New marriages are an exciting time. And as first-time newlyweds’ homebuyers, you are likely eager to start sharing your life by buying that first home together. As this process could be a new experience for the both of you, there are some things you can do to help make this experience positive.
Sharing goals and expectations with each other, undertaking research, and getting professional financial advice can help make house hunting and purchasing a new home a rewarding experience. Here are a tips for newlyweds homebuyers to help mitigate the potential stress of undertaking this new and exciting journey.
Determine your Shared Priorities
The first step to take as newlyweds homebuyers when shopping for your home is to determine your shared priorities. Typically, the type of neighbourhood and location of your new home is a main priority. You may wish to live in a neighbourhood that provides short commutes to your jobs or appealing schools. Or you may prioritize areas with low property taxes, diverse cultures, or that offer large outdoor spaces for recreation.
Equally important could be the size and design of the home. If you’re planning a large family, you’ll want to search for homes with multi-bedrooms and bathrooms, while couples planning fewer or no kids may want a smaller home.
Seek Financial Advice
Once you’ve determined your shared priorities and have a wish-list for your new home’s location and size, it’s time to find out what you can afford to buy. If you need a mortgage or other loan to finance your home’s purchase, seeking professional financial advice can provide a clearer sense of what an attainable goal looks like for you. You may even wish to apply for a pre-approved mortgage in case you need to move quickly to secure your dream home.
Improve Your Shared Credit History
To finance the purchase of a home — including your down payment — most newlyweds will need to apply for a mortgage. Traditionally, lenders like banks want a down payment equal to 20% of the home’s cost, although buyers with good credit can pay a lot less in some cases. Credit scores also impact the interest rates banks will offer for a mortgage or any other loans.
Some key steps you can take to ensure your shared credit score is optimal include:
- Pay off outstanding debt.
- Ensure timely payments for all bills.
- Verify outstanding Issues by ordering a credit report.
- Keep credit card balances low.
The longer your positive credit history is maintained, the greater the positive influence on your score.
Conduct In-Depth Research
Now that you have a better idea of what real estate markets to look in, it’s time to research the price points and neighbourhoods available to you. Many online real estate listing sites provide information and photos of available properties for you to view. These sites usually also include internal floor plans with measurements, information about any outdoor spaces, and the asking price of the home.
Hire a Great Real Estate Agent
Reach out to local real estate agents familiar with your areas of interest and price-ranges. The agents are best suited to provide even more in-depth and expertly researched information. They will have access to numerous potential listings that could interest you both. As well as details about the neighbourhoods, available schools, crime rates, and appealing features in the area.
It’s understandable that as newlyweds, you may be eager to sign on the dotted line. But the above steps, as well as a few after you’ve found your dream home. Like a walk-through or a home inspection. As these are crucial to help ensure you’ll be happy with your new home purchase for years to come.