Moving in together is one of the biggest steps you can take with your partner. Buying a house together is a similar, albeit bigger step. It comes with all the stressful downsides of moving, while also being cause for thorough discussion and negotiation.
This is a decision that will drastically impact your joint finances and show a new level of commitment. Such a big step needs to be made carefully, as there are many ways for it to go wrong and leave one part of your family feeling alienated. If you’re wondering how to initiate the talk – here’s a good way to start.
Why you need a house
There are lots of reasons why you might prefer a house over an apartment. Houses tend to have a lot of space, which favours a family that’s growing. If you plan to have kids, you can organize your home to give each of them a room of their own, while having rooms to spare. Let’s not forget about the outdoor space, which is very valuable for your leisure time and for getting kids some much-needed fresh air.
Even with the many benefits that come with owning a home, you have to consult your partner before making the decision. Voice your opinion on why you should move to a house soon. If you’re unsatisfied with current living conditions and want to make a commitment to a larger space, it’s something you should mention. They can share their thoughts on the matter and you can decide whether or not it’s time to move.
Where you want to live
When deciding where you want to live, you have to look at the big picture. Just because the house or apartment is nice and affordable doesn’t mean the neighbourhood is as great. There are lots of factors to consider. What kind of educational opportunities are available in the area for your kids? Would the commute to work be too long for you or your partner? These things will affect your day-to-day lives, which is why it’s so important that you choose the right location.
Do thorough research about any area that you’re itching to move to. Check the statistics and results of local elementary and high schools for an overview of education options. Discuss what kind of neighborhood would be best for your family and why. Some people would prefer a house in the suburbs, while others might like living closer to the city.
What price range to aim for
The price range of the homes you want to check out needs to be discussed as well. While you might argue that a bigger house and property are necessary for this or that reason, your partner might not agree with you. Some people don’t put a lot of value in the size of their living space, and would rather save up for something else while choosing a smaller home. As with any financial discussion with family, you should take great care to find a middle ground when choosing a final price range.
Ask yourselves how much you can afford for a new house. Buying a house in an affluent neighborhood has its benefits, but it will cost you. If you have lots of money saved up, it’s likely that your partner will agree, unless they aren’t particularly fond of your choice of house. Even with substantial savings, taking out a mortgage is a big decision. Try to predict how future earnings and job offers might influence your decision. If one partner might not be able to contribute as much for the new house, it might negatively affect the relationship.
How you’re going to budget
When hunting for a new house, you’ll need to hone your budgeting skills. Saving up for a down payment isn’t easy, especially as house prices continue to rise. Down payments tend to be around twenty to thirty percent of the total cost. While it may seem like a lot, it’s perfectly feasible to achieve with two incomes and a bit of saving practice.
If you prefer to lower the costs, building your own house might be the better option. This also gives you the opportunity to choose exactly what your home will look like. Both you and your partner can cooperate and include all of your wants and needs, instead of compromising on a complete home you both like. Hiring experienced new home builders is necessary if you aim to customize your house to match your taste. It might cost you, but it’s something you need if you want to live in a home built by your specifications.
Who’s going to be on the deed
While many couples put both names on the deed and mortgage of a home, this isn’t always advantageous. One partner could have outstanding debt for one reason or another, which ruins their credit. This makes lenders less likely to give them a loan, even if the other partner’s score is solid. If you run a company, some states will require you to be in business for some time before they will allow a loan.
Having only one name on the deed can stir up drama. Who’s to decide who will be the official owner of the house? Should you get in a disagreement, the partner whose name is on the deed has leverage on the other one. It can breed jealousy and resentment, which would lead to further fights.
Create an open dialogue and consult legal counsel for the decision. This will help clear up any misunderstandings and allow both of you to make an informed decision.
Moving with your family is nothing like moving on your own. There are a lot of factors you have to consider before making a decision. Always open up channels for communication and discuss every part of the process and how you will proceed. Only with proper discussion can you come to an agreement or compromise. Whether you want to build or move into a completed home, you should be completely sure that you’ve made the right decision before going through with it.