Post # 1
Just looking for some advice.
My FI and I have been engaged since this past 4th of July, 2014. We set our wedding date for October 10, 2015 with the intention of buying our first home before the wedding date. My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding. We both still live with our parents so that we can save money for the house. My parents have already made deposits and started paying for different things for the wedding.
My FI takes a lot of financial/life advice from his dad. His parentts believe very differently than my parents, so a lot of conflict has arisen lately regarding houses and marriage. My FIs dad thinks we have to have our house at least 6 months before the wedding so that we can have our finances in order and know what monthly costs will be by the time the wedding rolls around. His dad has also made comments that we should find a house that we would want to stay in forever, because chances are we won’t ever move. (We are in our mid 20s). He also believes that buying a house and getting married is too stressful for a couple to do all in one year and that we are really rushing things too quickly.
A problem has arisen this past week because we finally found a house we were interested in, after 3 months of looking, and we couldn’t get the sellers to come down in price at all, so we had to pass on the house. It is now less than a year out from our planned wedding date, and at this point, we realize what we are really wanting in a home is a little above what we can afford right now, so our options are either A) look for a smaller house that we can afford right now and try to move within a couple years and keep our original wedding date or B) put the wedding off 6 months and save for another year so that we can have a bigger downpayment for the house and be more likely to afford the house.
At this point I am trying to get in contact with all the vendors we have booked already to see if they are willing to change dates without a fee. I DO NOT want to waste my parennt’s money. I want to keep our original date. I’m really not a fan of waiting another 18 months to be married. FI wants to push it back and listen to his dad. I come from more of a conservative background that is more of a first comes love, then comes marriage (dont live together before you’re married) and you work toward your goals together. FIs family is advising him that first comes love, then comes house, move in together, get finances and everthing else together, then comes marriage.
FI thinks I am being too pushy now by trying to keep our original date and has told me to back off. So I am.
I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this besides my parents, who have a clear view of what they think and it aligns with what I think. My friends are busy with their own lives. Maybe I am being too stubborn and pushy. Part of me feels like I am acting like a spoiled brat. Feel free to call me out.
Post # 2
HersheysKisses: is there a reason you need to buy a house immediately? If you can’t afford the kind of house you want and are hesitant about buying a “starter” house, why don’t you rent for awhile and continue to save/advance in your careers before buying?
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
Why can’t you guys move in to a temporary situation [renting a house/apartment] until you find something? Why are you the one caving for your FH? With marriage comes compromise.
Post # 4
FI won’t rent a house or go into an apartment or anything like that because he thinks it is a total waste of money. Why pay that much when you could be putting the money toward an actual mortgage payment?
I’m more open minded toward it because I’ve lived in apartments in the past when I was in college.
Post # 5
HersheysKisses: So, just so I am clear…you have only been dating for 4 months? Or did you put the wrong year?
I would say it is completely up to you and your FI. Your parents are paying for the wedding, which is wonderful and thoughtful of them. But, you need to tell your FI that it is you and him now and yalls decisions together are what matter, no one elses. If they threaten to stop paying for the wedding if yall push it or whatever but it’s what yall want to do, then that’s what yall should do. You should never have a wedding yall can’t afford, anyway. (does any of this make sense?)
As for the house, I would say get something smaller. You can ALWAYS move. I just purchased a home with my FI who I have been with for over 4 years. It was our 5 year plan. But..living here we are realizing it may be our 2 or 3 year plan. Regardless of what his dad thinks, he isn’t buying the house. Yall are.
You and your FI need to decide what is more important. Getting married or owning a house. Based on what you’re saying the smartest decision might be to get married in a year and live in an apartment/rent a house. If you have only known eachother for 4 months you should not be buying a house together before you are married.
But, I would never advise marrying someone you have only been dating for 4 months. So…IMHO I would push back the wedding AND rent. Yall are engaged and planning to spend the rest of your lives together. why rush? Who cares what his parents or your parents think? You are going to do it all, but on your own timeline. If it’s a year or a year in a half, you have time.
