If moving house is the number one most stressful thing you can do as a couple, then buying a house is surely near the top of the list as well. Whether you are married, dating, or just friends, mixing more than one person into the home-buying process can make it more stressful and can even make finding a home more difficult than originally anticipated.
Two opinions, two sets of finances, and two financial histories can complicate the process—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Here’s what you need to know when buying a home with someone else:
Have a Good Idea of Finances
Whether you are married or not, you need to have a serious and in-depth discussion about finances. When you approach HomeSure Lending about a home loan or mortgage, you want to know the exact state of your finances—the last thing you want to do is be blindsided by one party’s bad credit, especially if the other party has extremely good credit.
Know What Unmarried Couples Need
Married couples, because they are married, have fewer complications than unmarried couples when it comes to estate-planning protection, both when it comes to if one party dies or one party wants to pull out of the relationship. Because of this, unmarried couples – whether they are romantically or platonically linked – should consider consulting a lawyer to draw up cohabitation and property agreements.
These documents will outline each person’s financial responsibilities and to whom and/or how the home will pass to one party or the other in the event of death or the dissolution of the relationship. It’s best to hire separate counsel to make sure there are no conflicts of interest when drawing up this document.
Smoothing the Process
Even the most compatible couples and friends can have difficulty staying calm and collected while choosing a property. If there are aspects of the home that you find necessary or desirable, discussing those things with the other party before you approach a realtor or see any home can prevent any arguments when it comes down to actually picking a home. When the other person understands why you want a large kitchen or a pool or a basement, you will both be united in looking for homes with those features.