged, before getting married.  We had started looking even before we were engaged, but I told him I would not buy with someone unless engaged (since the majority of the 6+ figure down payment was coming from me), and he would not “rent” from me and help pay for “my” house if I bought it myself.  So we waited until we were engaged.  If I were going in 50/50 on the down payment and payments, I would have been ok with buying sooner.

Post # 10
Member
92 posts
Worker bee

strawberriesandcream:  We bought a house a few short weeks before getting engaged. We were renting and it was just way to small for us to be living in. We had talked about getting married and decided if we bought the house, we were going to hold off getting married until we could afford it. Houses in our community are few and in between so when the opportunity came up to buy we took it. He surprised me shortly after moving in. However, the financial commitment of the house does limit our budget elsewhere.

Post # 11
Member
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I told Mr. LK that I would not buy a house with him until we were engaged, date set, and deposits made. He needed to want to make that lifetime commitment to me before I would want to make a 30 year/ $500k financial commitment with him. As it turned out, it took us 18 months to find and close on a house. So even though we started looking with the desire to buy before the wedding, we ended up actually purchasing 8 months after the wedding.

Post # 12
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

My father advised me to live with my husband before marriage. He said that I would never know if he was right for me until I lived with him. Please note that he was not necessarily encouraging me to have sex… I’m sure he wouldn’t have advised me either way on that matter… he was well aware that you can live together without having sex, but would not have criticised me for doing so.

My father’s advice concerned compatibility out of the bedroom, not compatibility inside it.

If you are 100% sure this is the person for you, and you have lived together for some time, I would definitely buy the house before the wedding and get the stress of it out of the way beforehand.

Post # 13
Member
8916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

We bought a house about 3 months before we got engaged.  We’d been together for a loooong time, like 10 years, so we were already committed life partners.  Definitely no question in either of our minds about making that kind of financial committment, although that may sound naive to some.  If you DO have any question, it wouldn’t hurt to wait.

Post # 14
Member
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

my FI was also originally set on us getting a house before we got married. we bought a house 2 years ago and are engaged over a year now. I/we are so glad we did it that way. we just learned a lot about each other and make us better in the end.

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Post # 15
Member
2372 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - B&B

I definitely do not regret buying a house technically before we were married. We were already engaged, however, and only a few months away from our wedding day.

However, we ran into a LOT of speed bumps simply because we weren’t legally married. I don’t know where you are from. We were buying a house in central PA. First, since we weren’t married, they would only take us together if we both met all the criteria individually. These criteria were what you would expect: good credit, enough money for a down payment, and one I didn’t honestly expect: job history.

My now DH had the better credit, but he had graduated in Dec 2012, and then got a job in his field. All the loan company could see, however, was the fact that he went from being in the restaurant business (um, a line cook at a chain restaurant) to the forestry industry. They bumped him from consideration based on that. It didn’t matter that he got a job in his field. So that was one thing. What they needed to see was 6 months of steady employment if not at the same job, in the same field.

With him out, it all fell on me. And because of that, we ran through hoops trying to make sure my credit stayed up, and even though we had a joint account, we had to 1) prove that we were engaged to even 2) have my DH sign a letter of his intent to “gift” me any money in our joint account that came from his bank, which meant that 3) we had to provide all kinds of proof of where HIS money had come from to get into the joint account (mainly the statements that showed him transferring money from his personal account into our joint when we went to purchase the house.) It was quite the process because of us not having that legal marriage license. I don’t know if you have a joint account or two single accounts. But our company required that we be somehow “related” (engagement counted) for him to even be allowed to gift me the money for the down payment.

My recommendation to you is to be veryyy careful about transfering money from account to account, and do NOT just dump a big load of cash into either of your accounts. They want a paper trail, so if for any reason you get help from someone or get a big amount of cash, give it to someone else and have them cut you a check! And then you’ll need proof of where it came from.

Some of this could also be from the fact that we applied for a FHA loan. Not sure if that is the route you were hoping to take.

It was totally worth it though, and we were glad to have gone through all the ups and downs!

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