Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Homebuying Trends: First Comes House Then Comes Marriage

Times have changed, and living together before marriage is becoming a popular home buying trend amongst couples in the U.S., with many couples buying a home long before their big day. In a recent study, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC uncovered that about one in six (17%) of couples between the ages of 18 to 34 purchased their first home together before their wedding date, compared to 14 percent of those aged 45 and older. With a greater percentage of people cohabiting today, some say it’s evidence that young couples have more faith in the economy, reflecting widespread consumer confidence that has now reached a five year high.

How has this new trend impacted the real estate market? It has affected both the financial and the contractual aspects of the typical real estate transaction. Defining separate and community property becomes more challenging; and arranging financing that reflects the unique financial position of each party is critical.

Although studies haven’t definitively revealed the reasons why living together before marriage is becoming a popular home buying trend, most assume that it is simply more socially acceptable than it was five, 10 or even 20 years ago.
In the NPR articleStudy: Record Number of People Are Cohabiting,” Andrew Cherlin says, “In 1972, I went home to have dinner with my parents and told them about my girlfriend. And they asked where she was living and I said, with me. And they nearly had a heart attack. Today, when my daughter married a few years ago, I would have been shocked had she not lived with her boyfriend.” And that’s the difference seen in just a generation; couples are less interested in marriage, but ready to take the plunge and buy a home. Surprisingly, co-habitations are longer than they were a decade ago, lasting about 22 months compared with 13 months on average.
Why is home ownership transcending couples’ plans of marriage? Dr. Robi Ludwig, a leading psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC lifestyle correspondent says, “Buying a home has more of an impact on a couple’s relationship than any other purchase they will ever make. It bonds two people together and makes them a family.” This shift in order is a huge movement in American culture, influencing market trends and sales as more couples buy homes much earlier than they would if they’d gotten married first. Additionally, economic factors impact buying behavior. Marriage is expensive and couples now see it as something to do when everything else has fallen magically into place – when they have solid careers, good salaries and most importantly–their relationship with their partner is steady.
Still, 35 percent of all married couples purchased a home together by their second wedding anniversary, which is still the norm. Couples buying their first home, married or not, can take advantage of first time home buying offers and extremely low interest rates. Like marriage, buying a home is a big step, and the trend of couples living together before marriage is becoming a popular home buying trend. It seems that planting roots before tying the knot may be here to stay!

The Marketing Home Products blog has been reporting on home and building industry subjects for more than six years, representing the well-honed marketing, advertising and PR expertise of Kleber & Associates of Atlanta.  Would you like to learn more about marketing and advertising strategies, or brand development for your home and building product? Visit Kleber & Associates on YouTube to learn how we can help you successfully compete in today’s exciting home and building product marketing milieu!