One aspect of wedding planning that gets overlooked is purchasing a home. While you want your dress, flowers, and music to be perfect, you need to look beyond your big day and find the perfect house for your new family. But, both the wedding-planning and house-hunting processes are stressful and expensive. How can brides juggle finding, purchasing, and moving into a home while planning your special day? Keep reading to learn more about our tips for doing it all.
1. Consider Your Budget
One mistake many couples make is planning an extravagant wedding and honeymoon and spending so much money that there’s nothing left for a down payment. TheKnot.com found the national average cost of a wedding in 2016 was $35,329, while the average down payment for a home is $49,839.
Keep in mind that the wedding cost doesn’t include the cost of the honeymoon. While you want your wedding day to be special, you also want to stay within your budget so you can get the house you want, rather than settling on one you don’t love.
To avoid blowing your budget on one day or one vacation and wishing you had saved more money to get your dream house, plan carefully. Younger brides often rely on their parents to pay for a portion of their wedding, which can help with budgeting. Older brides, especially those who’ve been married before or who have an established career, often combine their finances with their soon-to-be spouse to pay for the wedding.
No matter age bride you are, it’s important to know everyone’s budget expectations while wedding planning and to know how much house you and your future spouse can afford.
Be honest with the people who will chip in for the wedding so you know how much everyone else intends to spend and how much money you’ll need to contribute. This gives you and your future spouse a more accurate home budget to keep in mind.
2. Be as Frugal as Possible When Purchasing a Home
Of course, there are ways you can save on your wedding and your new home. Young couples often find houses that need more work than older couples, because they have more time and money to put into renovations since they typically don’t have children. Older couples often search for houses that are a bit more expensive because they need them to be move-in ready for their blended families.
One way anyone can save on a new home purchase is to find one that is foreclosed and bank-owned. Working with a real estate agent is one way to find homes that suit your needs more quickly, especially because you don’t have time to be poring over real estate websites while planning your wedding. Your agent will know the history of the homes and their condition, so you won’t waste time visiting properties that need more work than you’re willing to provide.
Make your offers contingent upon inspections and appraisals; keep in mind that foreclosed homes typically are put up for sale at market value, so you’ll also save time by not getting into a bidding war as you do with non-bank-owned homes. Then, purchase a household organizer for your new home to keep your maintenance schedules, warranties, service records, and contact information for contractors and plumbers handy.
3. Rely on Friends and Family for Help
The best way soon-to-be-married couples can handle purchasing and moving into a new home while planning a wedding is to rely on friends and family for help. For example, the bridal party can make invitations, centerpieces, and favors by hand to save the couple money while the groomsmen can help tear out and lay new flooring, repair drywall, and update bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Or, you can ask friends to help you decorate your new home and yard and kill two birds with one stone by having your wedding in your backyard.
When the time comes to move into your new house, these same friends can help you with the heavy lifting and organizing. In fact, some couples ask their friends to forgo bachelorette and bachelor parties and have moving parties instead. Your wedding party will appreciate saving money on expensive pre-wedding parties, too.
You can plan your wedding and purchase and move into a new home at the same time if you keep your budget in mind, be as frugal as possible, and rely on friends and family for help.