If you’re getting ready to tie the knot, it’s one of the most exciting times in life that you’ll share with your significant other. Between the wedding ceremony, reception, and honeymoon, the planning never ends. Of course, purchasing a new home as a couple is yet another major life change that you’ll share together as you embark on your new adventures. From searching for a home to finding furniture and decorating your new nest, here are some helpful newlywed tips to ensure that you experience pure wedded bliss.
Before You Say “I Do”: The Wedding Registry
If you’re planning on buying a house even before you get married, set up a registry for your wedding guests to look at in order to buy you gifts you really want for your home. From cash for furniture to luxurious bedding you’d never buy for yourself, here are some important newlywed essentials to keep in mind.
Decide on the type of registry. Determine whether you want to set up a traditional registry that lists specific items you need, or whether you’d rather (nicely) ask your guests for cash instead. Cash gives you more buying power, but a traditional registry is a bit more personal and ensures you’ll get most of your newlywed must-haves.
Agree on what to add. Most newlyweds moving in together for the first time ask for the basics. Some examples include a nice set of cookware, new appliances, bedding and linens, and some kitchen accessories. You can also add a few pieces of décor that you’ll both enjoy in your new home.
Assess your household needs. Maybe neither of you has a decent set of dishes, or perhaps you’re in need of a nice microwave. When setting up your registry, think about the things you both need the most and will enjoy. Your wedding registry is a great way to “fill in the gap” if you’re in need of specific household items.
Take your guests into consideration. Try Not to go overboard in terms of price when you set up your wedding registry. Instead of the latest top-of-the-line coffee maker, perhaps you can settle for a mid-grade option. Fine linens and expensive crystal are nice, but not everyone can afford to purchase those items. But if you have your heart set on the best of everything, make sure you add a few affordable options, too.
Select the best stores to place your registry. Whether it’s a department store, an electronics and appliances store, or a furniture store, pick out the best retailers for your registry in advance.
Finding the Right Nest
Know what you are looking for. As newlyweds, it’s crucial to agree on what type of home you want to purchase. Perhaps you want to buy a nice condo or townhome in the city, or maybe a rustic ranch in a rural area is more your style. Maybe you both have different ideas. Before you even start to look at homes on the market, come to an agreement about which type of home you want to buy. Think about things like your commute, proximity to amenities, the number of bedrooms you need, and what type of neighborhood suits you best.
Budget effectively. No house hunt is successful without a budget already in place. Sit down with your new spouse and talk about your buying power and your spending limit. You should also write down how much house you think you can afford while leaving wiggle room for other things each month. Budgeting is a vital step in any purchasing process, but it’s even more important when you’re making the biggest investment of your life.
Find the right agent. Look for a local real estate agent who knows your market, and whom you can trust. If you’re not familiar with the agents in your area, ask some friends or family members for a referral. A quality real estate agent will mean the difference between a pleasant home buying process and a frustrating one, so choose yours carefully.
Take your time. Buying your first home is a very big deal, and there’s little doubt that you’ll be excited. It’s important to pace yourself and take your time so that you’re absolutely sure you find the right house for you.
Choose and Buy Your Furniture
When you move into your new home, you’ll probably need a few new pieces of furniture. Make sure that you select and purchase these items together so you’re both pleased with your selections.
Bed / Mattress. Shop some local mattress stores to find out which style you’ll both like best. Maybe you like firm mattresses, or perhaps you’d do better with memory foam. You should also decide on a bed size and style together so that you’ll both sleep soundly in your new home.
Sofa. Are you looking for a large sectional, or do you both prefer a cozy, three-cushion sofa? Check out the range of sofa styles, materials, and colors that are available so you can figure out which one will be best in your new living room.
Dining table. If you have a formal dining room, you may want a large dining table. If you have an eat-in kitchen or an open floor plan, a smaller dining table might be best. Expandable dining tables are great for entertaining, and you can always shrink them down afterward to save room.
