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Buying a house BEFORE getting married?!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Wow my life is changing!! I've been with my boyfriend for three years and it's pretty much understood we are getting married. He finished university two years ago and after a couple different jobs he has settled into a very good job making decent money and he just got transfered to where I live!!! (instead of being an hour away) He is moving into my apartment with me which is fine because we've lived together before.

I am currently a graduate student and will have to be in this location for ATLEAST 5 years.
We have made a budget based on both our salaries and we have a choice to make. If we stay in the apartment i'm in (520 square foot 1 bedroom $650/mo) we will be able to save for a down payment for a house in 1 year!! Which to me is amazing and so exciting! (both of us are 24 this year). It just to me makes so much more sense to pay money into a mortgage rather then rent.

However this budget that allows this doesn't allow for much other savings for the next couple years. (until we are done first term of our mortgage)

I am in NO RUSH to get married, especially since I wouldn't have time to plan or anything since I'm in school so I think the house is the right choice, instead of having a wedding and setting the saving back a year or two. I'd rather get married when I'm out of school and I have time to enjoy the whole process.

Wow, so I guess that's whats on my mind!!
Any comments?? thoughts??? Does that sounds like a smart decision? Or is it easier to get a mortgage if your marrieD?? I know little about that stuff!!
post #2 of 28
i don't know about buying as a couple w/o being married... but i had no difficulty getting a mortgage as a single person. actually, they wanted to give me more than i was willing to borrow be sure you know exactly how much you'll be able to afford, 'cause i think that's quite typical. i knew my limits, & stayed w/in them.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Doesn't the bank only give you a mortgage based on what you make?? Also we know what our maximum monthly payments would be. Our only thing is we might spend a little more then we should just because we want to be in a really good area, but that will benefit us when it comes to resale.
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmunsie View Post
Doesn't the bank only give you a mortgage based on what you make?? Also we know what our maximum monthly payments would be. Our only thing is we might spend a little more then we should just because we want to be in a really good area, but that will benefit us when it comes to resale.
theorectically, yeah, but what they thought i could pay was a couple hundred more a month than i thought i could pay. my utility bill tripled, as well, so that alone added $100 to my total expenses each month. plus, i had mortgage insurance, too - which i only ended up w/for about a year or so. but still - my rent was about $500 a month, & i ended up paying about $700 for the house, once you factored in everything. had i bought a more expensive place, what they said would be $700 would've been closer to $1000, with utilities, etc. which i would've NEVER been able to afford at the time.
btw - this was in 1999, before the housing/lending crisis. i think the banks were more optimistic then [at least, i hope they've learned!].
post #5 of 28
IMO you should not invest in a house unless you are married. Or you have the money to make the house payment if he leaves. And do NOT max out the house payment. You have to have lead way for unexpected expenses. Get a range of what you qualify for and take something in the middle. They do base it on income, so if he's the only one with a job right now, you'll have to base it on that. Laureen is right - you have to figure on a lot more expenses then just what you pay for rent. You are on your own in a house - no "maintenance" to come and fix things and not pay.

And "some day I'll get married" rarely comes. I'd set a date or year in the future as to when you will marry. You can work on wedding plans till then. But unless its a firm thing, don't do it.

BTW are you and your bf at least engaged with a ring?
post #6 of 28
I would not, unless you are seriously ready to get married and have at least set a date.

If something horrid were to happen the legalities of a house bought by two unmarried people can be very difficult.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
yeah that was my only concern. It would be double income, he just makes more then me because i'm in graduate school, and we would be smart about writing up a legal contract incase anything did happen.

We have also factored insurance, taxes etc. into what we could maximally afford. Also car payments etc since he has to drive to work and his work requires him to have a car.

We aren't engaged no. We could be, I just don't want to be one of those people that has an engagement that goes on forever and ever. If I get engaged I want to have a date, and we could get save all this money and get married instead. Or just have a civil ceremony, but to be honest I want a wedding, but I'd rather have a house to go home to, not a one bedroom apartment. I can honestly say though we have lived together and traveled together (for months) and we have never even had a big fight. We are just really easy going people that get along really well do I DON'T THINK it'll be a problem. But I'm not naive and nor is he, hence why lawyers would be involved.

