For a lot of Americans, even here in the Sacramento area, marriage is one of the biggest personal, emotional, and spiritual commitments we make in our lives. It’s a sign of willingness to commit to a lifelong partnership with one person, but this is also recognized legally, with documentation that even has financial ramifications.
As a result, once you meet “the one” and you’re ready to take the next step, one of the most natural pieces of the puzzle is finding a new home to begin a new life together. Newlyweds looking for their first home is one of those coming-of-age stages in the journey of life that everyone looks forward to. So what should you know about it?
Location Is Everything
While you can’t plan for every contingency in life, picking where you want to live is definitely under your control. Look at your life as a new couple and picture what you want out of a home for that new life. Do you plan not to have kids, and want easy access to downtown and use a lot of public transportation? Do you want something suburban, with extra rooms for children, where you’ll spend the next 10-20 years? Do you want to move out to the country and have that huge rural house you always dreamed of? Where you want to live, and the lifestyle you want to maintain will inform all your future financial decisions.
If you want to be a serious buyer, with a better chance of getting the home you want, pre-qualification can be an important step. This means being proactive about your financial situation, and getting all the documents and evaluation for a mortgage application done in advance of even buying a home.
The biggest advantage of this is you immediately know what your price range is. You can start looking at homes that fall within, or near to, this price range. If you’re interested, the seller already knows that you’ve got “money in hand,” because you’ve pre-qualified. Sadly, it’s not unusual for homebuyers to fall in love with a home, agree to the price, and have the sale all ready to go, only to finally get around to applying for a mortgage and realizing at this late stage they can’t get the amount they need. A pre-qualification means, to a seller, you’re a “safe bet.”
Commit To The Process & Your Marriage
Few newlyweds realize it, but finances can often be one of the biggest strains on a marriage. With something on the scale of buying a home, without proper discussion and preparation, this can be one of the earliest, traumatic disagreements a couple can experience, and sometimes the union doesn’t survive it.
Work together, be open, be flexible, and make sure to discuss everything and reach a consensus on it. In the same way, no one spouse should take total control of child-rearing; the same is true with a decision as big as where you are going to spend the rest of your lives together.
For more help on newlyweds buying their first Sacramento home, Professional Mortgage Associates wants to lend a hand. Just contact us with your questions or your need for mortgage assistance, and we’ll be happy to help.