Buying a home is one of the most exciting and stressful milestones a couple has. So here are some things you should talk about with your partner before taking the plunge into home-ownership, according to money coach Ashley Feinstein Gerstley.
- What are we willing to sacrifice to make this happen? - Get on the same page about what you’re willing to give up to make homeownership a reality. Would you eat beans and rice for the next two years to make it happen? Or settle on a neighborhood that’s not your top choice?
- What are our non-negotiables? - Figure out what you can’t live without and agree to what you won’t compromise on early in the process to help avoid fights and meltdowns as you search for a house.
- Do we want to have kids (or more kids)? - Get honest about your family plans and what kind of space you’ll need to make it work. Even if you’re not ready for kids now, a house is a long-term commitment, so you want to pick the right one.
- How much renovation work are we open to? - We’ve all watched enough HGTV to know that living through a reno can be stressful, so talk about how much sweat equity you’re willing to put in and make sure you both agree.
- Should we both be on the loan application? - Do your research, work with a mortgage lender, and weigh out the pros and cons of whether it makes sense for you both to be on the loan.
- How much do we need in our emergency fund to feel secure? - You’ll need a rainy day fund, so talk about how much you need in the bank to feel comfortable.
- What’s the plan if things don't work out? - No one wants to think about their romance ending, but if it does, you should have a contingency plan in place for your home.
- How long are we looking to stay—and how does that affect our mortgage? - If you know how long you want to be in your home, that can help you choose the mortgage that makes the most sense for your situation.