(Closed) What's the bigger commitment? House or marriage?

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
154 posts
Blushing bee

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mrspuppylove :  while I understand why people would want to buy a place together only if at least engaged, we decided to buy together while dating as I didn’t want to continue wasting money renting and paying someone else’s mortgage. We both wanted a piece of mind ‘in case things didn’t work out’ and before even starting to look had a declaration of trust drafted by a lawyer outlining explicitly how things will work out in case we break up (which was finalised and was legally binding once we completed on the purchase). We could also afford different proportions to pay as down payment and morgage (rather than 50/50) so had the purchase done as ‘tenants in common’ and could specify in our wills how it would work out if something happens to one of us. 

Post # 17
5870 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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luckybum :  I’m just saying it’s what I recomend when people ask (I often see this question on message boards).  Certainly people are free to do what they want, but people DO ask.  But fair enough, it was an asside from the point of this post.

That said, my point wasn’t really that they should pay 50/50 as I do believe in splitting joint costs proportional to income, but instead that if you own a house and you have an SO live with you, they should pay you rent based on some sort of fair estimate of what they’d be paying if the two of you were renting a place together.  Of course not everyone has to do this, but if you are keeping your finances seperate this is a logical way of going about things.  

Post # 18
2686 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: County courthouse

I wouldn’t have bought or built a house if my husband and I were not married. Just a personal preference.

Post # 19
2043 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

We bought when we were engaged. I’d been renting an apartment really cheaply. For DH it felt like it wasn’t really his home. We could have rented somewhere else together for double what I was paying but we knew where we would headed and wanted to buy.

My friend bought a house with her then husband, he cheated on her and while the divorce was easy to obtain she had a hell of a time getting him out the house and selling it. Therefore I don’t really agree that marriage is a bigger commitment.

Post # 20
8989 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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cbgg :  yea I never bought the equity argument. If you’re renting you’re building your landlord’s equity so why is it all of a sudden  bad if you happen to be sleeping with that landlord? That said for us DH wasn’t able to afford half the mortgage and I could and wanted to buy so it seemed fair for him to continue paying the rent amount he had been paying at the apartment he wanted us to stay in for another year. And once we were married all our finances were combined and we paid all the bills out of the same account – so technically he started paying more of my mortgage and I started paying for his car and student loans so it was all a wash. 

Post # 21
25 posts

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mrs2014 :  Actually, I don’t agree that kids are the biggest commitment. Well, it’s a definitely a commitment between parent and child, but so many people experience accidental pregnancies, even while on BC. So how can we call that a commitment when two parties went into it without expecting/agreeing on having children. Also, where does that leave women who have fallen pregnant from rape? Have they entered into the biggest commitment with a rapist without any say at all? Obviously, if a child is the end goal one could say it is the biggest commitment but too many pregnancies are unintentional to generalise it as the biggest commitment.

OP, as others have stated it is not a matter of what commitment is more important. People advise marriage before purchasing a home in order for the couple to be on the same page and to avoid awkward legal issues regarding mortgage payments and selling the house in case of a break up. Obviously, not all marriages last (unfortunately or fortunately in some cases) but at least with marriage you can choose to sign a prenuptial agreement so these issues (among others) are discussed and agreed upon.

Post # 22
1252 posts
Bumble bee

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mrspuppylove :  

It’s not that a house is a bigger commitment, it’s just a lot shitter situation to deal with.

For example (personal experiences here) I have a girl I know who has been dating her boyfriend probably 5 years now. They decided at her request to buy a house together, perfect they did. Now, she complains that ring she oh so wanted is so far far away. Some (and I say some) men become comfortable with the fact of living together and that ring becomes that much harder to get. Then you end up with a purchased home between two people, when one person (sometimes the woman) starts resenting the other for not popping the question.

