First Comes Love, then Comes the Mortgage

A new study by Coldwell Banker suggests that couples in a committed relationship are more likely than their parent to buy a house before getting married.

The Coldwell Banker survey comes with a recently released study by the Center for Disease Control that tracks cohabitation among couples. For 2006 to 2010, about half – some 48 percent) of American women ages 156 to 44 cohabitated; in 1995, by comparison, just 34 percent said that they had cohabited before marriage.

The Colwell Banker survey suggests that the young couples are “also more likely to buy homes together before marriage.”

“Nearly one quarter (24 percent)- of polled married couples ages 18 to 34 said they purchased a home before they were married. Among married couples ages 45 and up, just 14 percent said they bought a home before tying the knot.”

“Couples in the Northeast,” according to the survey, “stand out as particularly likely to buy real estate before getting hitched: just 60 percent in the survey waited until marriage to purchase a home, compared to 72 in the tradition-minded South, where people tend to marry younger (and therefore poorer).”

Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig, Colwell Banker’s “lifestyle correspondent,” says for some couples the house is the “new engagement ring.” “They’re committed to purchasing real estate as a couple regardless of whether they’ve set a wedding date.”

For committed couples the benefits of shopping for a home go beyond property ownership because buying a  house forces couples to deal with issues. “When buying a home, there is a need to be transparent on many levels,’ says Dr. Ludiwg. “You must be upfront with your partner, and you have to be real honest with yourself.” Buying a house forces the partners to discuss incomes, salaries, and debt. “All are on the table when the time comes to get a mortgage.”


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