Newlyweds Need Patience

Lynn says she's getting married in June. Should they go ahead and purchase a house if they have 20% down?

QUESTION: Lynn on Twitter says she’s getting married in June. Should they go ahead and purchase a house if they have 20% down? Dave says no way because they aren’t married yet, and they need to be married for a year to get to know one another better.

ANSWER: Absolutely not. You never buy a house with someone you’re not married to. You just formed a partnership. I don’t suspect anything bad will happen in your life. I hope nothing bad happens in your life, but if it does, you don’t want to be in a partnership. No. What if he broke up with you? What if he passed away in a car wreck? Now you own a house with his parents because he doesn’t have a will. No. Plus, you need to be married for a while before you buy a house together. I always recommend young couples wait at least a year to buy a home after they’re married. The reason I’ve always recommended that is it takes about a year to get to know each other well enough to pick out a house together. It takes a year to know how close to your mother-in-law you want to buy. I recommended waiting a year to my own kids. They did; they waited a year. They rented a house, and it all worked out. It was fine. Patience.

I would be debt-free, have an emergency fund in place of three to six months of expenses, and I would wait a year if you are a young couple getting married. Now if you’re 50 years old and getting married, it’s probably a little different equation, but not much. I wouldn’t be buying a house together before I was married for sure. I’m not sure you’d need to wait a whole year. But if you’re 25 years old and getting married, wait a year. It’s not a bargain if you’re not ready, and you’re not ready if you just got married.