Now, the results of a soon-to-be-released survey from Coldwell Banker indicate that today’s young couples are also more likely to buy homes together before marriage. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of polled married couples ages 18 to 34 said that they purchased a home before they were married. Among married couples ages 45 and up, just 14% said that they bought a house together before tying the knot. Couples in the Northeast stand out as particularly likely to buy real estate before getting hitched: Just 60% in the survey waited until marriage to purchase a home, compared to 72% in the tradition-minded South, where people tend to marry younger (and therefore, poorer).
In a phone interview, Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and Coldwell Banker’s official “lifestyle correspondent,” said that buying a home together has become “the new engagement ring” for some young couples. They’re committing to purchasing real estate as a couple regardless of whether they’ve set a wedding date. Some even forego lavish weddings and honeymoons in order to cover the down payment and a chunk of the mortgage. “Millennials have a very pragmatic state of mind,” said Ludwig. “They know that they have an opportunity here, with low mortgage rates and low housing prices. And they think, ‘We’re moving toward marriage anyway, so let’s buy.’ It makes sense.”