Love is in the Air & So is Home Buying!
According to the recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker Survy, some 4 million Americans are expected to propose - or be proposed to - over Valentine's Day. So how many of them today do you think will talk finances before they walk down the aisle? My guess is just a handful, even though it’s far more important than the cake, flowers, and invitations!
Save yourself some arguments later by talking about your money and how to save up to buy a home now. Here are a few of the questions you need to ask your soon-to-be spouse:
Where would you like to be in 5 or 10 years?
Do you want children right away? Would one of you prefer to work a new job before you consider having kids? Do you want to buy a home? And what about those long-term plans to get a degree — is that ever going to happen? You need to sit down and have a conversation, discussing your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Then set priorities and come up with a plan to meet your short and long-term goals, one by one — together. This will help ensure a positive outcome!
What are your assets? Liabilities?
Really get to know your soon to be spouse! You really need to know where the other person stands (Secrets are lethal!). You might have assets that need to be protected, if so consider a pre-nuptial agreement (particularly if this is a second marriage and there are kids, step-kids and others involved — assets often get into the wrong hands!). Strapped down with high-interest debt? Come up with a plan to get rid of it — preferably before the marriage.What is your risk tolerance?
In just every relationship, there’s always a spender and a saver, and trust me: this can wreak havoc! What will happen if one person gambles away the future? Poof, there goes the marriage!
Where will you live?
Are you planning on buying? How do you propose to come up with a down payment? Again, this comes down to basic planning and planning starts with a conversation. Once you decide on where you would like to live (take time to research neighborhoods,) and what you want in a house (list your priorities – what you can/cannot live with/without), then, you need to figure out what you can afford. This entails taking a hard look at your income and expenses, and ultimately setting up a budget. What can you comfortably afford to pay every month for the next 15, 30 years? Coming up with the down payment is just the start (think: 20 percent).
How will you divvy up financial responsibilities?
Some couples choose to combine all their finances; others would rather have a joint account for the household expenses (which you each contribute to proportionately, based on how much you each make), and separate accounts for personal spending. Do whatever works best for you and your spending/saving habits. Just have a system!
When the time comes, Linda Secrist & Associates would be happy to help you with any of your housing needs as you start your new life together!
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