A home can elicit a variety of feelings. If you love your home, you likely will feel happy and comfortable. Buy a home that you come to dislike, and it will likely elicit feelings of anger and resentment. Picking a home together and then successfully living in it together can do wonders for a marriage.
Unfortunately, some couples struggle to handle the stress associated with making such a big purchase and then their home becomes a source of problems for them. Learn what you can do to make buying your first home a pleasurable experience that you enjoy for many years to come.
Prepare Your Relationship
If your marriage is a little rocky to begin with, don’t think that buying a house together will improve it. Couples who think, “If we just had a house, things would be better,” are sadly mistaken. Unfortunately, things tend to get worse when responsibilities are increased.
If you think you argue a lot now about things, add the responsibility of home ownership and you may argue more. Owning a home complicates finances, chores, and other responsibilities. If you struggle to compromise and resolve conflict, the conflicts may get worse when you buy a house.
If your relationship is struggling a little already, consider counseling. A marriage counselor can assist you with improving your relationship prior to purchasing a home. A marriage counselor can assist you in improving your relationship and can help ensure your transition to a new home will be a smooth one.
Get Financially Prepared
It’s important to be financially ready to take on home ownership. If you struggle to manage your finances without owning a home, get a handle on your money before you purchase. Budgeting is extremely important when you become a home owner.
Discuss how much you want to spend on a house. If you aren’t sure how much you can afford, meet with the bank. Get pre-approved for a mortgage to learn how much it is possible to borrow. Then discuss how much you are comfortable paying. Remember, that just because the bank is willing to loan you the money, it doesn’t mean you have to spend that much!
Until you and your spouse have a good handle on your finances, it’s not a good idea to purchase. Saving for a down payment and living by a budget are important and if you struggle to do so, you may not manage the financial strain of home ownership successfully. It is important that you and your spouse have the ability to deal with unexpected expenses, emergencies, and ongoing maintainence.
Do Your Research
The internet offers a wonderful opportunity to begin looking at homes. Check out available homes in your area and discuss which ones you like and which ones you don’t. Learn about what you have in common when it comes to homes and where you differ.
Make a list of what you think are the three most important things about a home. For example, is a garage a priority? Is location important? Do you want a home office? Then compare your lists and see if you can find homes that will meet both of your priorities.
Discuss Your Expectations
Make sure to talk about your expectations ahead of time. For example, do you expect that your spouse will work extra hours to pay the added expenses? Do you anticipate having your parents spend the weekend every couple of months? Do you expect that you’ll be able to hire someone to do the yard work?
It’s important to review your expectations prior to making your purchase. You may find that both of you have very different expectations about home ownership. Talking about how you plan to divide the chores, pay for expenses, and entertain others is important.
Be prepared to compromise. Even if you were buying a home as a single person, you won’t find a perfect place that meets all of your needs. However, when you are trying to find a home that satisfies both your needs and your spouse’s, it can get complicated.
Discuss what areas you are willing to compromise on. For example, can you give up living near public transportation as long as you have extra parking space? Or are you willing to give up the extra bedroom if the home has a garage? Look for creative solutions that can help you both feel satisfied with your purchase. This can make the difference between buying a house and buying a home.