Millennial couples are more likely to buy a house together before they take their wedding vows than their parents and grandparents were, according to a new Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey.
Almost a quarter of married homeowners aged 18 to 34 bought a home together before they were married, compared with 14% of those aged 45 and older.
"We didn't expect to find that couples committed to each other to buy homes before they were married," says Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist who works for Coldwell on lifestyle surveys and buyer habits. "It's almost like buying a home is the new engagement ring."
The online survey of 2,116 adults March 8-12 found that couples who bought homes before marriage were all planning to tie the knot.
"Increasingly, Americans and especially Millennials see marriage as something that should be entered into only after you've taken several steps toward showing your maturity," says Stephanie Coontz, co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. "It's not something you jump into."
Two-thirds of couples getting married these days lived together before they walked the aisle. Buying a home together is a big proof of commitment.