We are still a year away from buying because we want to put over 10% down if we do, so we still have a year to sort out if this is what we REALLY want.

But the thing is I don't want to get married right now, but I also think that rent is SUCH a waste of money............... Tough choices.
post #8 of 28
If you are not serious about engagement and making a firm commitment, then you are not serious about marriage.

DH and I were engaged for about 18 months before we got married. Of course most of that was cause we were so far apart. But we had a set date of marriage before I moved into his house.
post #9 of 28
I'd go for it myself. If the house is in both your names and heaven forbid, anything happened to your relationship, you can sell the house and you would both be able to get out your equity. The lawyer is a good idea so that if there is any question of who contributes more if that is the case, any proceeds from the sale of the house will be divided appropriately and as you both decide. It is IMO much better than paying rent and no different than if you were married and split up.

My experience (we've bought 4 houses) has been that a reputable bank will more likely err on the side of caution when it comes to what you can afford. Our bank (CIBC) assigned us a personal banker from their staff who looks after our account and any needs we have such as a mortgage or loan, etc.

The real estate agent tried to get us to buy more than we could afford (probably more for the commission) rather than our bank.
post #10 of 28
We will be buying a house before we are getting married. Honestly, which I'm glad with both agree, marriage is just a word. It's socialy constructed and doesn't mean anything. It's the contract that matters and pretty much only when you get a divorce Anyway, marriage isn't what's important to us, it's getting along and being happy (we've been together for a little over 2 years now)

What's the difference between breaking up at this point in your relationship and a divorce? Nothing really.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmunsie View Post
But the thing is I don't want to get married right now, but I also think that rent is SUCH a waste of money............... Tough choices.
Me too. I want a fancy wedding, and a house comes first. What's more important?
post #12 of 28
I bought a house with my SO without being married. No problem at all getting a mortgage (both of us were working) and it worked out well. I agree that renting is a waste and that was one of the main reasons we did it; the other being no more worries about if pets were allowed or not. The relationship didn't work out (we got engaged but I thankfully realized before we married that he was not right for me) and it wasn't that big of a deal to divide the property up, as we did remain on friendly terms.

The only regrets I have is that I spent a lot of time gardening and redecorating that place before I moved out. I loved that house, but it was my choice to leave.
post #13 of 28
I don't think there is anything wrong with buying a house together. It sounds like both of you are financially responsible. My husband and I bought our house before we got married. We had already set the wedding date and almost all the planning was done. We bought the house in spring and got married in the summer. We lived together in my small apartment for 3+ years first. I think if you are already comfortable living together then go for it.
post #14 of 28
i would say go for it as long as the house is in both of your names.

Of course for religious reasons you should not buy a house if you arent engaged

but if you arent religious then i would say go for it, we also want to buy a house asap. But the financial income is a bit hard especially with the move right now.

i would really look into it because of the housing market in America isnt that good at the moment.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
hehe, well not overly religious no. I appreciate both viewpoints. I understand how it can be risky but I've already looked into a co-hab. aggreement which is lawyer terms for buying a house together and NOT being married and it looks good. Covers all the loopholes. And like I said, I have atleast a year while we are saving to make sure it's the right thing, and I'm sure living in a smallish one bedroom for a year will iron out all those kinks! It's an exciting thing to think about though!! hehe.......homeowner!!
post #16 of 28
Get on the property ladder asap married or just living together
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catlover73 View Post
I don't think there is anything wrong with buying a house together. It sounds like both of you are financially responsible. My husband and I bought our house before we got married. We had already set the wedding date and almost all the planning was done. We bought the house in spring and got married in the summer. We lived together in my small apartment for 3+ years first. I think if you are already comfortable living together then go for it.
Buying the house in the spring and married in teh summer would be my ideal situation!! If I wasn't in grad school it would be in the case, however once I'm out of grad school I should have lots of excess income so I think it'll happen!
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
i would say go for it as long as the house is in both of your names.

Of course for religious reasons you should not buy a house if you arent engaged

but if you arent religious then i would say go for it, we also want to buy a house asap. But the financial income is a bit hard especially with the move right now.

i would really look into it because of the housing market in America isnt that good at the moment.

