Getting married and buying a home are both huge milestones. And the idea of doing both at the same time? That can be pretty scary.
For one, buying a house and planning a wedding both require serious time and effort. There are venues and houses to tour, dresses to pick out, negotiations to be made, and a whole slew of other long- and drawn-out processes.
On top of it all, there are also the expenses — the food, the drinks, the venue rental and, of course, your down payment and closing costs. It can be enough to send any bride or groom running for the hills.
Are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of doing both these life-changing (and costly) acts at the same time? Need help making it happen? These tips can help.
Talk money and set a budget.
It’s always awkward talking about money, but if you’re getting married and buying a home together, it’s crucial you and your spouse do it both early and honestly. Use a mortgage calculator to determine what you can afford, and take a look at the savings and resources you each have access to. You should also take into account any assistance you’ll be getting from friends or family.
Once you know this, set individual budgets for the house and the wedding. Make sure you talk about your priorities as a couple — what’s most important in terms of your home, its location, the wedding, and all the finer details. Know what you’re willing to allocate funds toward and which areas you’re OK with cutting back on.
Consider forgoing wedding gifts (and set up a crowdfunding campaign instead).
You can’t make much use of those new dishes or that cute welcome mat if you don’t yet have a home. If you really want to make your home buying dreams a reality, then consider forgoing the traditional wedding registry and setting up a crowdfunding campaign instead. Ask your guests to contribute to your down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses in lieu of gifts, and start to make a dent in that home buying bill. Tools like Feather the Nest and HomeFundIt are all designed with real estate-related crowdfunding in mind, or you can use traditional crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe.
Think about a longer timeline.
You’re trying to make two huge, life-changing events happen, so consider giving yourself a little extra time. Instead of getting married this fall, push it back to spring or even next summer. This will allow you to spread out those wedding tasks, while simultaneously house hunting, moving, and getting settled in your new place. (Plus, who wants to come back from their honeymoon only to move and unpack?)
A longer timeline will also give you more flexibility financially. You can space out your wedding costs, save up for your down payment and closing costs, and make both efforts a little more budget-friendly.
Know how your expenses will impact your mortgage application.
If you’re going to be financing your home purchase, then make sure you’re keeping close tabs on your wedding expenses. Putting big charges on your credit cards, racking up debt, and depleting your savings can all make it harder to get a mortgage when the time comes. If possible, try to cover your wedding expenses with cash. This will keep them from hurting your credit and saddling you with more debt as you become a homeowner.
Ultimately, mortgage lenders will look at your income, credit, debts, assets (savings, 401Ks, etc.) and employment when considering you for a loan. Make sure you’re doing all you can to keep these in check — no matter what wedding expenses you might be dealing with.
Ask for guidance.
There are a lot of ways you can cut costs both in wedding planning and home buying. To start, talk with a loan officer about your mortgage options. There are tons of loan products to choose from, each with their own down payment and insurance requirements. Choosing the right one can help you minimize your expenses and even free up more cash for those wedding costs. You can also look into closing cost and down payment assistance programs in your area, as these can help lower your costs as well.
On the wedding side, consider talking to your venue about their recommended vendors (bakers, florists, DJs, etc.). Many times, these vendors will offer discounted rates in exchange for the venue’s regular business. You might also talk to a wedding planner, as they often have pre-established rates with vendors as well.
You Can Do It
Are you worried about buying a home and planning a wedding at the same time? Don’t be. With a little determination, a solid plan, and the right guidance, both of your dreams are well within reach. Contact Embrace Home Loans today to discuss your goals and options.