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Pros and cons of buying a home before and after marriage

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


February 6, 2020 - Karl Yeh

Should you buy a home before or after you are married? In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of buying a home before and after getting married. You'll learn key family and economic conditions that will impact your decision to buy a home. 

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What we discussed:

Hi, everyone. I'm Karl. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips for your home buying journey. Now, remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below. Hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

So today I'm joined [00:00:30] by local realtor, Brad McCallum with RE/MAX First. And the topic we're going to answer is:

What are the pros and cons of buying a home when you're single and when you're married?

So, Brad, let's start with being single. What are some pros of buying a home when you're single?

Pros of buying a home when you're single

Brad McCallum:           

I think the biggest thing is home buying is a lot like investing. So the sooner you start, the better, the better for your longterm wealth, and it's going to give you so many more options later on in life.

So don't wait to find the perfect soulmate [00:01:00] just to find the perfect home. Buy a property, get into it. And then some of the other pros, of course, of owning your own home is you're building equity in it every month, even if it's just a little bit to start.

The challenge with everyone when they buy their first home, whether you're single or married or not, is that it takes a few years to where those payments really start to be more principal than interest.

So, getting started on that journey sooner is going to just result in higher net worth for yourself, which is great. [00:01:30]

But of course some of the other pros of being single and buying your own place is that, generally, I've found that the people who do that, they have other opportunities for income.

And one of those incomes might be to rent out one of the bedrooms or rent out one of the suites.

There's things that I would be more comfortable as a single guy, say renting out my basement or another room in my house and getting some extra income, some help on the mortgage.

Versus maybe once I have my family in there. I wouldn't be quite as comfortable because I want that [00:02:00] space for us.

Karl Yeh:                      

Yes, that's right. It's interesting what I heard too about buying, let's say as a single person, you're your first starter home.

You can't really see it as your lifelong home, right?

Brad McCallum:            Yeah.

Karl Yeh:                      

And I think sometimes maybe people see it's like, "I'm buying a home. That's it. That's where I'm going to live forever." I'm like, "Probably not because most likely you'll find a significant other and you'll move in and you'll start a family," or whatever that is. And that home's probably not going to be [crosstalk 00:02:29] big enough. [00:02:30] Right?

Brad McCallum:           

The reality is the numbers say that people will change homes every five to seven years.

And so if you enter the process, then you're going to be able to make a good decision based on that five to seven year horizon, rather than thinking, "This has got to be something that meets my needs 25 years from now."

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Cons of buying a home when single

Karl Yeh:                       So let's take a look at the cons for a single person buying a home.

Brad McCallum:           

Yeah, I'd say the biggest con is potentially just job loss.

So each individual going to have [00:03:00] their own situation. Maybe they've been at a company for a long time.

Maybe they're their own business owner. They feel really confident in their job.

That might give you the confidence to go out and make the idea to purchase a home.

If you're moving into a brand new position at work or you're starting a brand new job, you've only been there for three or four months or maybe even are just in the middle of, say, your trial period, your first year.

It might be something that you want to consider because if you have job loss, how will that affect [00:03:30] your ability to cover that mortgage cost? Right?

So those are some of the cons I would say about it.

But that's the con that we have whether you're renting, whether you're owning, right? Those are economic challenges.

Buying a home when married

Pros of buying a home when married

Karl Yeh:                      

Let's go into being married. So what are some of the pros about owning or buying a home and owning it when you're married?

Brad McCallum:           

When you're married, maybe you have a family, I think there's a lot of pros to home ownership [00:04:00] .

Because I think the biggest thing for me would be just the security it provides the family. You want to have a secure, safe space away from the rest of the world for your family.

And home ownership allows you to paint the walls the colors that you want, to decorate it just how you want, and to build your life right there.         

The challenge with renting, of course, is that your hopes, your dreams, your home is in the hands of your landlord.

It might be a great landlord, but then again, your landlord and all [00:04:30] of his life or her life, they might decide, wow, they're in a spot where they need to sell the property or something else.

So you're just exposing your family to maybe a little bit more potential upheaval.

Con of buying a home when married

Karl Yeh:                       Give me one con of if you're married in home ownership.

Brad McCallum:           

Yeah, I would say if you're married, with home ownership, it could be a transfer at work. It could be an economic change.

Maybe you've moved to a new place and you're not yet sure if you know the community, you understand the community really well.

Maybe you see [00:05:00] something in your life changing in the next few years, like you're thinking about expanding your family.

Those are our times that it might be a con to actually purchase something because your needs might drastically change a year or two from now.

So it's really helpful to maybe just be confident about your situation first so you're not absorbing all those extra costs of a quick move.

Karl Yeh:                      

Perfect. Brad, do you have any additional tips for single or married people when buying their home?

Brad McCallum:           

Absolutely. [00:05:30]

The most important thing with home ownership is you just start early. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll start to build that wealth and the equity in that property. And life comes with a ton of surprises. There's job losses, there's change, there's all these unknowns that we can never factor in.

But over time, if that equity has built up in your home, it's going to give you a bit of a safety blanket to weather some of those storms.

Karl Yeh:                      

If you want to actually know more about renting versus owning, we've got a great video [00:06:00] I'm going to leave up here and in the description below.

Question of the day

So the question of the day I have for you is:

When did you buy your first home? Were you married or single? Was it harder or easier when you bought that home in that situation?

Let us know in the comment section below. So if you want to know more information about home buying, check on our playlists here and here. As well as don't forget to subscribe, and I'll see you in our next video.

About Brad McCallum:

Brad McCallum is a local Realtor with RE/MAX First in Calgary, Alberta.  He's made his name for himself by incorporating his passion for videography and marketing, along with his wife and family into his real estate business.  This fresh approach to real estate has allowed Brad to stand out in a market of over 5000 realtors.  His knowledge of home design and construction as owner of a renovation firm for 15 years helps him advise his clients on the purchase or sale of their home.

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