It’s an exciting adventure to consider buying your home, especially with your partner. However, if this is your first home, especially together, it’s important to take a step back and do some research. Here is a list of things you should consider before taking the leap.
Before Buying Your Home
One of the most important things you can do before deciding on buying your home together is to assess your mutual income, including calculating your debt-to-income ratio. This will end up saving you the hassle, and potential fights about, your coming budget. It’s a safe idea to get independent advice to be sure that your individual rights will be looked after. It’s a tough topic, but make sure you discuss what will happen in the unlikely event you break up, as you may be locked into a mortgage together. With that out of the way, set your overall budget. Knowing exactly what you are willing to spend in advance, based on your joint income, may prevent tension when it comes to decision making. Open communication will always be your best approach during this endeavour. Discuss what is important to both of you, and where you aren’t willing to compromise. If you know this in advance, you’re less likely to later argue about school districts, pools, or amenities later. Both of your desires are important, and you need to find a happy balance.
Moving Together Without Stress
One thing you should consider, as a couple, is getting as much help as possible. Talk to knowledgeable people who can give sound advice, such as a home buyer’s agent. An agent can greatly alleviate the stress you may feel, and provide thorough guidance through the process for you both. Make sure that your budget provides for hiring professional help, such as your lawyer and also a moving company, or, at the very least, a moving truck. Having extra assistance when you finally make your big move may help you keep your stress down, and, thereby, keep you from lashing out at each other. Movers have experience to make the transition smooth, as well as insurance to keep your things safe. There is enough to worry about rather than having to play the blame game if an item is broken.
Likely, when you finally make your purchase, to stick to budget, you may have made some compromises. If you wanted a great location, you may have to deal with a smaller size. If you wanted a great school district, you may have an older house that needs some work. There will always be ways to improve your property, but it’s up to you to decide what you can live with, and what you need to change. When you’re discussing this with your significant other, try to listen and be compassionate. You may not know why a claw-foot tub is necessary, but if they didn’t get the space they were looking for, it may be a refuge to help them unwind instead of a yoga room. Be open with each other, and remember you both will be living in this place, so it needs to belong to both of you. Once you’ve talked it out, discuss the changes you need to make. Can you do them yourself, or do you need to bring in a contractor for renovations? Do you have room in the budget immediately to tackle them, or do you need to save up to comfortably make changes?
Owning property is an investment, and when handled wisely, can truly brighten your future. You want to create a home with your loved one, but this is a stressful experience. Armed with the right tools, and ample patience, you can make this a success to be shared for the years to come.