Mortgage before Marriage?

I have had quite a few clients ask me how getting married would affect their ability to purchase a home.

The state of California is a community property state. What does that mean? Once you are married, in the state of California, you and your spouse essentially share assets . . . and debt. Government loans will look at spouses debt in qualifying for the loan, even if the spouse is not going on the loan or on title! Government loans including, but not limited to FHA,VA and USDA.

Ex. Joe makes $2,500 a month and has $0 of debt. Mary (Joe's wife) has $500 worth of credit card and student loan payments every month. Even if Joe is THE ONLY ONE QUALIFYING FOR THE LOAN, Joe must be able to qualify for the loan payment and his wife's debt.

What if I'm not doing a government loan? If you are doing a conventional loan, it may be more useful to only have your husband or wife on the loan and to go on title as a "non borrowing spouse". In this case, you could use only one persons income and debt to qualify for the loan, and not have to worry about the spouses debt.

Ex. Joe makes $2,500 a month and has $0 of debt. Mary (Joe's wife) has $500 worth of credit card and student loan payments every month. Joe is the only one qualifying for the loan, he does not need to qualify for his wife's debt as well. Mary can still go on title and be an owner of the property.

If we're engaged should we wait until after we purchase a home to get married? It may absolutely be advantageous to wait until you buy to get married. It could be the difference between qualifying and not qualifying for a home.

If you have ANY questions, feel free to send me an email or give me a call!


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