Do you want a big wedding or a downpayment?
NEW YORK – Sept. 1, 2017 – Some singles are opting to use money reserved for their future wedding to buy a home – a big chunk of change that could make a sizable downpayment.
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. at the start of this year was $25,961, according to a survey by the Wedding Report.
Carrie Graham, 35, in Austin, Texas, is among one of those singles who has decided homeownership outweighed any fancy wedding in the future. She's a Protestant minister and she knows that buying a home could be difficult on a minister's salary. Her parents told her they had a "five-figure sum" to give to her for her wedding one day. She has never been married and is not currently considering one, so she asked her parents if she could instead use the funds to buy a home.
"Buying the home wasn't me saying, 'I'm never going to get married' or 'I am going to get married,'" Graham told The New York Times. "My own home had way more than equity benefits. It was a real gift to have a home in an extremely desirable neighborhood in a city that I love. It's brought me joy."
Kimmie Greene, a consumer financial expert and spokeswoman for Mint, says singles' decision to use funds for a downpayment on a home instead of a wedding can be an "incredibly empowering" move. When facing financial decisions, she suggests "to be smart with your money and do things for yourself and not just wait for the next milestone."
Some young couples may still opt to have a wedding, but in lieu of a gift, they've started asking guests to donate money toward a downpayment fund or a honeymoon.
Johnny Marsh, 28, and his wife Alison Donzanti, 29, told The New York Times that in July 2014 they included a note on their wedding invitations asking guests to contribute to a fund for a trip to Hawaii. They ultimately decided not to drop $4,000 on one honeymoon trip, however, and ended up using the cash gifts instead to buy a 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath townhouse in Forester City, Calif.
"We had just been given all of this money and it seemed slightly frivolous to spend it on one big holiday – which, when you boil it down, that's what a honeymoon is," Marsh said. "Everyone thought we were very adult about it."
Source: "Choosing a Down Payment Over a Fancy Wedding," The New York Times (Aug. 30, 2017)
© Copyright 2017 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688