Profile picture for Missquela

First time homebuyers, should we wait til after the wedding?

I'm getting married in July, but my fiance and I want to buy a home this summer. We live with family, I have about $5k for a down payment which would be 3.5% of 150k. We're looking to buy in the Sacramento area and would like to get preapproved for an FHA loan. My credit is not great...low 620s. His is a bit better, 670 or so. I'm employed, but he isn't. My question is, should I wait to get preapproved so that we can cosign on the house after we get married, or will his being unemployed be really detrimental to our application?

  • December 27 2012 - Arden Fair
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Answers (20)

Profile picture for user574809
IMHO I don't see the reason for both people to be on the loan if you can qualify on your own. I look at this from this perspective...he will be on the title and that way in the future if heaven forbid something happens and you start missing payments or worse, foreclose, it will only damage your credit and not his. That way in the future if you need to you can buy another home with his credit. Also, not to mention if you guys ever wanted to buy another home, maybe a second home, you can do so more easily.

Also, heaven forbid you guys get divorced (lets be realistic, of course you dont think it will happen but with divorce rates these days it may happen)...that way it is your home, and all that he needs to do is get his name off of the deed which is a fairly simple process in "most" cases. You need to think about these things as hard as that may be.

I always think about the "what-if's" when it comes to mortgages and marriage. I cant tell you how many people I have talked to who got shafted because of a divorce and someone in the marriage stopped paying the mortgage or fall behind because of financial distress (which is likely the cause of the divorce in many cases).

I am about to buy and we are setting it up this way. Not because we think we will get divorced...but you never know what problems you may run into in the future (job loss, another market crash, divorce etc...)

Good luck!
  • January 19 2013
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Hello!! Congratulations on the upcoming wedding!!!  Well...lucky you two are making the move for a good reason that you love him and are venturing to the next stage of life. 
When my husband and I decided to get married...we did go shopping before we got married because we had the time and it was nice having a place we both decided. 
We are in January so it is a good time to shop.  Especially the rates the way they are.
On the other hand...you are considered "single" and you are working.  My recommendation would be to buy a house looking together but under your name.  This way you will have a house under your belt but you did look at it together so you have both feedbacks.  This will test your relationship.  Make sure you buy something affordable...don't overextend.  Buying something small allows both of you to have fun with it and learn.  Plus owning a home is really paying yourself instead of renting.  Hey..working for Uncle Sam, means paying Uncle Sam.  This way, you can have some deduction in your taxes back to yourself.
Then the next house you will be able to buy another one with both of you on there because "hubby" will have a job and help with the preapproving of the loan.   Most people move every 5 to 7 years because there is a change in their lives..single to married to child to children to empty nesters.
First thing, is to call a lender to get an idea of how much to of a house you can afford.  That will give you a focus and not shop what you "think" you can afford.  Too many people look at houses overbudget, eyes get big and they want the more expensive and then they get crushed when they find out what they can really afford. 
Buying a house is fun!  Enjoy the experiences of love and home ownership!!
  • January 19 2013
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It is crucial that you shop around for a mortgage broker, they have access to many banks, private lenders and many different programs.  Choose one that can answer all your questions in the first meeting.
All the Best,

Maria Cipollone
Century 21 Tenace
  • December 29 2012
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I'm not sure if in your state you can get pre-approved for a mortgage with a 120 day rate hold.  If  this option is available I would suggest you jump on it.  This way you have 120 days to make a decision to buy or continue to rent and a lot could happen in that time period. 
Its always best to qualify for a mortgage on one salary that way if sh*t comes up and it always does you can manage on one salary whether its yours or your husbands.
Btw congratulations on your wedding and pregnancy.  All the best.
Let us know what you decide to do.
  • December 28 2012
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Make sure to get pre-approved now. Home prices across the country are on the rise and the sooner you are pre-approved the better. Congratulations!
  • December 28 2012
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Buying a home before you are married is a business partnership. Both parties should be on solid equal ground in a partnership. Wait until after you are married. My advice is to get your FICO scores up, have him focus on finding stable work, and save about 4% for the down payment. Instead of asking for presents for the wedding or spending on a big party you might consider asking for gifts towards the down payment. This may sound like unromantic advice but with a couple months of work you will be able to get a better interest rate ( by increasing the FICO) and start out a happy marriage with less worry. All my best to you both. If you need advice on how to fix the FICO for free call me
  • December 28 2012
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My suggestion is to first talk with a mortgage lender or broker.  Definitely talk with one that knows FHA loans.  There may be other costs also involved.  Since your partner is unemployed thus not being able to contribute income may be a factor to purchasing the home prior.  When you are married his presence (meaning higher expenses for two people) may adversely effect your buying ability.

