Buying a Home and Planning a Wedding at the Same Time: Doable or Daunting?
Coordinating your wedding with the purchase of your first home is a picture-perfect way to start married life with the one you love. However, planning a wedding and buying a home are both costly, time-consuming endeavors. If you don't want to cut corners on your dream wedding, you'll need to be smart about buying your house.
These tips will help you manage the financial and time-management side of buying a house so you can get the wedding and the home you've always wanted.
Allocate Your Cash
Both weddings and homes are expensive, so how can you afford both at once?
Financing a wedding with loans isn't unheard of. However, interest rates for personal loans are significantly higher than mortgage rates. If your credit isn't great, you could be looking at an APR in the double digits. Taking on debt for your wedding could also influence your mortgage eligibility.
If you don't have cash for a 20% down payment and a wedding, put your cash toward the wedding. Conventional mortgages are available with down payments as low as 3-5%, while government-backed loans go as low as 0% (learn more about the options at Bankrate). You'll have to pay mortgage insurance, but you can factor that expense into your home Aaffordability calculations. Be sure to set some money aside for closing costs, escrow, and moving expenses.
You don't have time to deal with rejected offers and protracted home-buying negotiations when you're also meeting with vendors, finalizing seating arrangements, and writing your vows. That's why you need to get pre-approved for your mortgage before you shop. As Amerifirst explains, pre-approval makes you a stronger buyer, so sellers are more likely to accept your offer and you can close on your home more quickly.
You can't do it all alone. Yes, people plan their own weddings and buy homes without agents, but doing one of those is a full-time job. If you try to manage both yourself, you'll run yourself ragged before your big day arrives. Hire a wedding planner and a real estate agent that you trust, then let them handle the details while you focus on the big picture.
Skip The Foreclosures
It's tempting to buy a bank-owned home to save money, and TV shows do a great job of making whole-home remodeling look fun. But you have enough on your plate without a house full of surprise problems.
Bank-owned homes are usually sold as-is, and sometimes sit vacant for extended periods before being sold. A professional inspection before purchase reduces the risk that a bank-owned home is full of hidden problems, but there's no guarantee your inspector will catch everything. If you don't want to risk a major plumbing problem cropping up during your honeymoon, take the conservative approach and buy a market-listed home.
Let Someone Else Do The Packing
Moving house is a pain even when you have time to spare. Rather than trying to pack boxes with one hand while crafting DIY centerpieces with the other, let the pros handle this job too. Professional movers can pack your belongings, load, move, and unload in the new house, so all you have to do is the fun stuff, like deciding how to decorate your new house. (Although when you're moving in with a partner, decorating can be a challenge all its own!)
Finally, keep an eye on your stress throughout this process. As exciting as starting your new life as a married couple is, planning a wedding and buying a house is a lot to accomplish in a short time. If it's causing so much stress that you're no longer enjoying wedding planning, it may be worth adjusting your home-buying timeline. This is one of the happiest times of your life, and you deserve to enjoy yourself.