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Mortgage and Home-Buying Tips for Newlyweds

February 18, 2022
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Many people have bought a home before getting married, but there are some differences and options when it comes to potentially buying a home as a newlywed or couple. These tips should help you get through the process without putting a strain on your relationship and hopefully you’ll find one of the homes in Battle Ground WA that you’ll be happy in together for many years.

Whether you’re a single buyer or a couple, the first thing you need to do when considering purchasing a house is looking at your credit. First-time home buyers often don’t have extensive credit histories, which can make some lenders less inclined to work with you. Ideally, you have a credit score of 740, but to have a chance of getting a mortgage with an interest rate that won’t price you out, the lowest your credit score can be is 620. You also need to look at your debt to income ratio to see if there are potential red flags for lenders. Too much debt compared to how much money you have coming in each month will also be a negative sign to potential lenders.

As a couple, you’re going to need to sit down and discuss finances. One of you may have great credit and little debt, while the other may not be in such a positive position. There is the option of having just the spouse with the good credit apply for the mortgage, though with only one income represented, it may limit your loan amount. However, it does remove the bad credit from the equation, which could be just as detrimental. If the mortgage is only in one spouse’s name, it’s best to at least put both names on the title, as it is the title that determines ownership, not the name on the mortgage.

Once you know how much you can afford, you need to think about the role this home is going to play in your life. Is this a starter home that you only plan on staying in for a while as you get started or are you looking for a home to set down roots? Do you plan on having children? Is this home big enough for the number of children you want or will you be moving as your family grows? If you are thinking about children, you also want to make sure the school district is a good one. Understanding what you want the home for and for how long can help you better determine the size of the home you need now and can afford now.

You may find that you need to plan on this first home being a starter home to help you build up your credit and equity and then eventually move to a larger home once you’re more settled and have a better financial situation. A great option for a couple who has never purchased a home in the past is an FHA mortgage, which is federally backed and typically requires just 3.5% down. While an FHA mortgage is a safe option, be aware of loans that seem too good to be true. Some will offer ridiculously low interest rates, but what they don’t make clear is that if you’re late on even one payment, the fees can be extreme and there’s even the possibility of the deadline for repayment becoming shorter. Always be careful, because these aren’t the kind of factors that an unscrupulous lender will mention up front.

Still, there are options for newlyweds or couples who want to buy a first home together. Be aware of your financial situation, think about what role you want this first home to play in your life together, and be careful in searching out loans. With some honesty and reasonableness, you can find some fantastic homes in Battle Ground WA that could be perfect as your first home together.

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This post was written by Pacific Lifestyle Homes

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