It's no secret that one of the many dreams of a newly married couple is to buy a house together. In fact, many couples have actually been putting off their wedding day in an effort to save for a down payment on a house.
A house is one of the most expensive purchases you'll ever make, but a wedding isn't cheap either. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is approximately $44,000 with wedding flowers alone costing $1,500.
That being said, it's important to be cautious and to make the right moves when looking to invest in your first home together. Here are a few tips you can use to help you safely navigate the house hunting process as a newly married couple.
To calculate how much house you can afford, you need to consider your joint household income, monthly debts, and the amount of available savings for a down payment. As a rule of thumb, it's recommended to have three months of your housing payments and monthly expenses in reserve as a buffer for covering your mortgage payment in case there's an unexpected event or expense.
You might be tempted to try your hand at a home renovation project, especially if you can't find a home that's in your budget right now. But it's important not to invest in a home with the idea that it just needs a little elbow grease.
Some houses that need a good spit shine can have hidden issues. Keep in mind that the home sellers are trying to get their property off the market. They might not have your best interest in mind.
If you're interested in a house that needs a little fixing up, bring along a professional housing inspector and an architectural engineer to take a look at the property. Rooms that have been recently painted with 2019 color trends like sun-washed oranges and jewel tones could potentially be hiding aesthetic issues or even mildew.
If you find a home in good condition that needs some love, keep in mind that some home projects are more expensive than others. A house that needs a new bathroom could potentially send you over your budget even with a good mortgage rate.
Take note of the projects the house would need and calculate those costs alongside the overall price of the home. For instance, a new and efficient HVAC system might be expensive upfront, but it'll only need an inspection twice a year. A bathroom remodel, on the other hand, could cost up to $11,000.
It's crucial to be smart and cautious when you're looking to buy a home as a newly married couple. By following the tips above, you can reduce your risk of investing in a home you'll regret.