Should You Buy a House Before Having a Baby?
Should You Buy a House Before Having a Baby?
The answer to this question will vary but it may have financial implications. You will need to weigh the pluses and minuses and make your own personal decision.
Some important things to consider before making your decision are:
- Qualifying for a mortgage before having a baby
- Are you buying the right home for the future?
- Is the home safe for children?
- Whether you plan to go back to work after having your baby
- Will you have help moving?
- How much work your home will need after the purchase?
Qualifying for a Mortgage Before Having a Baby
One of the questions that lenders cannot ask when you are applying for a mortgage is whether you are pregnant. Therefore, in theory it should not matter whether you are pregnant at the time when you apply for a mortgage. It should not impact your ability to get approved unless you do not plan to go back to work.
The qualification process is the same. You will be required to document your income unless you are self employed and elect to secure a bank statement loan. You will be required to provide all of your asset information, the sales contract and any other documentation that is standard for a home purchase.
Our lenders will approve or deny your loan application based upon the income, asset and employment data provided and your pregnancy will not become a factor in their decision making process. However, if you plan to apply for a mortgage prior to having your baby, I believe that it is a good idea to do that before you have left on maternity leave.
If you believe there is a chance that you may not come back to work and money could be tight, then consider an interest only loan. It will enable you do make interest only payments if needed. The recommendation though would be to also make principal payments at all times. The interest only feature removed the principal “requirement”. It can help with monthly cash flow. A good read is my top 10 mortgage hacks to save money.
I can share this personal story with you. My wife and I purchased our home one month before getting married. The home was far from my wife’s job at the time. Once we married and moved into our new home, she had to leave her job due to the very long commute. It was a long time before she found employment again and I can tell you that the financial strain was not easy to deal with.
Are You Buying the Right Home for The Future?
It is important to remember that you that the home your buying is not just for an infant. The home you are buying will soon be occupied by a teenager. The child may also have one or two brothers or sisters in the next few years. Ask yourself whether this home can accommodate 2 or 3 young adults. Do you have enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
Consider the town itself and not just the home. You are having a baby and at some point soon the child will be going to school. What are the schools like in the area? Is there a park nearby or will he or she have to cross a busy road to get to a place to play?
The point I am trying to make is to envision your family or your life about 8-10 years from now and buy the home that makes sense for you then… not just what works now. Time flies. We unfortunately made that mistake as well when we purchased a home with just one bathroom and had our second child coming. We knew we had to move at that point and when we were home shopping, there were other houses that would have made more sense for us long term.
I suggest reading our article about buying the perfect home for a growing family.
Is the Home You are Buying Safe for Children?
Take careful precautions if you are buying an older home. Have it tested for lead paint and asbestos. Often prior homeowners will sell the home and will leave behind a lot of toxic containers in the garage or under the sinks. Make sure that they dispose of those items before you move in.
Finally, if the home has a pool then make sure it is gated with no chance for your child to have an accident. I am not in favor of being over protective. In fact, I think too many parents wrap their children in virtual bubble wrap, but there are some minimal precautions that you need to take prior to purchasing or moving into your new home with a child.
Will You Go Back to Work After Having a Baby?
Your lender will not know whether you decide to go back to work after having a baby or if you plan to be a stay at home mom. However, that decision is extremely important, and you need to consider all the factors.
If you qualified for a mortgage with your current income and you do not plan to go back to work, then you also need to prepare for the fact that you will not have the income flow to help pay for your mortgage and other monthly expenses. How will you make the payments? Now would be a good time to take a close look at your current and future financial obligations to figure out whether you can make this work. The last thing you need is to be in your home for six months with a new born child without the ability to make the mortgage payments.
If you have your child first and then decide to buy a home, then you absolutely need to be working if your income is necessary to get a mortgage approval. If your significant other is also on the loan application and has enough income to qualify for the loan, then you should be in good shape.
Will You Have Help Moving?
The answer to this question is that you really do need help. If you are pregnant and plan to move into a new home before having the child, it will be extremely difficult managing a move without help from others. It is not just about the heavy lifting.
If you are purchasing the home after you have the baby then it will be difficult to manage all of that stress with a baby to care for. In this instance you will probably have to rely on a close relative to watch your child while you deal with the move. Understanding what will be needed to move into your new home will help make your decision whether to buy before or after having your baby that much easier.
How Much Work Will Your Home Need After Your Purchase?
Are you buying a fixer upper? Will your new home need some renovations or at least painting and cleaning? How will you manage that? I can tell you from first hand experience that buying a home is like getting another full time job. Especially in the beginning.
When we purchased our first home, we bought it from an elderly bachelor who had hunting dogs. We ripped out the carpeting to find smelly stained floors. I found myself scrubbing everything with disinfectant cleaners. Vacuuming hair from everywhere. This was no place for a child and probably not a great situation for a pregnant mother either.
You have an alternative here which is to close on the purchase of your home before having your baby, but then take your time in moving into that home. You don’t have to move in the next day and take on all of the burden at once. Take your time and make the changes to your home in bite sized portions, then move in when you can.
Next Steps in Making Your Decision
This can be a stressful time and we can help by removing the stress of finding a reputable lender. We will take care of that for you. Just complete our contact form to the right of your screen if reading this on a desktop or at the bottom if on a mobile device. We will review your scenario and will make sure you are matched with the perfect lender. If you prefer, you can call us at 732-761-9040
Now, after reading some of the information and ideas above you can think about your situation and make an educated decision as to whether it is a good idea for you to buy your home before having a baby.
Can I apply for a mortgage while on maternity leave? You can apply for the mortgage because you should still be technically employed and be receiving your normal pay. Your employer may need to provide a letter indicting that you are still employed and will be after you have your baby.
Will the bank foreclose on my home if I am pregnant? Unfortunately, the decision to foreclose on a home has nothing to do with your pregnancy situation and everything to do with your ability to make payments on time. The best thing for you to do is to find a way to make the payments so that you do not lose your home before your baby arrives.