One of the most magical memories you recall in your lifetime is your wedding proposal. At the moment you say yes, you are filled with excitement and joy at the thought of spending your life together. Then, you begin to dream of your future. You see yourself walking down the aisle, buying a house, and having kids. Suddenly, your happy thoughts turn to sheer terror as you start to panic! Where do I start? Will I have enough time and money? Can I get the location and dress I want? Should we buy our house first? These are all the questions that begin to flood your mind.

 

Don’t worry below will be some things that you should consider in planning the next chapter in your life.

If you decide to get married first you have to plan a wedding. Create a checklist to make sure you have covered everything.

  1. Set a Date!
  2. Pick a Location!
  3. Set a Budget!
  4. Hire an Expert!
  5. Purchase Your Wedding Gown.
  6. Decide the Style and Theme.
  7. Book Your Officiant.
  8. Book Your Vendors.
  9. Select and Order Your Invitations.
  10. Select Your Tuxedos.

 

Now of course in this new millennium, some couples have decided to plan to purchase a home before planning the wedding. We call these type of couples the millennials. Millennials are much more pragmatic. They want to deal with the problems of purchasing a home before the wedding, so in their eyes they are making “smart decisions.”

All lovebirds need a nest, and nowadays you and your significant other don’t need to wait to tie the knot before you purchase a place to live together. About one in every four married couples between the ages of 18 and 34 purchase their first home together before their wedding date. That compares to just 14 percent of married couples ages 45 and older.


Yet, not all couples are suited to joining the pre-wedding, home-purchasing flock. View the tips below to help you and your partner decide whether signing on the dotted line before or after you sign your marriage certificate is in your best interest. Regardless if you decide to purchase a home before the wedding or after, as a couple these tips are definitely something to consider.

 

  1. Consider Credit Scores

If you are committed to purchasing a home with your partner, the decision to do it before or after you are married could hinge on finances. Banks generally view married couples as one unit. Unmarried couples are assessed as individual applicants even if they are applying for a loan together.

 

  1. Add Up Savings

In addition to securing a mortgage, a home purchase will require a down payment and payment of closing costs.  Combining income and savings may help you qualify for a bigger loan and allow you to put down a larger down payment to reduce the amount of your monthly loan payments.

 

  1. Title Matters

Whether you are married when you purchase a home affects how you take title of the property, because it determines legal ownership and how courts will transfer property ownership in the event of death.

 

If you intend to buy a house with your partner before marriage, experts advise that you both sign a legal agreement to avoid altercations down the road. Should any snags occur in your relationship when you are not married, you and your partner do not have the same legal protections as married couples, and breaking up co-ownership of a house can be a messy ordeal. A legal contract between an unmarried couple should fill in the blanks as to who is responsible for expenses, the mortgage, taxes, capital gains, property title and more.

 

  1. Prepare for Commitment

Eighty percent of all married couples who bought a home together said the purchase strengthened their bond more than any other purchase they made. That makes sense, according to Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC lifestyle correspondent, because couples who purchase a home together must be frank about their finances, career aspirations and future family plans as they affect the location, size and price of the home they buy.

 

This article has been updated from an earlier version by Patricia-Anne Tom