Post # 1
Hello everyone. I’m looking for some advice about wedding planning and buying a house. Currently, my SO and I live in an apartment in Boston. We’ve had a hard time saving money, because a lot of it goes to rent and then another huge portion goes to student loans. I’m a teacher and my SO is in engineering; we make around $110,00 together. It’s not a huge amount, especially for this area, so it’s hard to save. Our rent is actually very cheap for the area and we’ve even looked into find a cheaper place but it seems that there isn’t really anything else that’s less expensive than what we already pay- including outside of the city. Unfortuntely, we don’t have any family in the area so we can’t live with them for a while to save.
Anyway, currently we have about $15,000 saved. I know about $3,000 of that is going toward my ring so that leaves us with $12,000. If we continue to save, around this time next year, we will have about $25,000 which is enough for a downpayment+ closing costs, etc. I just don’t know what to do. Buy a house next year and have a wedding the following year? Or, have a wedding next year and buy a house the following year? I don’t plan on having a huge expensive wedding. In fact, I’d like to avoid that and keep the costs to $10,000 and under. However, I know that we will be covering the costs of most of our wedding so that will be coming directly from our savings. We’re both in our late 20’s and would like to start a family soon as well so that’s definitely a factor. I’d like to be married before having kids. I just don’t know what to do.
Any advice/ comments are appreciated!
Post # 2
Honestly, I would prioritize the wedding over a house. You can always have a small child in an apartment because they don’t need a ton of room and won’t be going outside to play or anything.
ETA: We bought our house before getting married and I regret it somewhat because now we have a rental home in a state we don’t live in and have to worry about fixing it up one day to be able to sell it. If you aren’t sure if you will stay in the area for a while, do not buy!
Post # 3
citysparkle: I’d house then wedding in your situation, depending on the housing market.
In SF, we are never getting a house (1.2M for a 2bd/1ba) so we are just wedding. Houses go up each year here too. I suspect Boston might be similar.
Post # 4
If you are happy in your apartment, then go for the wedding. Since your fiance is in engineering is there any possiblity that he could look for a new job? I thought that that field had a ton of job opportunity (just wondering because my fiance is a mechanical engineer and had multiple job offers – but maybe it’s the area).
Post # 5
I wouldn’t buy a house together unless I was married, so I would say wedding first… Maybe you’ll get gifts that can be used toward the house!
It will also keep the budget in check, if you know you still have to buy that house.
Post # 6
I would never buy a house with someone I was not married to. There is no legal protection if one of you decided the relationship was over pre marriage. One of you would be stuck with a mortgage you may not be able to pay, or could cause long term financial havoc for the other person when they want to qualify for other lending by letting the house go into foreclosure, making late payments, or just by having a large outstanding debt in your name that you technically aren’t paying for, but will always show up on your credit report.
If you can afford to buy the house under one of your names and not the other, I would get the house first. IF you can’t do that, get married first so you have that legal protection.
Post # 7
I’d honestly go for the house first.
We bought out house before we were even engaged, and it was a really good decision for us. We took advantage of what the housing market was at that time and benefitted greatly from that down the road.
There was a little more paperwork afterwards, with me changing my name on the mortgage and whatnot, but it was really easy and not much of a pain.
I was much more relaxed about wedding planning because I didn’t have to constantly worry that I was spending too much on it, and how it may effect future home buying plans.
Good luck either way!
Post # 8
- Wedding: Davis Island Garden Club
I think it depends on your personal priorities. I would prioritize a house before a wedding – what you spend on a down payment for a house is an investment for a lifetime, what you spend on a wedding is a lot of money for one day – but I am probably in the minority with that decision.
We were in a similar situation so we are trying to do both. My parents gifted us with $30,000 for the wedding. If I had it my way I would elope and use all that money towards a house, but no wedding means no money. Our compromise was to use $20,000 for the wedding and hold $10,000 for our downpayment and supplement the rest of the downpayment with our savingings and wedding gifts.
I will tell you that having a wedding for $20,000 has been difficult. We are planning for 150 guests in Tampa, FL. My DJ was discounted, my print materials are free, my hotel was free, and my dress/accessories were gifted to me and I am still struggling to stay within my budget. $10,000 for a wedding in Boston may be difficult.
Post # 9
citysparkle: I agree with misswhowedding. There’s a degree of safety buying a house with someone you’re married to.
I bought my house a month after I met my FI. I knew I loved him, but I still wanted to follow through on my plans to get my house, with some uncertainty of our future. He has owned his home for 14 years.
However, because the interest rate is so low right now for mortgages, if you trust your SO, and know you’ll be married, I say start looking now. Just make sure that when you buy the house that BOTH of your names are on the deed, not just one person.
Part of my motivation to buy my house even though I’d essentially moved in with my then boyfriend was the fact that I got a 3.26% interest rate, which is very nice for the housing market. It’s a buyers market right now. Just do what feels right to you.
Post # 10
citysparkle: depends on the housing market.
If I were in your situation in my current city (Toronto), I would definitely buy a house if I had an adequate downpayment. Prices increase year on year so much that you run the risk of being priced out of a particular neighbourhood if you don’t buy when you can.
Post # 11
Commenting to follow as this seems like a dilema we will be dealing with. Best of luck OP with whatever you decide.
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
We bought a house before getting married. I loved that we had a home of our own to come back to after the wedding. You don’t have to put ALL $25k of savings towards closing and down payment, especially if you decided to get an FHA loan. I think you can have the best of both worlds – buy a house then spend 6 months to a year planning and saving for the wedding.
Post # 13
Either way you decide, make sure you have at least like 5-10K min in savings after all is said and done. Emergencies come up and you don’t want to be taking out more loans because you spent it all on a house or money. I would have a really cheap wedding and continue saving for a house for another year or two.
Post # 14
Hi! I live in the Boston area and my DH is a engineer too! We lived in the North End for 2 years and loved it! But anwyays, are you sure 25k will be enough for a down payment and closing cost? I imagine that’d be barely 10% just about anywhere in the state and result in fairly hefty mortgage. If a house was important, I’d save up more for the house and do a VERY small wedding, especially if you wanted kids soon.
Post # 15
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
Sort of in a similar situation. I know our engagement is coming soon (probably this summer) and while we’ve been casually looking at houses but – I refuse to sign papers together without a ring. We don’t live together… and both live with our parents so we’ve been saving money (or at least I have since I have a much higher paying job than he does.) <br /><br />I’m trying to decide…. if we do get engaged this summer. Do we go for a 2015 summer wedding? While buying a house soon after engagement / as soon as we find the right one (fall 2014?)?<br />Or do we just schedule the wedding for spring/summer 2016 and just focus on buying the house now (plus have tons of time for wedding DIY planning pricing)? <br /><br />In the end I think it’s going to depend on what kind of help we’ll get with paying for the wedding…. and what my parent’s reaction will be to us living together pre-marriage even if we’re engaged. My dad has always been pretty strict but I’ll be 28 in October and at some point I think he’s just going to have to give up on that. (we already go on vacation alone together!)