Big appliances. You may need some major appliances for your new home, including a new fridge or stove. Most homes don’t come with a washing machine or dryer, so consider these important appliances in your budget. You may also want to buy a brand-new TV that you can enjoy together in the new place. Shop around to find the best deals, and consider appliances with the highest energy efficiency to save you money and lower your carbon footprint.
Outdoor furniture: Does your new home have a deck or patio? If so, check out some new outdoor furniture you’ll enjoy. Look for lounge chairs and outdoor dining sets that will make it fun to entertain friends and spend time outside.
Protecting The Nest
A home warranty can provide you with peace of mind by protecting your home’s major systems and appliances from unexpected breakdowns. Here are some tips and advice for newlyweds on buying a home warranty:
- Understand what a home warranty covers: Home warranties typically cover the repair or replacement of major systems such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and appliances like refrigerators, ovens, washers, and dryers. However, coverage can vary among different providers, so make sure to read the contract carefully to understand what is included and excluded.
- Assess your needs: Take stock of the age and condition of the systems and appliances in your new home. If they are relatively new or still under manufacturer warranties, you may not need a home warranty immediately. On the other hand, if your home has older systems or appliances, a home warranty can provide valuable protection.
- Research reputable home warranty companies: Look for well-established and reputable home warranty providers. Read reviews and check their ratings with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau. Compare plans, coverage options, pricing, and customer feedback to make an informed decision.
- Understand the terms and limitations: Carefully review the terms and conditions of the home warranty policy. Note any coverage limitations, exclusions, deductibles, and service call fees. Pay attention to any waiting periods before coverage begins to avoid surprises.
- Consider additional coverage options: Some home warranty providers offer optional add-ons for coverage of specific items like swimming pools, spas, well pumps, or additional appliances. Evaluate these options based on your specific needs and budget.
- Get multiple quotes: Request quotes from different home warranty companies to compare pricing and coverage options. Make sure to provide accurate information about your home’s size, age, and the systems and appliances you want to include in the coverage.
- Read customer reviews and testimonials: Look for feedback from current or past customers to get an idea of the provider’s customer service, responsiveness, and overall satisfaction. This can help you gauge the reliability and trustworthiness of the company.
- Understand the claim process: Familiarize yourself with the process for filing a claim and how the provider handles repairs or replacements. Find out if they have a network of pre-screened service technicians or if you have the flexibility to choose your own.
- Consider your budget: Evaluate the cost of the home warranty premium and weigh it against the potential savings and peace of mind it can provide. Determine if the cost is affordable for you and aligns with your overall budget.
- Review cancellation policy: Before purchasing a home warranty, understand the cancellation policy. Find out if there are any penalties or fees associated with canceling the contract and if there is a trial period during which you can assess the service.
Remember, a home warranty is not a substitute for homeowners insurance, which covers events like theft, fire, or natural disasters. Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for your home alongside a home warranty if you decide to purchase one.
It’s always a good idea to consult with professionals such as real estate agents, home inspectors, or lawyers who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and location.
Decorating Your Nest
Once you’ve found your new home, it’s time to decorate. While you may not agree on everything, it’s still a good idea to compromise on a few things so that you both feel at home in your “nest”. You might need to consider hiring a handyman to help you out with some projects, as they can be overwhelming.
Agree on a style. Do you love mid-century modern design, or do you prefer the farmhouse look? A hodge-podge of things you like? Agree on a basic decorating style before you buy any new furniture or décor for the home.
Choose your color palette. From neutrals to jewel tones, colors transform a room. Choose a color palette that’s easy to work with, and that you’ll both enjoy.
Prioritize your bedroom and living area. When buying new furniture and décor, make the bedroom and living room a priority. You can always add to the home office or guest bedroom later.
Incorporate plants/flowers. Fresh flowers or potted plants will make your home feel cheerful and lively. Add a few plants to your new digs that are easy to care for, but that will also bring joy to your home.
