In A New Relationship And Buying A Home Together? You Need To Read This!
Let me tell you, buying a home as an individual is a world of difference from purchasing a home with your spouse or fiance. That probably holds true for buying a property along side anybody when both people, including yourself, have a high emotional stake in it. But for the sake of this post I am going to talk about purchasing with a spouse or fiance.
The fianace route probably being even tougher because it means it is probably the first time you go through it together and you may discover that you have very different ideas.
Having another person with huge emotional interest and their own pre-conceived notions of what qualities they would like to have in their home is a huge challenge. If not planned for properly, it can cause a large amount of stress. Take it from me, I just went through it. Eventually we figured out what was si-highlight--primary to each of us but it did not happen automatically.
What I wish someone had told me is that there are certain steps that we could have taken to avoid much of the stress and shorten our learning curve. If you follow this advice you are destined for a smoother ride.
1. Family - How many kids are you going to have? When? Will they each need their own room or can they share? Does there need to be a room near the master for when you have a baby? These are all key questions that you may want to think about. They also may partially be dependent on your time frame, needs for a specific school system, and lifestyle, which are all discussed below. The fact is that so many of these questions are interdependent on each other, which is why it is si-highlight--primary you take the time to sort through it all.
2. Schools - If you plan to have children what schools will you want them to go to? Are there certain school districts that you prefer and others that your refuse to send them to? How will that affect the kind of property you can purchase in said neighborhood? If you are going to have to make a lifestyle change in order to be in a particular school district is that something you are ok with? Or do you purchase in an area you want to live in before you have children and just plan on selling when it comes time to send them off to school? Or maybe they will be going to private school. Again, you see how interdependent all of these questions are.
3. LifeStyle - This is where it all becomes very complicated because your desire for a particular lifestyle may not be congruent with the type of environment you want to raise a family in. Are you going to want to live in an urban center like Downtown San Diego or are you going to want to be in the suburbs. Is space or location the most si-highlight--primary factor for you? Is the answer to that question going to change once you have kids?
4. Time Frame - How long do you see yourselves staying in your new home? Is it a place you are going to grow old in or is it a place you are going to live it up in for few years and then move out? When you do move, would you want to keep the it as an investment property and rent it out or would you like to sell and take the equity with you? Maybe you're not even the type to plan so far ahead but your partner is.
5. Finances - This one is really tough. Your idea of what one should spend on your housing and your partner's idea may be completely different. This is an si-highlight--primary conversation you are going to want to have early and come to some kind of agreement on. My recommendation is that you lean to the side of the more conservative of the two of you. The reason being that you don't want either of you being stressed out. Stress will start hurting your relationship in more ways than one so it is best to find each other's comfort levels and make sure that they are respected.
When you go through this exercise with your loved one there are probably a few things that are going to happen. You are going to find out that you agree on some things and totally disagree on others. Don't let this discourage you. Remember that you fell in love not because of the way he or she views interior decorating but because of all of the other wonderful qualities that they offer. It is only natural that this process is going to bring up a few differences.
Be open, totally honest, and look to understand what each of you is looking for and I guarantee there is a way to satisfy both your goals. It is best that you go into it with your eyes open. This way you will avoid what I did not, which is to spend months looking for the wrong thing. The time you spend talking this out will be be a great investment in more ways than one.
Feel free to share stories, ask questions, or add to the list of recommended conversation topics people buying together for the first time.