After years of living together, one of you finally popped the question. And yes, even though you’re fine with your live-in situation, you want to get married, settle down, have children, and share more of your lives legally. Everyone has a reason for wanting to get married even after years of living together. Whatever yours may be, know that it might change the way you are both living.
Why should your living situation change now that you’re legally tied to one another? First, you might have never felt comfortable enough to sign the rent contract together. Maybe only one of you has his/her signature on the contract. The reason for this is because there’s a lot of legal troubles when your names appear on a contract. What if you separate? The fact that you haven’t gotten married until this point means you’re avoiding the awkward legal impediments of marriage and separation.
But now that you’re finally getting married, you can begin asking yourself: is now the right time to buy a home as a married couple? Should this be the year when you both take that plunge? If you are financially stable, a new home is a great investment. After all, if you are planning to have kids, it’s better to bring them up in a nice home with a large backyard rather than in an apartment or condominium unit.
Start Planning Your Home
Thankfully, you’ve been together for years to know what your partner wants. You can begin preparing for your eventual homebuying journey. In fact, you can start attending virtual tours and face-to-face open houses now. You may also want to check out the photos of the Parade of Homes event by a Utah-based real estate developer. Here, you will see renderings, floor plans, layouts, designs, features, amenities, and many more. This will give you an idea of what you want your home to look like.
Get Preapproved for a Loan
A pre-approved loan is not an approval per se. Rather, it is a way for the borrower to know what interest rate he/she is looking at and how much he/she can borrow from the bank. Armed with this document, you can begin attending open houses in the hopes that you will find the dream home for your future family. It is easier to process your home loan once you already have a pre-approval.
Talk Finances With Your Partner
How have you been handling your money so far? Do you have separate accounts? Do you have a joint account? Most live-in partners will not have a joint account until they’re already married. If that is the case for you, then it’s time to think about combining your incomes. Besides that, who will work and who will stay with the kids when the time comes? How are you going to invest your money?
Finances are always a boon in every relationship, married or not. It’s important to hash out the details on how you’re going to divide your money, save, pay for expenses, and prepare for the future.
Get real about your real situation financially. Now that you are going to get married, everything you do—every debt, for example—will have an impact on your spouse. Your future debts are not just your own. They’re going to be your spouse’s, too. Any impact on your finances will be an impact on your spouse’s credit history and score, too. Make sure these things are clear before you sign that marriage contract.
His and Hers Spaces in the House
Do you need a man cave in your house? How about a lady lair? People don’t think these things are important when they’re about to design their homes, but it actually makes sense to talk about your need for your own spaces. If you are working from home, then a home office makes sense. You can convert the tiniest room in the house. What’s important is you are free to work here without distractions. The same can be said for your partner. If he/she needs his/her own room, then make sure you can compromise on space.
Things are still going to change now that you are getting married. That’s one of the drawbacks and beauty of changing your status. It is an exciting time to share more of your lives together legally and religiously if you believe in that. But while you’re excited to enter this new chapter, you should also be aware of what these changes will mean to your relationship. Sit down and talk about them, so you can see eye-to-eye.