Accessorize. Have fun picking out accessories like sculptures, area rugs, picture frames, and accent furniture. You can even add a few of these items to your registry so your guests can have fun picking them out, too.
Wall décor. Look for pieces of wall décor that will tie everything together. These can be anything from beautiful paintings on canvas, movie posters, decorative wall mirrors, or custom photography of your wedding or honeymoon. If you have any artist friends, order a commission piece for a special touch.
Be Mindful of Your First Experiences as Newlyweds
Getting married is exciting, but being married will definitely have its ups and downs. Here are some tips to help you navigate your new life and be mindful of your first experiences as newlyweds, good and bad.
Roller coaster of emotions. When you’re first married, you’ll likely feel a range of different emotions, from exuberance to worry. Remember that these emotions are perfectly normal, and what’s important is that you communicate how you’re feeling with your spouse.
Your first big fight. Even lovebirds have their spats, and that’s not unusual. The important thing is to know how to handle a fight with your spouse and how to manage your disagreements in a mature, productive way.
Wedding planning withdrawal. Planning a wedding can be emotional and time-consuming, and when it’s over, you might even experience a little bit of withdrawal. Remember that there will always be new things to plan, and now’s the time to focus on your new life together in your new home.
The first issue with the in-laws. Almost everyone has an issue with their in-laws at some time in their marriage. Do your best to keep your heavy emotions to a minimum, and avoid saying hurtful things. Remember, this is your spouse’s parents, and while there may be some disagreements, you are all family now.
Check-in with each other: Life can get really busy, and it’s easy to forget how the other person in the marriage is feeling. Remember to check in with each other and find out how things are in their career or with their mental health. Schedule time each week to dedicate to spending together as a couple.
Don’t Forget Your Finances as a Couple
When you get married, you will experience a few financial changes as well as other changes in your life. Your joint financial habits will affect such things as whether you can buy a house and how much you will be able to save for retirement. After marriage, combining finances might include joint bank accounts, filing taxes together, buying that first house, and updating your life insurance policies. So, be sure to discuss with your spouse these topics:
What’s your investing philosophy. Your money-management philosophies should be laid bare and transparent with your spouse. In order to successfully save money, it is important to first know what motivates you and how your money decisions will affect your future relations with your partner.
Agree on financial goals. If you set spending and saving targets alongside each other and financial goals, you will be able to figure out how much you will spend and save together. Conceivably, your expectations for the future will differ, but for now, it’s time to talk about a means to ensure both parties are happy.
Decide whether to have separate vs. joint accounts. Do you think you and your partner should maintain a joint financial account? There may be times when you don’t have a choice and other times when you do. Couples have the ability to decide what makes sense for them. For example, you could have some shared accounts but still maintain separate accounts, as well, such as credit cards. Talk to your spouse and decide what would work best for both.
Set a monthly budget. To be financially healthy, couples need both short and long-term goals. Determine which type of monthly budget you’ll use based on your financial goals, and set spending limits together. Since it’s going to be revised many times over the course of the rest of your life, it doesn’t need to be perfect at the outset of the marriage, but you must ensure you can manage your money as well as measure your success.
Evaluate insurance options. You have a lot on your plate as you plan to spend the rest of your lives together, but it’s important to review your insurance policy anytime you have a big life event—and getting married is one of the most significant. Your lives are changing, and as a result, so will your insurance requirements. If you’re not careful, you might not have the right insurance in place to protect your loved ones. Before you yes “I Do”, sit down with your partner and discuss the following types of insurance: health, car, homeowner, and life insurance.
Once you say, “I do,” you’re ready to embark on an amazing journey together as a newlywed couple. Remember to have fun throughout the home-buying process, devise a budget, and communicate regularly about the things that are most important to you. Every marriage has its ups and downs, but what matters most is that you’re conquering the challenges together. And of course, be sure to enjoy your new home, and make it a happy space you’ll share for many years to come.