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Advice for Couples: How to Buy a Home without Destroying Your Relationship

Something about buying a home can bring out the weakest points in relationships. I see it all the time; he wants one thing, she wants another, and you both think your priorities are understood. Here are some tips for getting through the home buying process with your relationship intact!

Start with a budget. The first thing to agree on is how much you will spend on a property. As Forbesexplains, money is one of the top sources of troubles for house-hunting couples. Face it, you aren’t talking about nickels and dimes. Because it’s a lot of money, going into this with your budget in mind can help avoid arguments and misunderstandings. Openly discuss your current financial situation, how much debt you are both willing to take on, and what your long-term plans are for how to pay for your home. Then, create a realistic budgetto establish your price range. Add up your income, tally your expenses, and calculate the costs involved with home ownership, such as the mortgage, homeowners insurance, and property taxes. Use a home cost calculatorto help you. Plug in numbers and make adjustments until you find the amounts with which you are both comfortable. Once you have those numbers, agree to stick to them!

Decide on style. You two may not see eye to eye on what style you like overall. In fact, it’s another sore spot for house shopping couples. He likes farm living and she likes the city. One of you prefers modern, the other prefers vintage. Neither of you can envision any other home environment, so how do you meet in the middle? Chicago Tribunenotes it’s a great opportunity for blending and compromise. Consider homes within your budget, and try thinking in terms of incorporating elements of each other’s desires in the properties. A great garden can add a countryside feeling to a cityside home, and modern art and fixtures can bring contemporary touches to a cozy cottage.

Size does matter. Another topic that couples disagree on is the size of a home and property. Some people want more elbow room than others, or when it comes to maintenance and upkeep, you may have very different ideas about who does what, and how much house is worth the trouble. Talk through these aspects. If you plan on a growing family, you may feel extra bedrooms and a big yard is smart, or you can opt for a starter home to live in until you outgrow it. Another consideration: if one of you is planning on a home-based business, you might need extra space for it to function well. Discuss all the issues thoroughly, and compare your options.

To DIY or not to DIY. Are you both pretty handy? Is either of you handy? If you’re considering a fixer-upper, remember to weigh your skills in the equation, along with time and expense. If you find a great deal on a property but the house needs a lot of elbow grease, you can be buying frustrations and investing in expenses outside of your budget. You may even need to hire someone to do some of the work depending on the house, your experience and your abilities. Talk about how much you can take on and what feels appropriate to you both before you ever look at a home that isn’t move-in ready.

Sort out details together. When emotions get high, you’ll both need to resort to some basic conflict resolution skills to establish your common ground. No matter how polar opposite your opinions are, you can do it! Some professionals point outlistening openly to what your partner is telling you is key. Fight fairly with each other, and don’t decide on anything in the heat of the moment. Set aside discussions when necessary, and pick them back up when you’ve both cooled off.

Moving on - together! By talking things through, your relationship can survive the home buying process. Discuss details and agree on as much as possible in advance, then sort out issues as they come up. You’ll be happy homeowners in no time!

Article WRITTEN BY: Suzie Wilson

Interior Designer, Author, Creator of

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