Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Andrew Welch
Whether you’re newly engaged or soon-to-be-married, planning your wedding and buying your first home together are two of the biggest milestones you will experience together as a couple. These life events help mould your family unit. You’ll bond over shared experiences as you plan your happy future together.
If you’re buying your first home while also planning your nuptials, you might be wondering how you’ll balance everything. You might wonder how to afford a home downpayment and a moving crew while also paying for your wedding. Perhaps you’ll wonder how you’ll make time for date nights with so much on your plates.
Take a deep breath, give each other a warm hug, and know that it is possible to plan a wedding, purchase a home, and successfully move without losing your sanity. If you’re a soon-to-be-married couple looking to avoid feeling overwhelmed, here’s some advice:
Prioritize your marriage.
Whether this is your first marriage or not, prioritize your marriage above all else. Schedule time alone as a couple each week for a date night or bonding time. Remember, the reason you’re doing all of this is because you love each other and want to build a future together.
Stick to a budget.
Weddings and home buying are both expensive. Once you’re ready to buy a home, it will probably be the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. Meanwhile, the average couple spends nearly $40,000 on their wedding, almost the median household income American families make in an entire year. If elopement isn’t your style, don’t fret; there are still ways you can budget for your home, your move, and your dream wedding.
To keep costs low, create a budgeting spreadsheet and keep track of your monthly income versus expenses. Aim to spend less than 28% of your monthly income on your mortgage, especially since you’re also planning a wedding. Determine a wedding budget that is reasonable for both your salaries, given your other financial commitments and your time frame.
Finding the right location
When it comes to picking the perfect wedding venue or figuring out where you want to live, location is key. Discuss what you both want and try to find something that has qualities from both lists.
To save money, many first time home buyers choose to purchase foreclosed or bank-owned homes. These houses often sell for 15-20% less than other homes, but you’ll want to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal. Is the neighborhood safe? Is there a chance you might lose out to a “cash only” bidder? Is the home in good shape or is it a money pit? These are just a few of the things to consider before purchasing a home.
Financing your dream home
Once you’ve found the perfect place, you’ll need to get financed. Prior to working with lenders, it’s important to know your credit scores. Familiarize yourselves with the interest rates available for certain types of home loans. If you get pre-approved, act fast; pre-approvals expire in a few months.
Furnishing your dream home
Your home is an investment. Purchase home goods to last for years to come, even if they require more money upfront. It’s worth it in the long run.
Strapped for cash? Add home decor items to your wedding registry. Chances are, your friends and family would love to buy you some of these items as wedding gifts or housewarming presents.
DIY some things - but not everything.
Although DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects are an excellent way to save money on wedding decor, home decor, moving day, and home renovations, don’t get carried away. Your time is valuable, especially when you’re planning for both a wedding and the purchase of your first home together as a couple.
With everything on your plate, consider hiring a professional moving crew. If you can’t afford to pay a pro, see if you have experienced friends and family members who might be willing to help.
Planning a wedding, purchasing a home, and moving into your first home together as a couple are exciting times in your life. Above all else, remember that your reason for doing this is because you love each other. Keep your relationship the number one priority and everything else will fall into place.
Written by: Aimee Lyons