Buying a home is a big decision, and can often cause lots of stress. This is doubly so if you and your partner have differences of opinion when it comes to choosing a home. While it can be frustrating to figure out a solution, it’s not impossible. Here’s what you can do to find common ground and keep the home buying process from ruining your relationship.
Make your own wish list
When you’re hunting for the perfect home, it’s essential to create a wish list. This is a list that includes not only your must-haves, but also those things that it would be nice to have. To start, each person should create a separate list. Ask yourself some simple questions. Do I want to live in the city or the suburbs? How many bedrooms do we need? Would I like to have a big backyard, or something that requires less maintenance? Come up with at least 20 items for each list.
Next, compare lists. What do you and your partner have in common? Maybe you agree on how many bedrooms you need, or that you’d both like to live in a quiet neighborhood. Find at least five things on which you can agree. This will give the foundation you need to begin your home search.
Be realistic about your budget
One of the biggest areas of conflict when it comes to house hunting is how much you can afford to spend. Perhaps one of you wants to save money, while the other wants to spend whatever is necessary to get a dream home. The best piece of advice when it comes to determining your budget is to take emotion out of the equation and focus on the facts. Use an online calculator to find out how much home you can reasonably afford. Remember – your monthly mortgage payment won’t be your only expense. You also need to think about utilities, taxes, insurance, repairs and ongoing maintenance. Nothing creates stress and conflict like not being able to afford your monthly payments.
Take a break when needed
If you’re finding that you and your partner cannot come to a basic agreement on what kind of house to look for, it may be wise to take a temporary break. There will always be new homes for sale. There’s no sense in continuing your search until you’re able to get on the same page. Taking a break for a couple of weeks will give each of you some perspective. You can then regroup and reevaluate your needs.
Work with a professional agent
When you work with a professional real estate agent, you’ll get help with every part of the home buying process. This includes helping to mediate the discussions about finding the right home. A good agent can give you advice about the market, offer sound advice and help to ease tensions when you’re having trouble reaching an agreement. It’s much easier for an agent to maintain a healthy emotional detachment from the process, which may be more difficult for those buying the home. Let your agent help you and your partner find common ground when decisions need to be made.