The Cost of Committing: Mortgage or Marriage?

The Cost of Committing: Mortgage or Marriage?

28 April 2020

Two of the biggest commitments a person can make in their lifetime is to get married and to buy a house. While these can be huge commitments, they can also come with equally large price tags. As of December 2019, the average UK house price inflation was up 2.2 % compared to the previous year, so, purchasing a home is becoming increasingly more expensive.

Combine this with the average cost of a UK wedding costing 31,974, are millennials being forced to choose between marriage and mortgages?

Breaking Down the Cost of Buying a House

There are many costs that you may need to consider when buying a home. These may not all apply, and they can vary greatly depending on the type of property, the location, the lender and even the buyers themselves.

These costs can include:

  • Deposit - the deposit can be anywhere between 5% and 20% of the property value
  • Stamp Duty - this is a tax that must be paid on homes costing more than 125,000 (or 300,000 if a first-time buyer)
  • Valuation fee - your mortgage lender will want to assess the property so they can work out the amount that they are willing to lend
  • Surveyor's fees - this covers the costs of having a property surveyed so you can be aware of any structural issues before you commit to buying
  • Legal fees - there is a lot of legal work necessary when buying a home, so you will need a solicitor or conveyancer to carry this out
  • Mortgage fees - you may need to consider booking fees, arrangement fees as well as mortgage valuation fees
  • Mortgage payments - the amount you pay will depend on the mortgage product you select. Factors affecting this may be the value of your property, the type of mortgage you opted for, your credit score as well as your personal financial circumstances.
  • Insurance - House and contents insurance and Life insurance are likely to be needed to ensure your property and financial commitments are protected should the worst happen.
  • Other costs - you may need to factor in other costs such as hiring a removals company, any DIY or decorating you need to do and any furniture and appliances you need to buy before moving in.

Breaking Down the Cost of a Wedding

A wedding is often considered to be the most important day of anyone's life, but the cost of the wedding day seems to continue to rise. According to The Evening Standard, the average cost of a wedding in the UK in 2019 was 31,974. With the average house deposit amount standing at 42,360, many couples may be spending as much on their wedding as they would pay for the deposit on the house.

So, what are the costs associated with getting married?

  • Venue hire - this is usually the costliest part of the wedding, with the average cost being 5,406.
  • Catering - many venues charge for catering on top of the venue fees, and with many receptions continuing into the night, paying for each guest to eat two meals can be incredibly expensive
  • Photography and videography - capturing the special day doesn't come cheap, with the average UK wedding photographer charging 1,590
  • Flowers and Decorations - dressing the venue is often important to couples, just as the flowers can be a wedding essential
  • Entertainment - wedding entertainment has evolved in recent years with many couples choosing anything from a swing band to a magician
  • The dress and suits - the average cost for a wedding dress is now 1,313, while the menswear is only 452
  • The rings - in addition to the engagement ring, the wedding rings are a necessity for the wedding budget
  • Other costs - the additional costs of a wedding can include registrar fees, wedding stationery, favours, as well as hair and make-up.

Are Millennials Choosing Mortgage or Marriage?

It is hard to know whether 20-somethings feel as though they have to make a choice between these two commitments. However, recent figures show that the number of agreed house sales have fallen in some parts of the UK. In addition to this, the latest marriage data from the Office of National Statistics revealed the average age of a woman getting married in the UK is now 31.5 years old, and 33.4 years old for men. For same-sex couples, the average age is even higher at 39.5 for men and 35.4 for women.

Perhaps young couples are finding that they need to or would prefer to wait before entering into these social and financial commitments. As social norms have changed, millennials are often not following the same pattern as their parents and are exploring other options such as renting before investing in larger commitments.

Both buying a house and getting married can be two of the biggest decisions and commitments a person can make in their life. Life insurance can come up when discussing these topics, so if life insurance is on your mind, you can find an easy way to compare life insurance quotes at Compare Cover.

You can use our life insurance calculator to find out more about the cover you need, or take a look at our life insurance guides for more information about the different types, such as mortgage protection life insurance.

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