When headlines address the home buying market, it’s typically done from a dollars-and-cents perspective. But, buying a home is so much more than a business transaction as we are seeing a shift in the American culture that is being led by millennial couples who are purchasing a home before marriage. Buying a home is one of the most emotionally impactful experiences a person can have, especially if it’s a mutual experience shared with one’s husband or wife.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate and I partnered with market research firm Harris Interactive to better learn more about the emotions married adult Americans exhibit during the home buying process. As it turns out, the survey findings revealed that 1 in 4 young couples are buying a home together before tying the knot. The results also discovered that nearly all (92 percent) of married individuals who purchased their first home with their current spouse after being married view it as a positive milestone in their relationship and life together. From a psychological vantage point, these statistics make complete sense.

Purchasing a home is a very exciting and special time in a couple’s life As I mentioned to Time.com and USA Today, buying a home together has become “the new engagement ring” for some young couples. The homebuying process forces couples to deal with their competing feelings of money and how to spend it, and that is why successfully purchasing a home with someone else is deemed a significant accomplishment in any relationship. It means the couple has been able to overcome their differences in an effort to create a better future together.

According to environmental psychologist Susan Clayton, many people regard their home as part of a personal self-definition. A home not only serves as an extension of who we are, but also where we are in life. The survey found that 93 percent of married Americans who purchased their first home with their current spouse after being married always planned on owning a home after marrying.  When a couple purchases a home together, they are successfully moving in the direction of realizing a long-held dream and goal. Doing this with one’s significant other creates a meaningful and powerful bond that adds to each individual’s sense of being. This could explain why the survey also found that 88 percent of married adults who purchased their first home with their spouse after being married recognized that it had a positive impact on their perception of being a couple and a family. Couples who help each other reach their dreams and share a special and/or unique experience together proves to increase a feeling of intimacy in their relationship.

Even after couples unite, they are still two separate people with two separate ideas and agendas. As united as they may feel at times, they still have to face their differences about each other, and searching for a home can bring up a couple’s different priorities and ideas about life. This experience forces a couple to identify not only their similarities, but also the ways in which they are different.

A home is one of the largest purchases a person will ever make. This milestone is better visualized by taking a look at the Coldwell Banker infographic to see how you stack up against the rest of couples who take plunge. When couples engage in this joint venture, they are acting on a positive feeling of hopefulness about their future. They are also operating on an optimistic feeling and belief system that the home will make their life experience more rewarding and fulfilling. We have a basic human need for shelter and a home environment that provides us with pleasant feelings—one that can help us to further advance in life.

Buying a home, not only affords us our most basic need for shelter, but it also provides many other emotional needs, including increased self-esteem, confidence and an elevated sense of achievement. In fact, 80 percent of married Americans who purchased their first home with their spouse after they were married found the experience did more to strengthen their relationship as a couple and family than any other purchase they had ever made together.

In order to reach their dream of homeownership, couples have to be introspective and communicate effectively with each other, as well as be able to get in touch with each other’s respective needs and wants. This can be understandably challenging at times when you have two different people and personalities who are moving into a home, especially with each person having their own value systems, interests, likes, dislikes, comfort levels and blind spots. Supporting each other and recognizing your differences is very important for couples to discuss, especially during the homebuying process.

As you may have seen in the AOL video, purchasing a home in place of an engagement ring is becoming the new trend. Although buying a home with someone else requires effort, it’s also a very exciting and positive time for couples as our research indicated. It’s a statement to the world about who you are and how you want to be seen.

In closing, buying a home helps enhance your self-esteem and solidifies one of the most important, memorable milestone achievements two people will ever accomplish together, making it not only a significant financial investment, but perhaps an even greater psychological investment into the next chapter in a relationship.

For more information on the Coldwell Banker Real Estate marriage and home buying survey, click here to view the full survey results outlining some other interesting trends that are unfolding among married homeowners throughout the U.S. and check out the infographic below.

(click infographic to enlarge)

engaged home buyers infographic The Emotional Impact of Buying A Home with Your Spouse