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Home-Buying Guide for Newlyweds

Instead of being a property renter, you can build equity as an owner. You can decorate, remodel or upgrade your home however you please. If your life plan includes children, they'll have a green space to play and entertain friends close to home.

Before you begin your home-buying quest, you should understand the process of buying a house and the personal commitment necessary to make it happen. That's why we created this Home Buying Guide for Newlyweds. Use it as a framework for discussing basic home-buying concerns. 

  1. Decide if you really want to buy a home
    Never buy a home because your mom says so or because it seems like the grownup thing to do. A home is a major investment. Long after you've paid your closing costs, it will add a lifetime of expenses to your budget. If you 're ambivalent about your home-buying decision, wait until you're ready.

  2. What kind of home do you want
    When you're buying a house, it's a good idea for you and your spouse to agree on what kind of house it should be. Discuss architectural style, age, landscaping, bedrooms, and amenities. Detail the must-have features that are critical to your comfort and well-being.

  3. Decide where you want to live
    The National Association of REALTORS® 2017 home trend study reported that buyers under age 36 planned to keep their homes an average of 10 years. If you follow this national trend, you'll want to make certain your home will fit your lifestyle today and in the future. To avoid a love-hate relationship with your new home, investigate the community before you decide to buy.

    - Crime and safety trends
    - School district standards
    - Recreation area safety
    - Questionable neighbors

  4. Know how much can you afford
    Sit down with your spouse to discuss your income and what you can afford. Review any life circumstances that might affect your future ability to pay.

  5. Discuss your credit
    You should know your spouse's financial profile before you tie the knot. If you bypassed that discussion, it's important to get the financial details before you consider buying a house.

    - Credit score
    - Outstanding debt
    - Assets
    - Income
    - Savings

    If there are hidden financial skeletons in either spouse's closet, they could haunt you when the mortgage company assesses your ability to repay your loan. When you know and understand your credit profile, you can take steps to repair your credit ahead of time.

  6. Get a mortgage pre-approved letter
    After you've addressed your financial details, it's a good idea to seek mortgage pre-approval before you begin your home search. Your mortgage company will assess your credit, determine your ability to meet their financial standards, and issue a letter confirming your pre-approved status.

    Sellers and their real estate agents know you're serious about buying a home when you show them proof that you've consulted a mortgage company. They'll be more willing to consider your offer and negotiate a deal.

  7. Consider loan programs
    If you're ready to buy a home but your finances aren't perfect, these government-backed loan programs may be able to help you with financing.

    - Federal Housing Authority
    - Fannie Mae
    - Freddie Mac
    - Veteran's Administration

    You may qualify for a low-interest rate or a reduced down payment. These programs are flexible in assessing your credit, income and work history.

Work With a Real Estate Professional

Contact your real estate professional when you decide that buying a house is the right decision for you. An experienced agent has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the home-buying process.

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