Congratulations on the decision to buy a home. Isn’t it exciting? Shopping for the perfect place to call your own and knowing that there aren’t any lease agreements, issues with the landlord or the recurring feeling that you are paying someone else’s mortgage when you could be paying you own is a terrific feeling. In this article, you will learn 7 very important tips to house hunting as a couple.
Choose a location. When you buy a home with your spouse, there’s a lot to consider. What, if any, length of a commute would the two of you be comfortable with? Do you prefer the bustling city life with access to all of the amenities or would you enjoy a quiet country setting? When choosing the location of your new home, these are all important factors. In addition, price is an issue for most couples and rural areas often provide the most square footage and/or acreage for your money.
Discuss your budget. In most cases, a home is the largest investment you will make. When it comes to buying, your budget will be the single greatest determining factor in what type of home you will be able to purchase. Credit history is important, but most lenders offer programs for those with a few blemishes in their financial past. The bottom line is that your budget can make or break your dream of home ownership, so it’s a good idea to sit down as a couple and write out your monthly income and expenditures. If you currently rent, you can leave this out of the equation because you will stop renting when you buy a home and the money that you are now using to rent can be applied toward a monthly mortgage.
Review your credit reports. When you are ready to approach a lender and request a mortgage loan, you will want to make sure that your credit report is accurate and, besides, it never hurts to know your credit score. If you find any inaccuracies, now is the time to correct them. You may find that derogatory comments on a credit file could result in high interest rates or, in some cases, the denial of your loan application. Make sure to check your credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at least two months prior to applying for a loan.
Talk about what you want. When you purchase a home with someone else, your desires aren’t the only ones that matter anymore. There’s another person in the equation now and their choice of home features is equally important as your own. If you are just starting out, a small home may be fine for now. But, if you plan to have children in the near future, you will need to think about whether or not a small home will be ideal for a growing family. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms will become an important choice and careful planning now could save you a lot of drama later.
Be willing to compromise. Ok, so you want a private office and your spouse wants a fireplace. But what can you do if the homes that you both like simply don’t have these two amenities? Do you walk away from what otherwise may be your dream house or do you compromise? In most cases, the latter would be the most obvious choice. If it’s a fireplace that you want, you can purchase a freestanding fireplace that looks just as beautiful as the real thing and you can create an office nook in one of the spare bedrooms.
Make an offer. If you are trying to sell a home, every realtor will tell you that you will likely receive offers that are lower than your asking price. When someone lists their property, they are usually asking more than what they will actually accept and this means you have some negotiating to do. When you find the home that you like, make an offer that is somewhat less than you can comfortably afford. This way, if the current owner comes back with a counteroffer, you can still accept and be within your budget.
Move in. This is the final step and, in most cases, the most fun of all. Now that your house hunting is over and all of the loan papers have been signed, it’s time to move into your new home. Ok, so maybe moving day isn’t the greatest but all of that hard work is going to be worth it in the end. When you can stop throwing your money away on rent and start building equity, both you and your spouse will be happy homeowners.
Alex is a consultant for a furniture care site that and and an online gift shop offering wedding favors and wedding supplies.