You’ve decided to buy a home with your partner. You love each other, you get along well and you want to spend the rest of your lives together. It’s time to start looking for your dream home! Well, not exactly. Before you go shopping for the place of your dreams, take some time to look at the reality and make a good plan together.
A recent studyshowed that 60 percent of millennial and Gen X couples disagreed occasionally, frequently, or “a lot” when buying a house with their partner or spouse. A fear of taking on too much debt was the biggest cause for strife, the study showed. After that came the style of the home and whether to renovate.
So how do you begin to navigate this bumpy road? Talk, talk and more talk. Sit down with your partner and work out a budget. Consider your finances and what you’re able to afford. Speak with a financial advisor and a lender to help you decide what you can afford. Then look at your monthly income, how much you have for a down payment and what kind of monthly payments you can realistically take on. Once you have a budget decided, stick with it. Know exactly how much wiggle room you have, if any, and what you’d have to give up if the perfect home costs more than expected.
Then talk about what kind of homeyou would like and where. Do you like the suburbs or the city, or somewhere in between? Do you want a basement? A yard? A garage? Understand that throughout the process, you’ll need to compromise. You may not get everything you want, and your partner won’t get everything he or she wants, either.
When it’s time to start shopping, let your real estate agent know what you’re looking for and why. She’ll keep your needs in mind when searching for the right home for you. When you’re looking at homes, try to keep yourpartner’s needsin mind and don’t just focus on getting what you want. Your partner needs to know that you hear what they have said and understand their needs.
Soon, you’ll feel like every free moment is spent looking at homes. Don’t let this be the case. Remember that your relationship needs nurturing, too.Take timeto spend together at dinner, out for a walk or just sitting in a cafe and chatting about something other than your house hunting. When you are touring homes, take that time to learn about your partner and understand his or her thought process. You might learn something new.
When it’s time to make an offer, don’t be afraid to act. When the market is good for sellers, buyers are jumping on the best homes. If you are hesitant and want to think about it overnight, you might miss out on the best house and have to start the search all over again.
Buying a home is a big decision, and you should make sure your relationship is strong and likely to last at least as long as you plan to stay in your home. Having some good stress and conflict management skills can help you navigate this time together more easily. Remember why you came together in the first place, and focus on how great it will be to buy a home together. Then once you’re settled, you’ll look back on that time with fond memories.