There are many milestones that couples strive to reach. Among some of the more notable are getting married, starting a family and buying a home. Although the thought of buying a home as a couple may seem exciting, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. In addition, beyond the profound love you may share with your partner, reality is often less glamorous. With this in mind, think objectively, rationally and realistically. You and your partner must be prepared for a clash of opinions, therefore you must both be prepared to compromise. Here is how to buy a home as a couple.
Set a budget
Firstly, you need to figure out what you can afford so as to set a budget. Start by examining your financial situation, taking into account both your incomes. Do you have savings or anything set aside for a deposit? It is also vital that you work out how much you need to borrow. As you do your maths and assess your finances remember to be realistic and practical. It is essential that you do not put too much mortgage pressure on your shoulders. Experts generally agree that your mortgage repayments should not exceed thirty per cent of your net income.
Also, take into consideration the various hidden costs that are associated with buying a home. Some of these costs include stamp duty, insurance and loan fees. It is widely advisable that you seek professional assistance from a financial advisor when setting a budget. A financial advisor will help you devise a comprehensive and accurate budget that will suit your situation and desired outcome. During this period, it is also important to try and get pre-approval for a home loan.
Identify what you want
When you set your budget, you will be in a better position to know what you can afford. Before you start looking at houses, it is essential that you have an appreciation of what you are looking for. This is easier said than done. After all, you will have different tastes, requirements and lifestyle preferences. The following questions will aid you when looking for a home.
- What areas are we happy to live in?
- What is the commute to work and proximity to amenities?
- How much space do we need?
- Are we happy to start small and upsize later?
What lifestyle are you aiming for?
Both you and your partner will have key features that you are looking for it. However, you should be prepared and willing to compromise. You will ultimately need to determine what is mandatory and what you can forego. A professional real estate agent can help you identify and define critical features while keeping to your budget.
Have a clear plan when house hunting
House hunting can be an extremely exciting process. However, on the other hand it can also be time consuming and frustrating. As such, finding and securing your dream home can be quite challenging. With this in mind, you need to devise an efficient plan for tackling your house hunting efforts. As you undertake your research it is important to engage a local real estate agent to assist you in your efforts. Moreover, narrow down your search as much as possible so as to expedite your house hunting process. Narrowing down your search can be aided by eliminating properties that do not meet your list of requirements.
Make the right offer to secure your dream home
When you’ve found the right house for you then it is time to make an offer. The next step is to do everything you can to secure your dream home. Regardless of the type of sale you go for, engage your real estate agent so you can devise an effective strategy. This will involve assessing the asking price to determine if it is fair. In addition, you will need to determine how much you are willing to offer.
Protect your future
In spite of all your best efforts sometimes unexpected things happen. As such, it is vital to plan ahead and think about protecting your asset. Some of the things that you need to plan for include illness, death, loss of income, separation and redundancy. The best approach is to acquire all the necessary insurance and have everything in writing. In addition, set aside a financial cushion for unforeseen circumstances as well as expenses. Finally, you should seek legal advice in drafting a co-ownership agreement.