From the day many couples say “yes” to the moment they say “I do,” the clock is ticking on paying for a wedding and buying their first home. In the past year alone, the average cost of a wedding, including an engagement ring, ceremony, reception and honeymoon was $38,700, according to WeddingWire, an online marketplace for the wedding industry. Add to that the financial pressure to save enough money for an affordable home.
A new study by Chase Home Lending on the attitudes and preferences that Millennials have toward the home-buying journey found the top three motivators to buy a home were the desire to own their own space, lifestyle changes such as marriage or having a child, and investments or wealth building.
Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh are the most affordable metros where couples can throw a wedding and also cover a down payment on their first home, according to a new report from Redfin, a technology-powered real estate brokerage. The research includes the full ranking of the most affordable cities to have both a wedding and purchase a home, leading up to the most expensive cities.
In all three of the metro areas mentioned above, the average combined cost of a wedding and a down payment is less than $65,000, compared with the national average of more than $109,000.
San Francisco, where typical wedding and down payment costs add up to $325,000, is the most expensive place to get married and buy a home. In fact, Google is committing $1 billion to try to provide more affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, where tech firms have been blamed for putting home prices out of reach for most prospective home buyers. San Francisco is followed by Los Angeles ($168,000) and New York ($158,000).
To determine how much money couples in different parts of the country would need to pay for a wedding and buy their first home, Redfin calculated down payment amounts in 25 metro areas, assuming a 20 percent down payment on the median list price as of April 2019.
Redfin paired the down payment amount with metro-level and national data on wedding costs from WeddingWire, which found the average cost of a wedding, including an engagement ring, ceremony, reception and honeymoon to be $38,700 in 2018.
Seventy-two percent of Millennial home buyers this year are saving for a down payment directly from their paychecks, up from 69 percent last year, according to Redfin’s March survey of 2,000 U.S. home buyers and sellers.
In expensive coastal metros such as Seattle, Boston and San Diego, a down payment alone costs more than $100,000, without factoring in a wedding.
Even in relatively affordable housing markets like Phoenix, Minneapolis or Atlanta, a typical down payment is more than twice as much as an average wedding.
Millennials are the largest generation of home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. The data from Chase’s study further supports this pattern, as the majority of those surveyed expressed willingness to make tactical and intentional lifestyle changes if it would set them up for success on their home-buying journey in the near future.
Redfin’s report on the most and least affordable places for buying a home also includes personal stories from Redfin employees currently navigating the wedding and home-buying process.