Unmarried Couples Leap into Homeownership
Forget the Wedding. Unmarried Couples Leap into Homeownership

With the market making a comeback, and more millennials leading the way in the house hunt, we are seeing a shift in personal values making an impact on the future of housing.
 
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, first-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of purchases in April, and these first-time buyers are not honeymooners or the bleary-eyed new parents of the last real estate boom. In fact, many of them aren’t married at all.
 
A study released in April revealed that 17 percent of married couples surveyed purchased a home together before their wedding day, and millennials seem to be pioneering this trend; 25 percent of married couples between the ages of 18 to 34 purchased their first home together before their wedding date, compared to 14 percent of those ages 45 and older.
 
According to the survey, 80 percent of married homeowners who purchased their home while married said it did more to strengthen their relationship than any other purchase they made together.
 
“While life goals and expectations continue to weigh on young couples, their views of homeownership are transcending their plans of marriage and starting a family, creating a direct effect on the patterns of buying a home altogether,” says Dr. Robi Ludwig, a leading psychotherapist.
 
“What we’re seeing is that young couples are switching up the order and purchasing their first home regardless of whether or not they have set a wedding date. This is a huge movement within the American culture. While younger generations may be focusing more on their career, and in turn waiting longer to get married and have children, they are not delaying their dream of homeownership,” says Ludwig.
 
“When a couple buys their first home, it’s one of the most exciting new experiences they ever will share together,” Ludwig states. “They not only learn about each other’s wishes and dreams during this process, but they also learn how to be practical with each other and compromise. Buying a home has more of an impact on a couple’s relationship than any other purchase they will ever make. It bonds two people together and makes them a family.”
 
Of course, commitment is not the only reason millennials have been making homeownership the new “it” thing. Rates are on the rise, and many committed couples are advancing on the still-low rates now, regardless of whether or not they plan to play wedding bells in the future.
 
 Another thing I have heard is that sometimes couples might go way overboard on the wedding expenses, and by getting their home first, they already have eliminated that worry and cost.

By Zoe Eisenberg

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