Get married or buy a house first?

My fiancee and I have been talking about buying a house for almost a year and we're getting into a financial position where we may be able to.

We are both wondering whether it would be better to have a wedding first or to get married. We both agree that buying a house is more important to us then getting married right now. We still want an actual nice wedding ceromony, we don't want to get married at the courthouse just to facilitate buying a house.

We are planning on buying a house in Virginia or North Carolina. Should we concentrate on buying a house or planning a wedding?


I don't think my question is specific enough: does getting married make a big difference in buying a house, or does it matter which one I do first?

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    It really depends on what kind of nuptial ceremony you plan on having? Something informal with low overhead? Then sure, get married first as that won't crunch the pocket book. Now if you want a "Cinderella" wedding, then WAIT!!!!!!!!!! I would definitely purchase a house first!! Housing prices generally continue to go up, hence, equity in your pocket!! If you are worried about what family will say, who cares?? It's your life and you are only trying to better it!

    Good luck :)

    P.S......... purchasing a house sans marriage has absolutely NOTHING to do with who gets what should you seperate prior to getting married. How you take title DOES!! Should you purchase the home prior to marriage, you would each take title in your individual name, then after each of your names, you would state "single man" and "single woman" (assuming neither of you has been married before. If either of you has been married before, then after that person's name it would say, "unmarried man/woman". You would then have to decide that should one of you die before the other whether or not you want to leave your share of the house to the other person OR to someone else. I'll give you an example of each:

    This would be if both have never been married before AND want to leave the house to the surviving partner:

    Jonh Doe- single man and Suzie Smith-single woman as joint tenants.

    Now if each of you would prefer to leave your half of the house to someone else, this is how you would take title (again, assuming neither of you has been married):

    John Doe-single man (list his percentage of ownership) and Suzie Smith-single woman (list her percentage of ownership) with right of survivorship.

    In this case, you would state in a will or trust or even on a notorized piece of paper, "who" your percentage of the house goes to. Also, in either example, if one of you has been married you would just change out "single" to read "unmarried".


  • 1 decade ago

    I would suggest making sure you have a good down payment before you purchase your house. Preferably 20%. This will save you money in the long run. If you have this amount now, feel free to get married. If you don't have a good down payment, you may want to rent longer. Hopefully you won't break your bank to buy a fancy wedding. I just don't think extravagant weddings are that important. You'll barely remember the details of your wedding on your first anniversary. I hope this helps

    Source(s): Personal experience.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, depending on whether your state is "Community Property" you can do either one. If you buy the house, do it jointly so that you each have claim. If you marry first, in some states the marriage gives you claim. It looks like you can do either one. The best question to ask would be which do you both want first? You can put a bulk of your money into buying the house and leave some to still provide a wedding of your dreams (depending on your budget). Good luck in your decision and Congratulations!

  • 1 decade ago

    As far as qualifying for a mortgage loan, unless you are planning on using a VA Entitlement your marital status is irrelevant. VA is the only investor who requires co-borrowers be married.

    I understand previous responders concerns about title issues in case of a separation but a pre-nuptial agreement would resolve that issue.

    The issue raised by a previous respondent regarding credit scores is relevant. Investors use the middle score of the lowest scoring borrower to ascertain the credit score which will be used for qualifying purposes.

    As to which to do first, well, that is a personal decision and will be determined by just how lavish a wedding you are considering. Remember this, a wedding lasts a few hours, a home lasts for years. It is all a matter of priorities and that is a very individual thing.

    I wish you joy in your marriage and hope you find the home of your dreams.

    If I can answer any further mortgage questions for you visit my website

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  • 1 decade ago

    Dave Ramsey ( would scream at you... never, ever, ever buy a house with someone you're not married to. Legally it's a mess if something were to happen prior to the actual legal tying of the knot and you've tied your finances and mortgage in together (yes, it does happen, even a car accident, not necessarily a breakup.)

    When you do, get a 15-year fixed rate mortgage.

    Also go simple on the wedding

  • 1 decade ago

    Get married. Live in an apartment while you save up money. Then buy a house. For legal reasons alone, I would want to be married before buying a house together.

  • Let me refer you to an agent and if that agent sells you a home, I'll pay for your first year's Home Warranty as a wedding gift for you.

    Need a good Realtor?

    If In Alabama - e-mail me

    If not in Alabama - I can still recommend an experienced Realtor from your area that will give you OUTSTANDING service! I work with a network of Realtors across North Amercia.

  • Thor
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Buy a house first. Make the house ready to move in, then get married.

  • 1 decade ago

    get married first. i'd say, elope, come back & have a nice reception, and then buy the house.

    if you don't get married before you buy the house together, you may not get married at all once you live together, because it will be like you're "playing" married couple, just without the actual wedding.

  • 1 decade ago

    It all depends on your credit histories.

    If one of you has bad credit, you want to use the highest credit score. You can ad your partner to the title the day it closes escrow.

    Buying the house first is probably best because if you charge any part of your wedding it will increase your debt to income ratio.

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