If you're saying "I do" to a mortgage without marriage, it's important to take steps to protect that investment.
Unmarried couples represent 15 percent of young homebuyers, age 24 to 35, according to a new analysis of 2015 data from Zillow. A decade earlier, those buyers were 11 percent of the market. (See chart below for cities where unmarried homebuyers are house hunting.)
Some of the shift stems from demographic factors such as young adults marrying later, or opting to cohabitate without getting married, said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow. But rising home prices, particularly in hot markets, have also played a significant role.
"Being able to afford that monthly mortgage payment has grown out of reach for many single buyers," he said.