Then you have my situation, got engaged and then moved in together (rental) that first year took all I near darn had to not throw my to be husbands crap out the window. Your having to adjust to living with someone who has completely different living styles as you. But that made it easier was I knew I was engaged and that I was planning a wedding, also the house wasn’t mine so if shit went left I could just leave without having the headache of lawyers, and signing and splitting the house value, or someone buying the other person out.

It’s not that a house is bigger, it’s just a lot shitter situation to deal with if stuff goes south.

Post # 23
1898 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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mrspuppylove :  My Fiance and I had been talking for a while about buying a house (this was when we were still dating) and I told him that I didnt want to buy a house until we were engaged, it made it easier for financing logistics, etc. Plus I wanted to have that commitment before we were buying a house together. I do like that we have the house before our wedding, buying it afterward would have been a lot of extra stress I think. The way we did it there was no rush.

Post # 24
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

For DH and I, it’s not that buying a home together was a ‘bigger’ commitment per se, it was more just we didn’t want to buy a home together until we were married for practical reasons. We began dating when I was 22 and he was 25. We got married when we were 27 and 29. It didn’t make sense to buy a home when we were younger as we were still sorting our lives out and trying to decide what ‘type’ of life we wanted.

Post # 25
1335 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Painswick Church and the Falcon Hotel

House in my opinion

Post # 26
3005 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

I agree with a lot of the other PP. If you haven’t made the biggest commitment yet (marriage in this case, but children are the biggest imo), why make smaller commitments that could make a huge mess down the road if you break up? I have always kind of had a rule for myself that I wouldn’t move in with someone until I was engaged or married. I know a ton of couples who lived together and then got engaged or married, which obviously worked for them, but I am nervous when it comes to guy’s intentions. As some pp said, if you are truly committed to someone, the order of each step won’t matter and it’s totally doable.

I am moving from the Midwest to Southern California in January and I wouldn’t dream of moving across the country unless we were engaged. We got engaged a few months ago and are planning to get married next winter. You can easily break off an engagement or move back home after moving across the country, but you can’t move across the country and force a man to propose or want to marry you.

Post # 27
3327 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I actually do think buying a house is a bigger commitment. Not a more important one by any means, but definitely bigger.

You can live together without buying a home. You can be married or unmarried and rent, separately or together. But buying a home is putting thousands (usually hundreds of thousands) of dollars towards something for the both of you. Weddings are expensive, but usually a house is the most expensive item that someone buys – and you’re buying it together!

That said, living together with my Boyfriend or Best Friend was important before getting engaged or getting married. We both had enough saved up and it worked out amazingly well that we bought our first house together before getting engaged. Actually almost all the couples we are friends with bought their house first and are getting married/having kids second lol.

Post # 28
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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mrspuppylove :  I advise couples not to buy a house together until they are married.  It isn’t about the commitment, it’s about the legal practicalities.  I work in mortgages.  I have see all sorts of relationships screw the other person over and send them into foreclosure because they own half a house they can’t afford on their own.  Sisters, brothers, parents, children, best friends, and couples.  One half walks away and ruins both Parties credit.  One person tries to walk away and buy anew home, but the other person won’t refinance or sell, and we have to turn them down because they are still legally obligated on the other property.  One person ends with half their money trapped in a house the other person won’t sell, or is going into foreclosure.   It is never pretty.

The only legal protections for joint property holders that I have seen in my career lie in divorce protections.

I did buy a house in just my name before we got married.  Even if we bought together, DH’s student loan debt would have stopped us from buying a house together.  

Post # 29
1974 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

We bought a house before getting engaged. However, we worked through all “what ifs” we track how much is paid into the house from each person. We know that if the event of a break up, he would buy me out of the house, allowing me to have money to move on and not worry about the house. 

Many do not think like this. But many don’t think about marriage the way they should. 

Post # 30
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Umm…marriage. lol. Marriage is supposed to be for life and houses come and go. Plus, the person you’re spending your life with is a living, breathing, possibly sometimes annoying person. So marriage is definitely, by far and away, an infinitely larger commitment.  🙂

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