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  • Paul Lichtenberg

Getting Married & Buying a Home: A Checklist






So, the wedding dress is chosen, reception plans made, and honeymoon destination booked. Check, Check, and Check! But wait….. Where are you going to live once you are wed? Mom and Dad’s basement? Apartment? Rent a home or purchase? As you consider your housing options, you’ll want to review the following together:


Finances - Assess the earning potential of each partner. Where are you today and where are you going? Does either partner have debt? What will be paid off before the wedding? Calculate what you may be able to afford for a payment by the following:


(Monthly Net Income (bring home pay) - Monthly debt payments (cars, credit cards, etc...)) * 35% (housing payment factor used by most banks/landlords) = Monthly Shelter Payment (give or take a little)


Hopefully the discussion about money leads to a convergence of ideas and goals. If not, you may want to postpone a purchase and settle for renting something or living in someone's basement. A home purchase is a major financial decision that can have years of implications. Getting both parties moving in the same direction is key to success!


Family Size Planning - The typical first time home purchase and occupancy is about 5-7 years. In the beginning of forming a new family, family size can change rapidly. From your first pets, to adding children to the mix, each addition will have an impact on your home and how you use it. Fences for pets or kids, play spaces for either, quality of schools, sidewalks in the neighborhood for a family walk, proximity to parks or schools, etc. A little long term planning about your future family will help as you prepare for this investment to serve you and your family without cramping your style.


Location - Where you purchase your home has a big impact on your day to day living. Each community offers amenities and a property tax to support them. Becoming familiar with the benefits and cost of them will be important to your budget.


Also, where is your home relative to where you work and socialize? Will you have a long commute or a short one? The cost of commuting is more than gas in the car, your time is important too. How will you balance the needs of your family, your time, and budget to meet all these demands?


Getting married is a big decision and next to your family size, a decision about your home is significant. Counseling together is highly recommended. When it comes to planning your home, having a conversation with extended family or even a trusted real estate agent can be helpful sorting through the many options. At PNJ Homes, we help you get it right!


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