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First comes Love…then comes a HOME…then comes Marriage

Tuesday, October 13, 2015   /   by Marion Franke

First comes Love…then comes a HOME…then comes Marriage

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, an increasing number of couples are choosing to purchase a home before they get married.  When they asked more than 2,100 of U.S. adults over the age of 18, they found that many things have changed in the home-buying habits since the economic downturn.

Homeownership High Priority

Today’s young people tend to focus more on their career and are willing to wait for marriage and children.  However, they still place a high value on home-ownership and will purchase a home together before they tie the knot. 

It’s not surprising because the survey indicates that 80% of homeowners thought that buying a home was a source of strengthening the relationship…more than any other purchase.  Even with those who waited until they were married, 93% of those who purchased their first home had plans to buy a home after they married.

Early Start on American Dream

Of those who own a home, 93% believed that home ownership was still the American Dream.  In fact, an overwhelming majority of parents felt that their children should own a home.  Of the married homeowners questioned, 35% wish they would have purchased sooner.

Dr. Robi Ludwig is a psychotherapist who has studied these trends points out that buying a home causes the couple to deal with many of the issues important to cover before becoming married.  The couple must be transparent on many levels such as earnings, debt, money management style and credit ratings.  When you are in love, it may not be easy to talk about these highly personal facts.  Getting a mortgage forces them to take a look.

In addition, the couple learns about their future partner’s preferences.  From discovering the community choice to decorating style, the act of purchasing a home reveals a lot about how they may share their life together.  The search for a home will inevitably bring up the subject of kids too.

Millennials Choose Less Debt

Pew research recently released a study that shows adults under the age of 35 are reducing their debt faster than older adults did in the past.  In the years between 2007 and 2010, this age group took overall debt levels from $21,912 to $15,473 – a hefty reduction of 29%.  Older adults only cut their debt by 8% - from $32,543 to $30,070.  This low percentage of reduction in the older group is lower than in any other year since the feds began collecting the data in 1983.

A survey conducted by Pulte Homes indicates that 65% of adults in the 18-35 age brackets, with incomes greater than $50,000, say they intend to buy a home.  This is a significant increase over the previous year’s survey.

Pragmatism tends to rule in this younger group of home buyers.  They recognize the opportunity to get low mortgage rates while there are still low housing costs.  If they are thinking of getting married anyway, they make the logical decision to purchase now rather than waiting.