Buying a house in Miami
While you’re planning your wedding, you’re understandably thinking about your future together. Depending on your circumstances, that might mean you’re buying a Miami home right in the middle of wedding planning. Ack!
Most financial experts don’t recommend this overlapping strategy of combining two of the most stressful events of your lives, but there are circumstances that make it unavoidable. If you’re in that boat, there are ways to protect your financial future and your nerves.
Couples today are more willing to buy a home together before tying the knot, surveys have shown. Low-rate mortgages, deductible interest and high rents have made buying a better option for most. We’ve compiled some tips to make this adventure a little more predictable.
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Compare credit scores — Remember that purchasing a home is a business deal. The other person’s credit score will affect your ability to get a good mortgage rate, if at all. So go into it knowing the deal, so you’re not surprised. Take into consideration whether it would make more sense to get the loan after you’re legally married. There are benefits to buying before and after.
Get pre-approved before you shop — Getting pre-approved saves you from the disappointment of not getting a mortgage that you thought you could, and it makes a buyer feel more comfortable with accepting your offer. Knowing your budget will remove some of the stress of shopping.
Set up a joint account — You don’t have to combine all your money, but you should have one account together into which you both deposit money to pay bills. You can set up the transfers automatically so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting.
Buy a household organizer — An organizer that you can both use will help you remember what bills are due and when important banking deadlines are. You can check off which bills you’ve already paid and will have an easily-accessible way to double-check your loan application due date, closing date, and other important information, making your communication much simpler and smoother.
Consider a longer engagement — While you might not want to wait for your big day, you’ll be busy on your weekends finding a venue, sampling caterers, going to wedding shows and scheduling your honeymoon. When will you have time to look at houses? By the time your wedding comes, you’ll be too exhausted to enjoy it.
Don’t forget to change your address — When you move, make sure your gifts bought from registries can get to you. Not all packages will get forwarded to your new address, and people will be sending gifts for up to a year after your wedding.
Don’t add to your debt — Buy your Miami house with a mortgage, and pay cash for your wedding. Adding a mountain of credit card debt is no way to start a good marriage. If you have to find ways to save money on the wedding, so be it. You’ll be much happier in the long run.
Consider a foreclosure home — Buying a house in Miami in foreclosure can save you a significant amount off the sale price. The seller may be highly motivated to get the home unloaded, and you’ll get a great deal. Make sure you get a home inspection so that you know what kind of repairs or renovations will be needed and if you’ll be able to afford them. Talk to your lender about loan options, too. Not all will finance a foreclosed home.
Unload your stuff — If you haven’t lived with your intended before your home purchase, you’re going to have a lot of duplicate stuff. Consider getting rid of a lot of it. Sell, donate and combine as much as possible. But don’t allow all the stuff in the home come from one half of the couple. If the husband’s stuff is nicer, the wife can be left feeling like the home doesn’t represent her at all. Be considerate of each other’s belongings. On top of all this, you’ll be getting wedding gifts. Finding a spot for it all can be a challenge, even in a large home.
Get a security system — You don’t want to start your marriage with a burglary or worse. Research home security systems and choose one that’s right for you. A system with electronic home monitoring will give you more peace of mind, especially when you’re on your honeymoon.
Moving might cost more — If you’re moving from two different homes, you might end up with two different moving days, which adds up financially as well as physically. Perhaps the smaller amount of stuff can be moved with the help of friends, and the larger amount can be moved by professionals. Moving is stressful anyway, so do as much as you can to minimize the weight.
Communicate — Make sure that throughout the process, you communicate. Talking about everything is key to making sure each of your needs are met, which is good practice for the rest of your life.
Throughout the process, never forget that what feels like never-ending stress now will be well worth the effort later. Take care of each other, take care of yourself, and good luck on your endeavor!