As many Australians would attest, the most stressful event in life is buying a house. But, it’s not just the process itself, the mortgage application or the house hunting, that creates the pressure — your relationship with your spouse too.
Too many people don’t notice this. But when you can’t agree on which location in Melbourne to settle in or how big your place will be, the entire buying process can quickly change from stressful to hellish.
Avoid spoiling your purchase — and more importantly, ruining your relationship — by taking these sanity-saving steps to buy a house with your spouse:
1. Find common ground.
Start by creating separate lists of your wants and needs in a house. Outline a maximum of 10 essentials (including at least location, number of rooms, and the size of the property), and then five things that would be nice to have.
After writing, compare your lists with each other and then cross out the things you don’t have in common. What you should then be looking at are things you both agree you need and want. If there are, however, things you think that should be added, negotiate and compromise.
Stick to this list as you look at properties. Check out the house and land around Whittlesea, and you might just find one that would fit your list.
2. Keep emotion out of the equation.
Next, move on to the budget. And for this, it’s important to keep emotions at bay. The typical scenario is this: one partner wants to stick to a conservative budget, but the other wants to ‘give their all’ in the name of getting the dream home.
But, it’s important to be on the same page when it comes to your finances, and you shouldn’t be swayed into getting a bigger loan just to get your ideal home. Remember, you won’t be able to hold long on to that house if you can’t keep up with the monthly payments later on.
3. Work with a real estate agent.
A lot of couple fights in the home buying process is due to unsolicited advice coming from family and friends. Your partner’s mother says you should get in this or that community, and your spouse agrees, but you think it’s not a good neighbourhood.
A real estate agent can help you sort through these decisions and give you unbiased, research-backed advice. In most instances, they’ll also be the one to remind you to take a step back to figure out your decision as a couple better.
Buying a house with a spouse seems like the most frustrating thing. But you can ease the stress out with a few of these sanity-saving tips.