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Marriage Is No Longer a Prerequisite for Buying a Home

Once considered something of a prerequisite for buying a home, more couples are forgoing marriage and choosing to buy a house as partners instead of husband and wife. 

This new surveyconducted by market research and consulting firm HarrisX for Realtor.com—aims to find the motives behind single buyers and who they are choosing to buy a home with. 

As a whole, 76% of respondents thought that the ideal age to buy a home is 35, but as the median home price eclipses the $380,000 mark, it is not always feasible to enter the homebuying process solo. According to the report, 31% of all Americans and 41% of 18- to 34-year-olds have bought a primary residence with someone they are not married to. 

Another interesting, and perhaps more indicative of the future market, is that 55% of Americans and 68% of 18-34 year-olds would consider it. 

"With home prices skyrocketing in recent years, it's become even more challenging to break into the housing market for first-time buyers. Many buyers have needed more than one income to afford a home, especially as rising rents may be eating into their down payment savings," said Clare Trapasso, Deputy News Editor for Realtor.com. "However, the pandemic delayed many weddings. And rising prices forced some couples to choose between saving to become homeowners versus having the big day. This has resulted in many unmarried couples, as well as extended families and friends, pooling their resources together so they can afford to become homeowners." 

So who are people moving in with? The most popular choice is with a romantic parnter, but close friends and family were also popular choices. As stated earlier, 55% of Americans were open to buying a home with someone they are not related to; here are who people are choosing to move in with: romantic partner, not engaged or married (27%); child, niece/nephew or younger relative (20%); parent, grandparent or older relative (17%); sibling, cousin or relative of a similar age (16%); friend (10%); or a roommate (7%). 

The top reasons for people to pool resources and purchase a house with someone they are not married to were: starting to build equity sooner (32%); buying in a better location (31%); buying a bigger home (31%), buying a more updated home (31%); pooling resources to get into the housing market sooner (27%). 

“Americans say the most important aspect of being ready to buy a home is more about money than relationship status,” the survey concluded. “The top milestones mentioned were feeling financially ready (71%), feeling stable career-wise (63%) and having enough money saved for a down payment (61%). These career- and money-oriented milestones were cited 2x to 3x more often than being married or in a serious relationship.”

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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