Also, you may need more savings as you will have other closings costs involved and a few months of reserves in the bank which is a bit more than the $5000 for only the down payment.  
  • December 28 2012
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Go see a lender now, I prefer in your case a Mortgage Broker. There are so many factors to consider that could benifit you now and some that could benifit you later. A good lender can give you the best game plan.
  • December 28 2012
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Not be a total skeptical but if you buy now before you get married you can buy it as your sole and separate property. 
Seeing as you have the down and he doesn't work if you and he don't last at least you would own your house and not have to give him half. 
Him not working you may have to do that anyway. I would talk to a few local lenders and see what they advise. I am the type to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. 
Good Luck.
  • December 28 2012
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Pull the trigger or wait.  You would want a FHA mortgage 3.5% down, sellers concession if you can make this happen in the deal.  This is where the sellers pay your closing cost up to 6% of the loan.  Based off 12/27 market the rate would be 3.25% fixed for 30 years, not bad right !

Other advice:  You will most likely be getting presents in the form of checks, banks need every single large deposit sourced or explained.  Trust me , make COPIES of all the checks when you deposit them into your bank.  This will help you get through underwriting and processing....

Good luck !

If you need any more help , I have been through every scenario possible!
  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Yes, wait until after the wedding.  Wait until the two of you have put together a financial plan, have saved up at least six months of living expenses (including mortgage), and both are employed.  

House buying is not an emergency.   There are many who are screaming "now is the time to buy because....... (fill in the blank)".   That's happened before, it will happen again.   Lower interest rates aren't going to disappear on January 1.    Feeling a rushed feeling "gotta buy now or I'm going to lose out" means it is time to sit back and breathe. 

Breathe and plan. 

  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr

You should wait until you have a financial plan and understand how owning a house fits into it.

Little things, like not currently having employment, need to be factored in. For example, what happens if employment is found...on the other side of the county from where you just bought a house? Or, if after 3-or-so-months that job just isn't working out?

There is a lot to be said for the freedom/flexibility of "not owning" when starting out a new life, complete with careers and all the other add-ons.

  • December 27 2012
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They are tempting! The Fed has committed to keeping rates low for all of next year . . . so maybe if you go easy on the size and cost of the wedding, by next fall you'll have enough saved and be ready to go!
  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for GMerino
Missquela,

If you qualify on your own prior to being married I do not see a problem with moving forward on your own.  The income of your future husband at this point would not matter as he has none that would help you qualify for the loan.  I imagine that he is looking for employment and when he finds a great job, you guys will be that better off financially. 

If you are able to find a house in Sacramento for that price range and your feel your ready to purchase a home, it would be a great investment. 

Talk to a loan officer and get squared away with a loan commitment before you go looking for a home.

Good luck!
  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for Mike Politzer
BTW, it's absolutely incorrect to state that you have to be employed in order to be on the loan.
  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for Mike Politzer
You need to get preapproved by a mortgage professional as soon as possible to understand your options. Until the profile has been evaluated your shooting in the dark. There will be no cost to you or risk incurred if you do it with a reputable entity and then you can plot out your strategy, regardless of whether you move forward now or wait until later.

Feel free to reach out to me if you'd like me to take a look.

Cheers

Mike Politzer
RPM Mortgage
[Email removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy.]
  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for Missquela
Thanks for the tips so far. We just rechecked our scores, and they've gone up. I have 660 and he has 708. I do have a bit of savings, definitely enough for at least 3 months of living. The rates are so tempting!! Especially where we're looking - a four bedroom for 150k?! Trying not to get emotional about it, though :)
  • December 27 2012
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Profile picture for Mike Politzer
You need to get preapproved by a mortgage professional as soon as possible to understand your options. Until the profile has been evaluated you're shooting in the dark. There will be no cost to you or risk incurred if you do it with a reputable entity and then you can plot out your strategy, regardless of whether you move forward now or wait until later.

Feel free to reach out to me if you'd like me to take a look.

Cheers

Mike Politzer
RPM Mortgage
[Email removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy.]
  • December 27 2012
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Best wishes!

Say - don't buy a house this summer - you're not really in any financial shape to buy a house, with one income and bad credit. I know the interest rates are tempting, but you really shouldn't buy a house until you have six months of living expenses saved IN ADDITION to the downpayment. And, have those credit scores up in the 700s. I know, they'll lend you the money - but you have those credit scores for a reason.

All the best,
  • December 27 2012
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A borrower must be employed to be on the loan. Most lenders in PA require a 640 middle credit score for an FHA loan. You may want to wait until he is employed and you can improve your credit. Good luck.
  • December 27 2012
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