Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Buying a House Together Before Marriage Gets Your Priorities Backwards

Many couples live together before marriage. Some do so for a long time, even have children. A few of them put off getting married because they have an insanely expensive idea of what a wedding should be.

The current housing market is producing the next illogical step in that progression: couples who buy a house together before they get married. They seem to be thinking that marriage is a maybe, but a house is something real.

I think they have that completely backwards.


ceemac said...

First thought: is this this just a NY thing driven by the real estate dynamics in that area. Is it playing in Peoria too.

2nd thought: The folks mentioned all seem to be at least upper middle class. Is this happening all across the middle class

3rd thought: While this is not an optimum situation might it be seen as movement toward "good enough." If the stress of purchasing a house cause a couple to break up before they buy that is not a bad thing. If signing papers for a loan together pushes them toward marriage that is a good thing.

Mary Jo said...

Is it such a bad thing if you are engaged and have set a date?

My fiance and I bought a house in October because we were afraid the $8000 tax credit would disappear. If we'd known it would stick around, we might have waited another 6-10 months for the house, but the purchase would probably still have been during the engagement. I'm still living across town with my roommates because I am stuck in the lease, and didn't want to let them down anyway. As long as we can afford it, I don't see what's so bad about the situation.

If you want to start your married life in a house that you both own jointly, you almost have to buy before the wedding. Especially if you don't want your first week of marriage to be spent moving furniture!

I'm also intrigued by ceemac's 3rd thought.

ceemac said...

I don't think Gruntled would be critical of an engaged couple buying a house w/one of them living in the house prior to marriage, getting married, then moving into that house together.

The couples in the article were already living together.

Gruntled has been very consistent in insisiting that living together before marriage does not lead to healthy marriages.

Gruntled said...

Agreed, ceemac. Engaged with a wedding date is a different story than cohabiting and "we'll probably get married someday."

Using a mortgage as brinksmanship to test a commitment seems too risky to me. Yes, it is a good time to buy a house, but marriage is a much more weighty decision than home buying, no matter how good a deal you can get.

Buy to let mortgage advice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.