Buying a house together is a huge step for couples to take. It represents one of the largest purchases they will make in their lifetime, and a financial commitment that could span 20 or 30 years.
In December 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the national median sale price of houses on the market had risen to $335,400, representing an increase of $107,700 since 2007.
That’s a serious investment, and it’s no wonder couples find plenty to argue about when they are involved in the homebuying process. These are the top 5 arguments couples should avoid.
1. How Much Debt Should You Take On?
You can’t agree on that answer until you both honestly explain how much debt and obligations each of you currently has—everything from credit card debt to alimony and child support for a previous marriage. As a couple, you also must understand how the responsibility for paying the mortgage is shared, especially since very few couples have the same income.
Once you’ve shared the hard, financial facts, you can realistically assess how much debt you are currently willing to accept. Since the mortgage payment is one major part of how you spend your money together, you must come to an agreement about what your total monthly budget will be—and stick to it.
2. What Style of House Do You Prefer?
This is a popular topic for disagreements, because women mostly prefer a cozy house in a suburban, established neighborhood while men prefer a sleeker house in an urban setting. How do you reconcile your differences? It’s a process full of surprises. First, look at the pros and cons of each preference and see which points you both agree about. You may decide to look at a sampling of houses of each type and setting. If you both are open to compromise and “meeting in the middle,” you’ll come to a decision that makes you both feel good about your homebuying process.
3. How Big Should the House Be?
Even though you could qualify for a $1-million house, you may need to set your sights on a lower-priced house so that you don’t find yourself in a tight “house-poor” situation. It’s best to live within your means and avoid the stress of living on the edge.
4. Should You Buy a “Fixer-Upper?”
It’s tempting to think of saving $50,000 and buying an older home that looks like it just needs some tender loving care—or so you think. Before you make that decision, have a contractor tour the house with you and identify exactly what needs to be done to put the house in the shape you envision. Otherwise your dream home could turn into the nightmare that unfolded in the famous Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit.
5. Proximity to Family & Friends
How close you live to loved ones could become a big issue, especially if your proximity is seen as an open invitation for them to stop by at any time without warning. If both your family and your partner’s family live in the same town, you may disagree on whose family you should be closer to. The issue can be resolved if you agree that you simply want to find a house that you both love—even if it’s farther away from everyone you know.
Honesty, respect, and compromise are essential ingredients of a healthy relationship. Let the homebuying process be an opportunity to strengthen your relationship, showing that you work well together as a team with common goals. Enjoy your new home!
A and N Mortgage Services Inc, a mortgage broker in Chicago, IL provides you with high-quality home loan programs tailored to fit your unique situation with some of the most competitive rates in the nation. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, relocating to a new job, or buying an investment property, our expert team will help you use your new mortgage as a smart financial tool.