According to a survey by Redfin, thirty-eight percent of American millennials (those aged 18-34) reported that they would, or have, put off a wedding or honeymoon in order to afford to buy a home. While marriage may come eventually for unmarried couples who buy a home together, for many, down payments have taken precedence over heading down the aisle.
Lindsay Milkovich, a Redfin real estate agent in Los Angeles, helped two unmarried millennial couples purchase their first homes in December. "To them, it just seemed more practical to put their money toward the purchase of a home instead of a big party," she said.
And their choice may indicate a bigger commitment than a marriage. Divorce can be simple, but decoupling from a co-ownership situation never is.
"Breaking up is hard to do but splitting financial assets makes it even harder, especially considering the fees and closing costs that are associated with buying and selling a home, which if done too soon can wipe out all the equity accumulated," said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. "A house for most people is a long-term asset, which it should be if you are looking for a return on your investment."
So, if a couple is looking to make some money in the future from their joint home purchase, they should be sure that the relationship is ready to weather that kind of commitment.