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Marriage or Owning a Property: Which Comes First?

When you reach a certain point in your life and in your relationship, the pressure starts to mount for you to begin taking some big and important steps. That means moving in with your partner, buying a house together and getting married.

This is all good and well (if a little scary), but it all also involves a lot of money and a lot of big decisions. Paying the deposit on your home is likely to blow your life's savings, but then so too is paying for a property. The question you need to ask yourself is how you can afford to do both, and which order makes the most sense.

The Argument for Getting a House First

From a financial perspective, buying your home first is definitely what makes the most sense. This way you can actually invest your cash rather than wasting it on rent that you won't get back every month.

At the same time, buying your first home will be a great test for the both of you as partners and will evolve your relationship as far as you will likely want to take it at this point. This then is a great way to test whether you're ready to get married and whether you're likely to stick together forever. From a purely practical standpoint there are a lot of good reasons to buy your home first. In fact in this day and age many people will never get married.

The Argument for Getting Married First

On the other hand though, buying a house is even more expensive than getting married and if you're in a position where you aren't going to afford to buy a home for a long while, then you might feel as though your life has been forcibly put on hold while everyone around you is doing exciting things. If you want to show your commitment to your loved one, then getting married might be a good way to do that and to do the thing that makes you happiest first.

Getting married first also makes sense if you aren't in a position to buy a home yet for other reasons. For example it may be that you're living somewhere where house prices are too high. In this situation getting married first will give you longer to live where you want to live and to really enjoy yourselves while you save towards your future.

And obviously if you're super rich and able to afford any mortgage rates with ease then you can proceed in any order you like!

Other Options

There are other options of course though. The main one of these is to do both at the same time: why not go through the stages of planning a wedding while you househunt?

Now this is a highly expensive process and it's one that will make life tough on you for a while, but it also means you'll be able to better enjoy married life in your new home together once all is said and done. 

You should also keep in mind that your wedding doesn't have to be incredibly expensive. You could even just elope which would allow the two of you to be married much faster while also ensuring that you'd have the money you needed for the home. From a financial perspective this is by far the smartest move, though most people will feel cheated not to have their big day.

There are many other factors to consider too that might sway your judgement: will you be getting money towards the wedding and/or house from anyone? Do you have sentimental reasons to want to get married faster?

There's no right or wrong answer, but make sure you consider all these options and you'll hopefully pick a good solution for you!