First Time Home Buyer Considerations as a Couple
So you’re buying your first home as a couple — congratulations! Being a first time home buyer can be a daunting — yet exciting — process. However, before signing on the bottom line, you have several important factors to consider.
So you’re buying your first home as a couple — congratulations! Being a first time home buyer can be a daunting — yet exciting —
process. However, before signing on the bottom line, you have several important factors to discuss, look for, and agree upon.
Yours, Mine, Ours
Of course you’re going to do everything together as you work to buy your first co-owned Fort Worth property. Aren’t you? Maybe, or maybe not.
Long after the excitement of finding the perfect space wears off, you’ll find yourself buried in legal and financial documents. And the way those key considerations are handled may be more practical than romantic.
Perhaps you have great credit and he doesn’t. Or maybe your partner has accumulated a handsome amount of money to use for a down payment, but it’s your salary that will help qualify for the remainder of the purchase price to be mortgaged. Maybe you’re married, or maybe not.
Examine each of those hypothetical situations versus the particulars of your lives and relationship. How you answer will determine which names are on the mortgage as well as legal records concerning the purchased property.
House Rich, House Poor
With the bursting of the housing bubble, gone are the days of qualifying for and perhaps being pushed into a property far outside of the realm of practicality. The home you lock in to as a first time home buyer should not only fill the need you currently have, but also be practical for a significant amount of time in the future.
As a first time home buyer, don’t fall into the trap of buying a home that’s palatial but that will have you living like a pauper, or purchasing a tiny saltbox of a home that works well enough to wedge your belongings into but will have you back on the market for a new home before the ink on your mortgage paperwork even dries.
Within the constraints of your budget, seek out a home that is large enough to add comfort to your lifestyle, but not so large that you can foresee using the space to the max only many years in the future. Most importantly, ensure you’re on the same page as your other half when it comes to determining that perfect house size, and what must-haves that home fulfills.
No Time Like the Present
One last area of note to consider as a first time home buyer is timing. Are you under any constraint to have a home lined up and ready for move in just after the wedding? Do you have individually owned properties that must be sold before purchasing together? Have you considered the timing of ownership; is this purchase meant to be a starter home, or have you planned far enough in advance to want this property to still fit perfectly next year, in five years, or in 10 years?
It can be easy to get sucked into the trap of finding your perceived dream home and rushing through the process of settling on a price and close date. However, ensure that you give yourself adequate time to find the right mortgage broker, the best-fit realtor, and a property that does for you exactly what you need.
Once you’ve determined the ideal pace for your home search, decided upon important legal issues, and have outlined needs for your home that won’t send you to the poor house, you’ll be ready to move forward on this exciting journey of being a first time home buyer of your initial home as a couple.