My parents are not always on the same page. In fact, sometimes they are not even in the same book. My father will say my mother is a stubborn woman. My mother says it’s her right to be so stubborn because my dad is always wrong. But when he’s not wrong, she continues with a cheeky smile, we see eye to eye.
Family dynamics aside, seeing eye to eye is especially important when it comes to the joys and pains, sunshine and rain, of buying a new home as a couple.
If you approach the task similar to writing a contract or a business plan, it will help you grasp the numerous variables and provisions which exist in the process which need to be discussed before you buy a property. You need to be clear about why you need a new home, what you are looking for, where to draw your “red lines” and how to pay for everything.
If you are planning to expand your family, then you need to decide how big a home you will need. Will the potential property last for a short period of time or will it be a home you can keep until the youngsters leave the nest?
Can you afford a larger home now, with the plan that your family will grow into it? What neighbourhood do you want to be in? Do you want to walk your children to school or drive them? Does that factor trump price?
There are also the financial considerations, such as the down payment. Where is it coming from? If the couple is not married and contributing un-equal amounts, will there be equal ownership of the property?
Do you want a larger home and rent out part of it to help with the mortgage? Do you have an elder relative you might need to care for and how will that affect the price tag of a home and its maintenance?
The red lines can be easy to establish at first – maybe based on a specific location or a maximum purchase price. But you will need to agree as a couple on other points to not only help you narrow the focus of your search, but also to make the final selection. Create a list together of what essentials you need in a home. Consider the property style you want such as a condo, townhouse or detached home, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, is there a preferred heating system, do you need yard space or certain amenities nearby. Get on the same page as to what you want in a new home before you even start looking at properties.
If you have narrowed your search down to two potential homes and have different pros and cons, do your own lists and compare and contrast. How are you weighing up what you’re looking for?
Like in any relationship, communication is key. You might assume that you are going to talk through everything with a partner, but it is so easy to not be open enough as the process of house hunting is underway. Real divisions can come from the homes that inspire one person and not the other. Everyone’s imagination is different, so you need to work together to create the dream together.
Apart from lists of pros, cons and red lines, I would also suggest detailed budgets of what you can afford so you are prepared for the housing options and contingency plans. You might not be in a property for the full 25 years of a mortgage, but you’ll need to finance it as though you will.
Have you found a new home but it isn’t quite right? Take a look at eieihome’s interior design and decorating pros.
Being in the same book when couples plan to buy a new home, just isn’t enough. You both need to be on the same page if it is going to be successful and not just for your own family happiness, but also for the optics to the bankers, lawyers, agents and sellers out there who want to know you’re fully committed to a home and understand the process.
Being on the same page is the best way to start the new chapter in your life together as a couple and homeowners.