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Saying "I Do" to a House Before a Spouse

Millennials buying homes before getting married

By Consumer Bob
|  Sunday, Apr 21, 2013  |  Updated 6:34 PM PDT
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Jonathan Elko talks to NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob about why he bought a home with his fiancé before they tied the knot.

Jonathan Elko talks to NBC 7 reporter Consumer Bob about why he bought a home with his fiancé before they tied the knot.

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Johnathon Elko and Natalia Van Stralen bought their first house two months ago, but they aren't getting married until September.

They are not alone.

According to a survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, a growing number of millennials are getting a house before getting hitched.

"It's a perfect time to get into the market," said Johnathon Elko.

He said since they have been engaged they thought now would be a good time to buy a house.

"When we became engaged, it was like, do you want to keep renting for another hear or do we want our money to actually go somewhere?" said Elko.

According to the survey, nearly 25 percent of married homeowners aged 18-34 bought a home together before they were married. Out of homeowners who are 45 and older, only 14 percent bought their home before marriage.

"I think it is probably easier today," said Michael Lea, Director of the Corky McMillin Center for Real
Estate
at San Diego State University.

He says attitudes and laws now make it easier for unmarried couples to get into the real estate market. And he says with interest rates low and housing prices starting to rise, couples are motivated to buy a house.

"It can draw people closer together," said Lea but he says there is also a drawback, "You're taking on a big financial responsibility and that could have some negative consequences as well."

More couples getting into the market is good for the housing industry, according to real estate experts. Every year men and women are waiting longer to get married, but that's not keeping them from buying a house.

Elko said it was the right thing to do.

"Knowing that we were already engaged when we were looking, I think it kind of paved the way," he said.

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