Ready to take the next step? Married or not, this is a HUGE decision not be taken lightly. Whether you are tired of paying increasing rent or excited to start investing in your future together, this commitment is full of joy and well… surprises.
To minimize the stress of homeownership and preserve those loving glances, we put together a few tips for our Valentine: YOU.
Know your credit scores. This will impact your decision of who will be on the title and loan. Be strategic: having a higher score will help increase the amount you can get pre-approved for.
Start saving. Having two incomes may increase the possibility of putting down a larger down payment. This will influence the loan you apply for and will help you negotiate when it’s time to make an offer.
Experts suggest creating a Joint Account to pay for the mortgage, house maintenance, taxes, and insurance. Everything that needs to happen to that house, funded by one account. Be clear with your partner on expectations: how much is each person supposed to contribute? Write it down.
We can’t say it enough:
Write. It. Down.
Make sure to discuss the nitty gritty details of who is paying for what, the expected maintenance and use of the home, and backup plans for financial setbacks. Not only will you walk away with a strong foundation for homeownership, you will forge a stronger connection with your partner by working together to establish clarity in this facet of your relationship.
In the heat of starry-eyed gazes and promises lovingly exchanged, you don’t really want to stop the moment and say, “What if this doesn’t work out?”
We suggest waiting for this moment to be over before you bring up the subject, and maybe not a topic on Valentine’s Day. Our point is: this subject absolutely MUST be discussed. Just because a relationship changes does NOT mean any change in the mortgage. The house will still be there, craving the same care and responsibility as before. Some points to discuss include:
What if you break up?
What if your partner gets a new job and wants to move, but you want to stay?
What if one of you loses their job?
What if you get a roommate?
What if one of you passes away?
In this crazy experience called life, anything can happen. Tackle those big what-if’s to create solutions and – can you guess? – write it down. Experts suggest consulting a lawyer to protect you and your partner’s interests. Bottom line: Save your future selves a headache and prepare for scenarios before they happen.
Whew, Let’s Make this Post a Little Lighter!
Overall, buying a home is a very rewarding process that brings you to that next level in your life. When you explore the challenges and excitement of owning a home with another person, it strengthens your relationship in unpredictable ways. So the next time you’re seeing your future in the soft twinkle of your lover’s eye, consider contacting an agent to find out more about the process. We have whole books or bullet-point summaries in all sorts of media to deliver the information you need, the way you want it.
But for now, enjoy that twinkle. We wish you a great Valentine’s Day.