At Laffey Real Estate, our real estate agents know our #1 job is to make your home-buying transaction faster and easier – we get you to your goals the right way. When you're buying a home as a couple, though, it takes a little more legwork to define what those goals are.
Disagreements come up in any relationship, but the decision to buy a house takes a lot of care and consideration. Moving too fast could mean picking a property with which neither of you is satisfied. On the other hand, choosing the right home will only deepen your bond.
Here's how to make it work:
- Start With Clear Objectives
At the start of your house hunt, each of you should come up with a list of ten "must have" features for the house. It doesn't mean you'll get all 20 – every home has its foibles – but it will help you focus on the features both of you see as worthwhile to pursue.
- Have Life Conversations
How you plan to use your home will be a determining factor. Is this a starter home you plan to resell in 3-5 years? Will you be looking at moving for work or education in the future? What about kids? You don't have to plan out your whole life, but the more clarity you have, the better.
- Work Out a Realistic Budget
A first home together is a life milestone you should feel happily anticipate. A reasonable financing package is essential: Having to worry about your mortgage every month only produces strain. Aim for the total monthly mortgage and housing costs not greater than 25% of take-home pay.
- Loop in Your Real Estate Agent
Once you know what you're looking for and what your budget is like, it's time to talk to the pro: Your real estate agent, that is. He or she has been around the block and can help you get focused. That means zooming in on the listings that are most likely to serve your needs, saving you time.
- Don't Skimp on Face to Face Events
It's easier than ever to do your house hunting online, but you should still strive to keep your weekends for viewings and open house events. Ideally, you should go together to each home in which either of you is interested. This gets you on the same wavelength fast.
- Look for Telltale Signs of Discontent
If you notice that you're having trouble finding middle ground with your house hunting goals, it may be a good idea to step back. Raised voices and hurt feelings are red flags. If you wait a few months, changing market conditions or other circumstances could give you a new perspective.
- Streamline the Process
When house hunting together, it's a good idea to simplify the journey as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to see a lender about preapproval for a loan. Once pre-approval is taken care of, you won't have to wait for paperwork to get done when you want to bid on a home.
More than one-third of married Americans start seeking a house together within two years of their wedding day. Be sure to select a real estate agent who has experience helping couples navigate the adventure. That will make it more enjoyable and rewarding.
At Laffey Real Estate, our experts have helped hundreds of happy couples "tie the knot" with the home of their dreams. No matter whether you're looking for a starter property or a forever home, we can help. Contact us to learn more.