Tell your FI to start making his own decisions and stop listing to everything his dad says. (from personal experience I can relate.)
Post # 6
HersheysKisses: We are getting married in Feb. We close on our first house in late November/Early Dec (no later than Dec 17th). We bought off the plans at the end of August.
We have had a relatively drama free engagement. No family drama, no wedding drama, no issues like that. We qualified for a mortgage much higher than what we ended up needing, we were able to do quite a few upgrades at the design studio and we’re comfortable knowing we’re able to afford everything we’re doing (though we did have to give up our honeymoon to Fiji when we bought the house. We couldn’t justify it. We’re going to the Carribbean and then Banff instead.) And our house process has gone along without a snag.
All that said, I would not recommend doing both in such a short period of time. Our original plan was to look at houses for next summer. So I’m with your FFIL on this one. It’s a LOT. I have lists of lists (no joke, I seriously have a master list of all my lists. And every night my FI each have a list for the next day – things like ‘fax laywer’s docs, get painter’s quote, update insurance,’ It’s not a lot of super time consuming stuff, its just a lot of little things. And we’re into crunch time with vendors because everyone is trying to avoid dealing with us over the busy Christmas season.
Right now, I can’t wait until March. All of this would be done, we’ll be married, in our own house and back to real life. Even January will be a bit better because all of the house stuff will be nearly done.
As for buying a house as your ‘starter’ home or a ‘forever’ home. That’s all on you. It’s so personal. We are ‘forever’ home people. Both our parents live in the homes they bought after they were married (37 and 48 years each). We never moved as kids. I hate moving. So we knew we wouldn’t be looking to move every 5 years. With that in mind we went with the kind of house we did. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a smaller home to start out and upgrading when you need to.
I wouldn’t put the wedding off, if I were in your shoes. I would likely find a place to rent for a year and use all the rest of the income we take home after the wedding to boost the down payment. Or, buy a smaller house. I can understand not wanting to live with family as newlyweds, though lots of people do it and there’s nothing wrong with it.
Post # 7
HersheysKisses: Sorry if PP came across as harsh, but I can relate to trying to do everything at once. It is hard, I know. And it is compounded by the fact that your parents are pressuring you to do what THEY want you to do.
As for him not wanting to rent, someone VERY financially savy once told me (when I was trying to decide if I wanted to buy/rent with my FI) that sometimes the right decisions don’t always make financial sense. Sometimes you have to do what is right for this stage in your life and your relationship. You may not “make money/put money away” for a year, but it will be healthier in the long run.
Post # 8
Sorry we have been dating for 18 months. We got engaged July 4th this year. My parents aren’t threatening to not pay, they just don’t believe that the house is more important than the marriage and they’re frustrated because they’ve already started paying for things for the wedding. And they’re excited for it. As am I.
Post # 9
HersheysKisses: Oh sorry I missread! My FI and I purchased a house 3 months ago, 4 months before our wedding. Plenty of time to get comfortable our finances. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary, though. It’s not like it would differ after you were married.
But, if it were soley up to me, I would have rented for a year or two. Just because it’s easier.
Post # 10
I bought a house with my fiance before being married, it was the worst decision of my life. We wound up not getting married and it was a hugely expensive and emotional thing to deal with. It took over 4 years to get the entire house thing 100% settled. That being said, I believe your marriage is important, not the wedding per say, but the foundation of your life together. You are young enough where I highly doubt you will stay in your house that long. The average person gets a new mortgage every 7 years via refinancing or moving, so it’s very possible that as you age, change jobs, grow your family, etc. then you will want to move as your needs change. I think it is a good idea to put your money towards a mortgage not rent, but not at the expense of putting your lives on hold.
Post # 11
A roof over his head is never a waste… So, do you and he plan to forever live your lives based off of what his PARENTS think is best for you both. You both are adults, and while his parents are free to give their opinion, you two do not even have to consider it. Are his parents going to reimburse your parents for the lost deposits?! This is ridiculous. You both should do what is best for yourselves. I personally think that getting married supercedes a house. So if you can’t get a house, you never get married? I just don’t get it….
