Marriage is one of the biggest triggers for buying a home, and everyone knows (from the movies of course) planning a wedding can be stressful. If you are diving into a mortgage and wedlock, here are the items that should definitely make it onto your to-do list.
Research from a realestate.com.au Consumer Intentions Study show that 30% of people who are engaged or planning to get married are also in the market to buy a home, but in the throes of passion it can be easy to forget the important stuff that goes with the home buying process.
Your newly married to-do list may be long, but don’t put off the important stuff. Picture: Kate Hunter
“Life insurance protects dependents and loved ones,” explains NobleOak CEO Anthony Brown.
“When people get married for the first time it’s a very exciting time. The focus is on planning their special day and starting a new life together. It can be all-consuming to the exclusion of other important things you should think about, such as life insurance,” Brown says.
“If the newlyweds are young – in their 20s or early 30s – they may think they’re ‘bullet-proof’ – young, fit and healthy. The reality is anyone can get sick or have an accident irrespective of age or health.
“Newly married couples need to be able to ensure that if anything happens to either one of them, they will be able to meet their mortgage, rent or other financial commitments.”
Life insurance is the ultimate symbol of commitment. Picture: Getty
For couples juggling a lot of their plate, the process can be as simple and straight-forward as jumping online to answer a few simple questions, which will feed back an initial quote. At NobleOak, a sales rep will then give you a call to ask some more questions and send your application over to underwriting for assessment. Easy.
Reality check: Anyone can suffer an illness or injury and not be able to work unexpectedly.
“If this were to happen [to you or your spouse] you may find it hard to manage ongoing financial commitments and be forced to use your savings or even sell off any assets,” Brown explains.
“Some people think they can rely on Workers Compensation insurance or private health cover. But these types of insurance cover provide only limited protection and the financial benefit is used for a specific purpose. With cover such as Income Protection, you can get a monthly benefit up to 75% of your salary and use it however you want.”
If you already own a property, and you wish to share the title with your new husband or wife, you can apply for joint tenancy to hold the title. This is probably the most popular way to hold title for married couples, as it means that the property automatically passes to the surviving partner upon the other partner’s death.
Certainly, one person can hold the title alone, but this just means that one person owns it, and the other is merely paying rent and is not responsible for any home repairs or taxes.
In New South Wales, the process is relatively straight-forward. Apply here on the Land and Registry Services website. If you just want to update your name on your title (to your married name) go here.
Sure, you just got married, and might not be thinking about kids right this second.
But with those expecting a child three times more likely to be looking to buy a home larger than their current one in the next 12 months, according to the realestate.com.au survey, it could pay to think ahead when conducting the property search.
Start the property search together with a look into the future. Picture: Getty
Could you potentially save yourself from going through the process twice in a five-year period if you plan for what’s happening in those five years, now?
Nerida Conisbee, REA Group Chief Economist, says “if this is your first property purchase, it probably won’t be your forever home, don’t get caught up in getting exactly what you want.”
“You may have to move further afield to get a larger home, or may have to tighten your budget.”
Many married couples accept a gift from a parent or in-law to help bump up their home deposit, but this can be a slippery slope, unless the conditions are clearly laid out.
You could accept what you thought was a gift, but could actually be a loan. This could cause financial stress later on if you’ve been spending money you should have been paying back.
“If you do get a gift from a parent or an in law, make sure you understand if it’s a gift or a loan. If you’re not sure, ask and get something in writing. You can always see a lawyer to discuss your options,” Nerida says.