There are few things more exciting than buying a house with your significant other. It shows that your relationship is strong and that you’re ready to take the next step. However, the homebuying process can be stressful, which means it can be quite a strain on a relationship if you’re not careful. Here are seven tips that will hopefully make buying a home with your partner a process that’s as stress-free as possible:
- Get on the same page
Deciding that you want to own a home together is not the same as being on the same page. You need to sit down with your partner and figure out, then discuss, exactly what they want in a house. One of you may want to live in an urban area while the other may prefer the suburbs. Your partner may like the idea of buying a fixer-upper while you may want to buy a newly constructed house. If you don’t go over these things together beforehand, you’re going to have a lot of arguments as you go house hunting. You’ll also waste a lot of time looking at homes one of you may have no interest in. Sit down and compare a list of wants and needs, and find a way to compromise so that you’ll both be happy.
- Don’t overdo it
You’ll want to commit fully to the home search if you and your partner decide to buy a home together, but you don’t want to exhaust yourselves either. Looking for a new home can be a tiring and stressful process, so be sure to take a break every once in a while. Go out to dinner or go for a hike together to help get your minds off the homebuying process, if only for a short time.
- Get your finances sorted out
Both of your credit scores and histories are going to affect your ability to get a mortgage. To avoid any surprises, you should both obtain a free credit report to see what state your credit is in. This will give you a chance to look for any errors in the reports. One thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that many lenders will focus on the person whose credit is lower; so if one of you has a low credit rating, you may want to think about working together to improve it before you apply for a mortgage. In addition to getting your credit sorted out, you’ll need to compare your income and debt in order to establish a budget. You will have to determine how much you can afford to pay in terms of the down payment, monthly mortgage payments and all the additional costs associated with homeownership.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Nothing will cause a rift in your relationship quite like having a mortgage application turned down right after you’ve found the perfect home for both you and your partner. Having spent all that time together looking for a house, only to learn that you can’t afford it, is incredibly discouraging and will most certainly give rise to a heated argument or two. This is why you should get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin looking at homes.
- Use a trustworthy real estate agent
Trying to get through the homebuying process by yourself is a bad idea to begin with; thinking you can do it with your partner without the help of a real estate agent may be an even worse idea. Not only can a real estate agent help you to find properties that fit both of your needs, an agent will also help guide you through the entirety of the home buying process, all the way through the closing. An agent can provide expert advice, along with a neutral opinion if any disagreements come up between you and your partner concerning the process.
- Be ready to act
Both you and your partner need to be assertive. If you find a home that you both seem to love that falls within your budget, don’t hesitate. It’s easy to hesitate, especially if one of you doesn’t go all out. However, if you take a few days to think it over, you may find that someone else has made an offer. When it comes to couples that are searching for a new home together, one tends to be a little more hesitant to act. You need to be able to trust your gut instinct, your agent and your partner in order to act quickly and decisively.
- Prepare yourself for the home inspection
Don’t be scared of your home inspection. The inspector is going to find issues with the house, whether they are big or small. No house is perfect, so neither of you should be shocked when you find out your dream home isn’t either. Speak to your agent about the results and then formulate a plan based on the findings. You’ll have several options that you can consider: you can ask the home seller to make repairs or reduce the price by the cost of the repairs, make the repairs on your own time in the future if they are too small to be serious, or cancel the contract.
Looking for the perfect house can be a long and arduous process, and doing so with a partner adds even more pressure and stress onto the both of you. Keep these seven tips in mind in order to help make the home buying process go as smoothly as possible so that you can begin the next stage of your lives together happily in your new home.