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Forget the Wedding. Unmarried Couples Leap into Homeownership

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By Zoe Eisenberg

Kimberly Shellman, of Newtown, Conn., purchased a home with her now-fiancé, Dennis O’Connor, three years prior to their engagement. “It made me feel as though we were more committed to each other. Buying a house together is a huge investment, and for me, it validated our relationship and commitment to each other,” explains Shellman, who purchased her home in 2009.

“We really enjoy taking care of a place and the sense of pride that comes with ownership,” says O’Connor.

“When a couple buys their first home, it’s one of the most exciting new experiences they ever will share together,” Ludwig states. “They not only learn about each other’s wishes and dreams during this process, but they also learn how to be practical with each other and compromise. 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.”

Of course, commitment is not the only reason millennials have been making homeownership the new “it” thing. Rates are on the rise, and many committed couples are advancing on the still-low rates now, regardless of whether or not they plan to play wedding bells in the future.

“From what I am seeing, many couples are moving toward getting married, but with the way the real estate market is going, they don’t want to be left out of purchasing a home,” says Khai Tran of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.

“Another thing I have heard from clients is that sometimes they might go way overboard on the wedding expenses, and by getting their home first, they already have eliminated that worry and cost,” continues Tran.

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