I'm in Canada. Must be a little different becuase the market has been on an unprecedented 13 year upswing
Where I'm looking will never be a bad place to buy.
post #19 of 28
My cousin bought before she tied the knot...they were only 3 mos away from the wedding though. As long as both names are on that deed there shouldn't be too much hassle if things don't work out between you two.

My cousin and her new hubby were only in that house for 2 yrs and they were unhappy with it. Once they were together they realized that could afford nicer and they also realized that what they bought was in no way large enough for a family. So now they are in the process of moving...with a newborn. They got incredibly lucky and managed to make 20K off of their house, but you might want to plan ahead a bit better than they did.

I am anti-renting, so anytime someone has the opportunity to get into a house and making mortgage payments instead of rent I say go for it! If you rent for the next five years you will have nothing to show for it...but make mortgage payments for that same period of time and now you have some equity. Just be careful what kind of loan you get!
Good luck and happy house hunting, if that is what you decide!
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmunsie View Post
I'm in Canada. Must be a little different becuase the market has been on an unprecedented 13 year upswing
Where I'm looking will never be a bad place to buy.
Yes, our Canadian housing market just keeps getting better and is a great investment. We started out with a townhouse and have kept moving up and increasing our equity so that now we are mortgage free because our last move was a downsizing. Real estate is usually a good investment. It certainly beats paying rent to someone else.
post #21 of 28
We bought our house when we were engaged. We actually got married just a week or so after we closed on the house. No problem getting a mortgage, but we did make sure the contract was written with joint survivorship rights (in case one of us died before we got married, the other would inherit the house) and we also made an agreement on what would be done if we didn't get married (since we had been engaged for about two years without setting a date at that point).

I agree, though, that it is a big leap to make if you're unsure about the future of the relationship.
post #22 of 28
One other tip - before you even contact a realtor - go to the bank and PRE-QUALIFY for a loan. They will give you a minimum/maximum price range - that way the realtor can't talk you into something too high or out of the price range.

In fact, when we bought our house, we did the homework - we looked on the net for houses in our price range and stuck to that. Some real estate places will let you look at houses without making a contact first. Saves you time and money as you pick out which you want to see without pressure from an agent. Ran across a few companys that wanted to "contact" you first before letting you look.

And when you are looking on the net at the house, don't bother with houses that don't show you a bunch of inside pictures (only the outside) - there is a big reason why they don't have inside pictures!
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
One other tip - before you even contact a realtor - go to the bank and PRE-QUALIFY for a loan. They will give you a minimum/maximum price range - that way the realtor can't talk you into something too high or out of the price range.
that's what i did, too. that way you don't 'fall in love' with a house out of your price range!
post #24 of 28
my only recommendation is to put 20% down ... that way you have alot of equity already and at least her in the states you have to put on additional insurence if you dont put at least 20% doewn...
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for all the tips everyone!! It's hard to know how it works for your first house but we're doing our best.

Sharky -- I think in Canada its 25% or better to go no insurance

That would be GREAT, and we are crossing our fingers that our parents might loan us enough to make it up to that if we really prove we've saved up for it, that is our goal, but if you put down over 10% it's not too too bad as far as extra costs.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
One other tip - before you even contact a realtor - go to the bank and PRE-QUALIFY for a loan. They will give you a minimum/maximum price range - that way the realtor can't talk you into something too high or out of the price range.
Your personal banker will go through all of that with you and will let you know how much you can be pre-qualified for so that of course is necessary.

You can also do some house-hunting on your own through MLS and then let your real estate person know what houses you are interested in.
post #27 of 28
We didn't have a realtor - we just used the net to find the houses were were interested in - then called the contact person. With the internet now, you can get pretty much all the realtor can get. In fact, its more fun to do it yourself.

We would look in a certain area, call up all the houses with the "requirements" we wanted - like 3 bedroom, minimum amount of square feet, etc. - then make a list of A, B, or C houses. A's were the ones we were most interested in, B's the 2nd most interested, and most times C's were a back up which were eliminated quickly
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
We've been looking on the net and it is A LOT of fun. I am really enjoying it althougH I know it's really silly because we won't be buying for a year it's nice to see whats out there, prices etc. what areas cost what. See what areas are going up in price! That kind of thing. There are a lot of cute houses in the area I live in. And I just want a small houe. Preferably 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom. Less to clean!
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