20% of couples now ask for down payment on a house on their wedding registry

Couple embraces looking at home with sold sign
Adobe

If you are planning a wedding, what will you put on your gift registry? An air fryer? Some fine china? Or how about some cash to pay for a house?

That last option might sound unusual, but it’s becoming increasingly common among couples faced with soaring home prices. And this isn’t just anecdotal: Zillow Home Loans and The Knot (a wedding magazine and vendor marketplace) recently conducted a study that showed a 55% increase in the number of couples requesting help buying a home on their registry, compared to 2018.

Currently, nearly 20% of all couples registered on The Knot have asked for help with a down payment on their first home as part of their overall gift requests.

And many of those who haven’t thought to make this request have regretted it. In a recent survey by Realtor.com, 85% of the couples who created a registry in the last two years wished they would have asked for money toward a home down payment, instead of traditional wedding gifts. Asked if they could go back and do it again, 80% of them say that they would at least have given people the option to give cash for things like a down payment or closing costs.

The reason for this is clear enough when you take a look at the graph below from GO Banking Rates. With home prices climbing steadily for over a decade, the burden of coming up with a down payment gets increasingly heavy.

Graph of home values over past 20 years shows $200,000 increase
GO Banking Rates

MORE: 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers in 2023

And with all of the other expenses that young couples are trying to meet, the usual wedding gifts aren’t cutting it anymore. Who needs new sheets and an electric mixer if you can’t afford a house to put them in? And in many cases, people would be better off paying off debt or putting cash in savings. If the people in your life are going to be spending money on you, you may as well consider the most efficient ways to put it to use.

It doesn’t have to be home funds, either. “Use it to create an emergency reserve, pay down student loan debt, or fund an IRA contribution,” financial planner Randy Bruns of Naperville, Illinois, told Reuters. “This is a very practical idea for wedding gifts – and one that we have chosen for my sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding.”

It may be true that all you need is love, but a little extra help with the general expenses of life could go a long way, too.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graham Kizer
Jennifer Graham Kizer has written features and essays for over a dozen magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Health, Parents, Parenting, Redbook and TV Guide.

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