There’s no doubt that purchasing a home with your significant other is by far one of life’s greatest compromises. House hunting can be stressful in and of itself but adding two different opinions to the mix can make the experience even more complicated. Arizona real estate is hotter than ever, but before you take the plunge and seek out a killer deal, there’s an art to buying a home with your partner. No matter how much you may have in common or how well you think you know them, follow this guide to play is safe when buying a home with your significant other so you don’t throw away the key to a beautiful future.
1. Make a list: Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how far this task will take you. Jot down everything your ideal home would have by making a list of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ then compare notes. This exercise allows you to prioritize what’s important as a duo. Expressing to each other why details are a must, whether it’s a feature in a home or a particular location, will support compromise.
2. Don’t be house poor: Rethink spending more than you can afford and keep emotions out of the budget. Focus on a monthly mortgage that stays between 25% and 35% of your take home pay. If a home doesn’t fall within that price range, move on. It’ll save you time, money and arguments in the future.
3. Get pre-approved for financing: This goes for any homebuyer in any situation but it’s especially important for couples. Securing pre-approval from a mortgage lender will give the two of you a very clear picture of what sort of home you can afford so you don’t waste any time.
4. Be willing to take a peek inside: Just because a home doesn’t look like your style on the outside, you might be missing some hidden gems if you don’t walk through. On paper your significant other’s style might not be in line with yours but wait to shut them down until you at least open the door and experience the property.
5. Be able to postpone house hunting: If the time doesn’t feel right and the experience becomes too stressful, just save yourself the trouble and revisit the idea in 6 months. You can also spend that time working on your credit together. Credit ratings can put a serious damper on a couple’s purchasing power, so lay it all out and make a plan.
6. Lean on your REALTOR: Consider your realtor as a relationship counselor of sorts. They understand what a big decision homebuying is and a good REALTOR will help ease the stress of the process and make it enjoyable.
Danielle and Asher Cohen are co-founders of BUYAZRE.