Hey, you lovebirds! If you’re newly married, you may be thinking of buying a nest together. Indeed, 35 percent of married Americans purchased their first home together within two years of tying the knot, according to a study by the real estate firm Coldwell Banker.

Yet while we hear plenty about the home-buying challenges faced by unmarried couples, that doesn’t mean that marriage makes this process a walk in the park.

“A lot of factors come into play,” says Brandy Wright, a certified financial planner at Cambridge Wealth Counsel in Atlanta. So before you start swooning over Craftsman bungalows or granite countertops where you envision your bright new future, be sure to sit down and ask each other these crucial questions first.


Back in your dating days, you two probably talked about everything from where you’ve traveled to your favorite movies. But now, as newlyweds, it’s time to get serious and broach a far less romantic topic: your credit scores.

In fact, if you’re truly smart, you will have had this conversation already: Half of married couples in the U.S. say that credit scores were a make-or-break factor when choosing their mate, according to an Experian Consumer Services Survey. But for other couples, credit is a taboo subject. Unfortunately, if one person’s credit score is substantially lower than the other’s, that could hinder the couple’s ability to qualify for a loan, or at least get an attractive interest rate.

“Knowing your credit scores before you meet with a lender is crucial,” says Wright. Doing so will also give you the opportunity to work on repairing any credit issues before you apply for a mortgage. You can get a free copy of your full report an, although for the exact score you’ll need to pay a small fee. Or check with your credit card company, many offer free access to scores.


Your future goals will affect which type of home, and loan, is right for you.

For instance, if you’re planning to stay put in Visalia, Tulare or Porterville for the foreseeable future, then a 30 year mortgage with a fixed interest rate may make the most sense, since this means your interest rate (and monthly payment) remains constant over the life of the loan.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to move within a few years, say, to a larger home to raise a family or move  closer to your in-laws, then you should consider other options. For instance, an adjustable-rate mortgage offers a lower interest rate than a fixed mortgage for an initial period of time, such as three to seven years. After that point, it can adjust up or down based on market indexes.

One thing is certain. You need to contact a local mortgage broker and start planning for your future as soon as possible. Next week will look at two more important newlywed questions: Will one of you be staying home to raise the kids? And what happens to the home if the marriage hits the rocks?

In the meantime, have a great time loving each other.

Jeremy Engle
Country Club Mortgage 
559.734.5000 Central Valley Phone 
805.544.2775 Central Coast
888.330.2272 fax
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400 E. Main St. Suite 120 Visalia, CA 93291  
6795 N. Palm, Suite 101 Fresno CA 93711  
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