As more career-minded adults are getting married later in life, it isn’t uncommon for these two merging lives to have to figure out what to do with the homes they are bringing into the marriage. The most common solution is to sell one (or both) and find your perfect together home. We’ll explore a few of those options in this article.
Sell one home, live in the other home
When getting married, selling one home and living in the other often sounds the most reasonable – and often it is. Especially, if one of the homes meets all the requirements of the newlywed couple.
We’re not going to spend any time reinforcing the reasons to stay in a home as often the reasons for doing so do not require a list of reasons. Selling a home, now that often requires some discussion.
First, you should recognize that regardless if you keep one home and sell the other, both people will need to do some major decluttering – two fully furnished, fully decorated, fully lived-in homes simply do not merge together within one of the preexisting living spaces. In fact, we’re not even talking about one person declutter by half and the other matching, we’re suggesting each person declutter by over 50%. Of course, this isn’t a hard fast rule, but generally speaking, people have a lot more stuff then they really recognize.
Sell both homes, buy a new house together
When getting married later in life, selling both homes is often the best option when neither home truly matches the needs and/or wants of the couple. When you think about it, both homes often represent a time of different priorities, purchased around a different stage in life, and with entirely different needs in mind. Merging a household often requires a new understanding of future priorities, interests, and needs; hence the need for a new bigger or smaller home.
Selling both homes is also often the best option when merging families that include children; it prevents one set of kids from feeling like their space has been invaded by another group of kids who feel like the invaders. Homes often come with a years of good (and bad) memories – moving on (literally) is a good way to build new memories with your spouse.
When selling both homes comes into view, establishing a comprehensive plan becomes necessary to simplify the process – I’m here to help.
Rent out one (or both homes)
There are a lot of reasons why you may want to rent out one or both homes when getting married – real estate is often a sound investment, and like any investment be sure to weigh the benefits against the risks. Since you already recognize the tremendous benefits of real estate investment let’s cover some of the most common risks that may not be at the top of your mind.
- If your home(s) still have a mortgage payment it often doesn’t take much of a hiccup to add financial strain. Be sure you can comfortably afford periods of rental vacancy.
- Unlike most stocks, selling a home isn’t instantaneous; and to prevent emotional decisions regarding your new real estate holdings you ought to have a written understanding of your financial goals related to the properties AND a firm understanding of the conditions in which you will sell.
- Becoming market unaware. When you’re living in the neighborhood it’s easy to see what’s going on, who’s selling, who’s moving in, and what new developments are going on around you. These small changes over time influence your local market – and as such, you’re in a better position to understand when you might want to sell or even improve your property. When you’re not around, these things could end up being a bad surprise which hurts your ability to maximize your investment potential.