Just married? Tips for Buying your First Home

Married couples often have the upper hand when it comes to buying property. Thanks to combined incomes and higher spending power, coupling up can take you one step closer to purchasing your dream home.

However, there are some important differences in the home-buying process for couples and singles. With this in mind, global property portal Lamudi has provided a cheat sheet for newlyweds and other couples looking to enter the real estate market for the first time.

Open an investment account

Although properties are primarily quoted in cedis, the reality is that they have dollar valuations. Foreign exchange fluctuations make it all the more important to open investment accounts instead of keeping all your funds in a savings account. Investment instruments are great hedging tools against depreciation and a good way to save more towards buying your first home.

Look at both your finances

Combining your total household income is a great way to qualify for a mortgage. By pooling your combined income, you will be able to afford a larger down payment and get a better deal on your mortgage. Other private properties owned by you or your spouse could be included to increase your net worth.

Investigate a partnership agreement

For unmarried couples who are nevertheless looking to purchase a home together, a home buying partnership agreement could be worth your while. This serves as a kind of prenuptial agreement for your home and protects both parties if the relationship does not work out. The legally binding agreement will outline the ownership terms, who pays for expenses such as mortgage repayments and taxes, and how the property will be divided in the event of a break-up.

Track your finances

Once you have qualified for a mortgage, developing a good system for monitoring your combined finances is essential. The first step is to create a shared budget that you will both adhere to. Simple measures like applying for a joint bank account can simplify the process of tracking your finances. You might also consider using a budgeting app to stay organised. Above all, set a regular time to sit down together and review your goals and your financial position, and make sure

you stay on track.

Short Story: I woke up MARRIED!

Photo credit- www.fg-w.com

Photo credit- http://www.fg-w.com

 

Asantewaa woke up one morning startled. There was man lying on her bed snoring. She lifted her upper body and looked at the man trying to figure out who he was. She tapped him on the shoulder but he did not move. She shook him, a little harder now. He woke up and stared at her totally dismayed, maybe a little annoyed. He rubbed his eyes with his fist as if rubbing off the sleep too.

Asantewa asked, “Who are you?’

The man gazed at her, more bewildered by the question than being woken up so early.

“Asantewaa, what is happening?” He managed to say.

“What is your name and what are you doing on the bed?” She repeated the question, louder this time. He looked at her and smiled. She  repeated the question the third time and at this, he sat up straight,

“You are joking right?”  He asked, puzzled.

“I am serious.” She replied sternly, “Who are you and what are you doing on the bed with me?”

He shook his head as if trying to properly arrange her question in his mind. “I am your husband and this is our home.” He answered simply.

“You are my what?” She screamed.

“We are married.” He answered simply.

“How, when and  where was that?” Asantewaa asked, louder.

” We got married in your church. On the 14th of March.” Asantewa tried estimating the number of years she  has been married, but she couldn’t remember.

“How many years have we been married?” She asked him. Before he could reply, a girl of about four years entered the room. Asantewaa grew curious. She asked her ‘husband.’

“Who is this?” She asked, pointing to the girl who has just entered the room.

“Will you cut the jokes. I think you are beginning to get on my nerves” Her ‘husband’ replied. She could now sense his irritation.

“I am not joking.” She replied. ” I seriously do not remember you or our marriage or her.” She added, pointing to the little girl. He heaved a sigh and replied slowly, “That is our daughter. She is four years old.”

Asantewa  looked at the little girl who came running to her, calling her mummy. The little girl gave her a hug and the sweetest smile she had ever seen. She asked Asantewa to help her prepare for school. What a morning? Asantewaa said to herself. First this man claims she was his wife and now, this little girl is implying she is her mum.

Her ‘husband’ was now sitting quietly, deep in thoughts, trying to decipher if something bad had happened to his wife. He looked worried. Asantewa jumped from the bed with the little girl pulling her away.

The man held her dress and asked, “Asantewa, are you serious about this whole dimentia thing? Don’t you remember us or the marriage or her?” He asked.  “Should we see a doctor?”

She looked at him and asked again, “What did you say your name was? And what is her name?”

The man looked at Asantewa sadly, but replied, “We have to see a doctor. Did you hit your head against anything?”

He walked towards his wife and started examining her forehead. Before Asantewa could stop him, the little girl started pulling her away,  insisting she goes to help her prepare for school.

Asantewa repeated her question, “What is her name again?” Pointing to the little girl. She could see tears welling up in the eyes her husband’s eye.

Maybe she had taken this joke too far, she asked, “Kweku, what is today’s date?”

He looked up, sat still for a few seconds and replied, ” 1st April.”