Post # 12
What I’m going to say goes against all conventional wisdom, but here it is. . .
A house really isn’t that great of an investment. Renting isn’t throwing money away. Adults need to pay for shelter whether it’s a mortgage or rent. We all need to live somewhere. I bought my townhouse at what was supposed to be the low point of the real estate market. My fiance bought his house a few years later at the low-low point of the market. Neither home has appreciated in value when we consider what was spent to update/maintain the homes. Selling one of them has not been a picnic. I consider the purchase one of my biggest mistakes considering I’d be free and clear without a housing payment if I had rented vs. paying a mortgage month after month for an empty townhouse.
Do I like the autonomy that owning the house provides? Of course. But it comes at a premium. We’ll need a new roof and new siding in 5-10 years or so. A furnace in 10-15. Did I spend 2 evenings pulling apart my washing machine and fixing it myself so we didn’t have to have a $300 service call? Yup. But I do love having our gorgeous yard and a place that’s ours.
My point is, there are some really great things about homeownership, but the financial holy grail it’s made out to be, it is not. It’s a consumer item. We’ve certainly had to cut our entertainment budget when the house needs something and we’re super stressed about having enough in savings for a major repair.
I wouldn’t move my wedding for a house. I hope that you don’t have to postpone.
Post # 13
For us, we went the route your ILs are suggesting. We skipped the “starter home” and bought our forever house, and I refused to rent also for the same reason. Though DH rented and I lived at home, but he wanted to stop renting too. If we both lived at home, we would not have moved out to rent. We didnt want to get a smaller starter home and then have to deal with selling and buying, along with resetting a 30 yr mortgage and probably having a higher payment. We wanted to lock down a 30 yr mortgage with the rates as good as they were (we got 3.25%, which we really felt could not be beat), and know what we will pay for the next 30 years, not for the next 5-10 years, just to start 30 yrs over again knowing that our income in our current career path wasn’t goign to be making any big jumps. If we couldn’t afford the realistic dream home we wanted, we would have been ok with a smaller home for a forever home. If it were me, with wedding plans in full swing, I woudln’t change anything there, and just figure out how to work the housing situation into it though.
Oh, and doing this at least 6 months before the wdding to get finances and monthly cost figured out is completely unecessary. You really should know all that BEFORE you sign or go house hunting imo, not buy and see what happens so in reality, I think you really have up to the wedding to buy. Maybe I’m not easily stressed, but I dont see what’s so stressful about buying a house. Figure out how much you can afford, find house, make offer, negoatiate/accept or move on and retry. After accpeting, get a crap ton of paperwork and send it in. Let laywers deal with paper work, show up and sign. Done.
Post # 14
I can’t imagine anyone in their mid-20s living their ENTIRE LIVES in one house. I mean, things change! Jobs, kids, divorce – I think his parents are crazy to suggest you postpone the wedding to save for a bigger house.
Then again, I would never, ever, ever buy a house with someone else unless we were married.
Post # 15
oneofthesethings: I understand the not wanting to buy a house with someone unless we were married. That’s kind of how I grew up. My name won’t be on the house until we are married. And financially, the finances for the home are sole based off his income, with mine income being bonus money (which isn’t a whole lot at this point because I have a lot of student debt and a car loan that I am paying off) Also because I may not live with him until we get married. I haven’t decided yet.
But I am just really upset about the whole thing. I was over his house last night listening to his dad tell him all his best advice getting angrier by the minute and just trying not to cry. FI and I attempted to have a conversation about it at lunch today over the phone and it didn’t go so well. I am way more open minded when it comes to finding a place to live, whether its owning a home or paying rent in an apartment or a house. He said what his dad said makes complete sense to him. Like I said in the original post… It all boils down to what is more important. and at this point marriage is more important to me (not that I don’t want a nice home, I’m just willing to go for less) , and a house is more important to FI. Marriage comes after the house.