Are you THAT person? The one with multiple windows on your tablet that feature homes for sale, new design trends and wedding splendor. Don’t fret, we all are.
The question is, if dreams of a new home before or after the aisle, are bouncing around in your pretty head, it’s time for a financial checkup. You and your fiancé may already own a home or two and that can make the new home goal a little more challenging with all the updated lending guidelines. So although it may not be in your immediate future, remember, a dream deferred only means that the journey may be a little longer.
To see both sides of the coin, we talked with a newlywed couple with the same dream as well as one of the best, Southeast Mortgage Vice President, Shaun Graham, who shared a few tips on how they (and you) can buff up financially to prepare for your next move.
Jocelyn & Mike, are a couple of newlyweds who had plans to purchase a home upon getting married. They revised their plans and look forward to heeding Shaun’s advice. Listen in as we see what they've learned in life after the aisle and how holding on to their homes has impacted their future home buying process:
1. How long have you been married?
Since May 25, almost 9 months.
2. What was the best thing about your wedding day?
Everything went smoothly; the reception was the best part. Food and drinks were excellent; everyone had a great time. We enjoyed sharing our day with family and friends.
3. You both owned homes before you got married, what made you purchase when you did?
We both felt like we could obtain more "home" for our money by buying vs. renting. In essence, it was more economical to purchase vs. rent at that time.
4. Did you expect to be a landlord?
Yes, at some point. A wise man once said "never sell your first home."
5. What have you learned as a landlord?
It's important to have a savings account set aside because items that you can "wait on" as a resident, have a higher sense of urgency when it comes to tenants. It's also important to make sure that your rental lease agreement focuses on "needs" vs. "wants." For example, tenants will inform you of every "issue" under the sun, every concern may not be an issue when it comes to the home being habitable.
6. What is your housing goal and timeline?
To obtain housing in an area that has a good school district. Also, it would be advantageous to purchase a home that we can "grow into and build out." For example, finish a basement or upgrade an older home. Our timeline is approximately one year.
7. How did you decide which home to live in?
Location, location, location. Our current home on the north side of town is approximately 9 miles from both of our jobs. Our home on the south side is more family-friendly; however, it would have created a more strenuous commute. Additionally, our home on the north side supports our social life.
8. What advice would you give couples looking to prepare to purchase a home?
Pick a home that you can grow with, however, your first home together doesn't have to be your last home. Try to find a home in an area that had a good balance between social activities and a good school district.
9. What advice would you give newlyweds?
Mind your own business, in other words, don't let others get too involved in your business aka marriage. Continue to "date" your mate. Find out what works for you - financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc. What works/worked for your parents, friends, co-workers may or may not work for you. Find out what your "niche" is as a couple and run with it.
10. What are the biggest lessons you've learned about marriage so far?
Increased communication. There are many additional aspects that come into play as a married couple. For example, we had an incident where both of us paid a bill, subsequently paying the same bill twice. Learning to exercise discernment when it comes to receiving advice from different people.
11. What is on your wish list for the home you buy together?
Basement, swimming pool, in-law suite, gas stove, deck, separate walk-in closets
After 9 months of marriage, these newlyweds seem to have learned valuable lessons on both marriage and goal setting, right? For all couples out there, and to get these wise newlyweds on track for their purchase, our lender Shaun provided this advice:
When preparing to purchase your first home together as a married couple, you should consider the 3 most important aspects lenders look at during the home purchasing process.
1) Credit….You should do your best to make sure all bills are paid on time and credit card balances are kept below 33% of the limit of the card.
2) Work History….you must make sure your work history is stable. You do not have to stay on the same job for 2 years, (unless Self-Employed) however you will need to show that you have 2 years work history preferably in the same industry.
3) Ability to repay…. Your income must be able to support the debt that you currently have and any new debt that you look to incur. These 3 elements are key to ANY mortgage process. As long as you have these 3 items in good standing, your ability to find a mortgage that fits your family’s needs will be highly achievable.
And, there my friends, is the blueprint.
How did you and your mate compromise on décor after the aisle? Share your story at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
Yours in ever-growing love,
"Your Real Estate Maven, Christian"