Down Payments Cost Less than Weddings?
Should we get married or buy a house? In some U.S. cities – largely ones with lower home values – young couples are likely weighing that decision.
NEW YORK – Buying a house and having a wedding are two of the most expensive life milestones you’ll likely encounter in your life. Depending on where you live, one could cost you substantially more than the other, a new analysis found.
After reviewing 2021’s average cost of a wedding ($27,063, according to theweddingreport.com) and the median down payment of 13% on a home during the same time frame ($39,973, according to Zillow) for the nation’s 150 largest cities, personal finance website SmartAsset found that, in most cases, putting a down payment on a home was more expensive.
But, in nearly two dozen cities, having a wedding will cost you more.
That’s the case for those living in cities through the Midwest and into the Northeast, SmartAsset determined. Peoria, Illinois had the largest difference between wedding costs and down payments at nearly 41% ($24,131 versus $17,123).
In these five cities, SmartAsset found a wedding is, on average, more expensive than a down payment:
- Peoria, Illinois: $24,131 versus $17,123
- Syracuse, New York: $31,304 versus $23,816
- Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania: $22,373 versus $17,935
- Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio: $22,373 versus $17,935
- Rochester, New York: $31,340 versus $25,161
Ohio had the most cities land in the top 15 (meaning a wedding cost more than a down payment) at five. Pennsylvania had four, New York had three, and Illinois had two.
Cities primarily in the South had the lowest average wedding costs, including locations in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
When it comes to building your wedding budget, wedding site The Knot suggests setting aside 30% for the venue, 23% for catering, and 13% for a band. When buying a home, experts often recommend putting 20% down, but some lenders will allow as little as 3%, according to NerdWallet.
SmartAsset’s full list can be viewed online.
Unsurprisingly, those living in California can expect to spend the most on both life events. Of the cities with the most expensive median down payments, eight of the top 10 were California cities, as were six of the 10 most expensive cities for weddings.
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