First comes love, then marriage. After that comes not the baby in a carriage, but actually the house. Sorry to burst your bubble, but indeed, a lot of couples decide to buy a house first before growing their family, knowing full well that the former is more stressful than the latter.
In fact, it’s so stressful that it’s the root of the nastiest fights for newlyweds. You would surely thank yourselves delaying the decision to have a baby because you’re going to need all the energy you can get in addressing these common fights, which you’d likely run into when buying a home with a partner:
Where to buy
Location matters in real estate. Whittlesea and other VIC property agents advise considering the type of neighbourhood, as it will dictate a lot of things — from convenience and safety to prices. For couples who have unique and individual goals, the location is usually the reason behind arguments when buying a house.
Your partner may be thinking of moving into a community near a school, as part of preparing for the kids. But you, on the other hand, are uneasy about houses close to campuses since they’re relatively more expensive than the others. The way to address this is to agree on your order of priorities. Which is more important to you both? The convenience of sending kids to a nearby school or a cheaper buying price? Before seeing houses, priorities should already be clear to you.
When to stop house hunting
It’s often a struggle to know when to stop looking for properties. Your partner may think that you already found ‘the one’, while you believe that there could be another one better than the houses you saw.
The rule of thumb when buying is you don’t look for your dream property. Instead, you go for the good-enough home, and that home is the one that ticks the non-negotiables on your list. When you land on one, stop looking further. As the more you see houses, the more you’d be vulnerable to analysis paralysis: not being able to decide because there are too many good options. The principle is to agree on the essentials you want to see in the house and when you find a property that has them, go settle.
How much to offer
Usually, one partner wants to make an aggressive offer to secure the house fast, while the other spouse keeps negotiating with the agent for a better price. Often, the couple ends up either losing a good house or paying much for a house they don’t want that much.
To avoid financial troubles, create a budget even before going house hunting. Determine the range of how much you’re willing to pay for the home, based on your monthly income and other assets. Note that you’re not only paying for your mortgage, but also for the maintenance of the house — water, electricity, repairs, etc. When kids come later, you’d encounter additional costs for sure.
It’s true that couples get into the worst fights when buying a home. By preparing well for this new milestone in your relationship, you can avoid such arguments altogether. When you do find yourself fighting, remember what’s most important: your partner always, over the dream home.