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To the Newlyweds

Congratulations!

Getting married is an incredible time that 

is full of excitement and big decisions. While I can’t pick out wedding colors, hopefully this information will help with the “should we buy a house” question! Even if you don’t want to buy a house for a few years, it pays to plan ahead.

 

Here are a few big picture items to think through:  How long do we want to live in our first home? What’s important to us about buying a house? Is there an area that we need to live in? What are our long term plans? Then moving on to details; How much cash do we have to put towards a down payment/closing costs? Do we have an emergency fund in place? Do we have other big purchases coming up? Is the deferment period on our student loans expiring? How many bedrooms will we need? Can we afford to maintain a home if the cost is around 1% of the home’s value per year?

 

Most of the time, you’ll also be comparing renting with buying. Here is a great website to use when thinking about renting vs buying: NY Times Rent vs Buy Calculator. This calculator takes into consideration the cost to sell a home (plug in about 8%), appreciation, maintenance costs, etc. While I LOVE homeownership, if your life situation contains a lot of uncertainty then it could be a good idea to rent for a little while until you have a more concrete plan. This is especially true for newlyweds. Real Estate investor and financial guru Dave Ramsey actually says Spend the first year of marriage getting to know each other, piling up cash, and getting out of debt. Then you can focus on buying a house.”

 

It’s critical for you to answer all of these questions for yourselves. The best option for you might be different than your friend, cousin in another state, or your parents when they were younger. A real estate agent and loan officer will be able to talk through the whole process and tailor advice to your specific scenario.

 

Now, what if you decide that you’re ready to start the process of buying a house?

  • Contact your real estate agent. Here at the Spica Real Estate Team we have a great Initial Consultation. It’s like a Homebuying 101 class where we go into detail about each step of the journey to make sure you’re prepared.
  • Get pre-approved. A loan officer will collect your information (tax returns, pay stubs, credit score, etc.) and issue a pre-approval letter stating the terms of the mortgage that you’ll be applying for once you find the house.
  • Start looking at houses! This is the fun part. Your real estate agent can keep an eye out for properties that might be a good fit and schedule private tours, or “showings”.


If you ever have questions about how to get started, we’d love to chat. We have a lot of connections in West Michigan and can direct you no matter what your needs are!