For many couples, buying a home together is one of the first big life changes they tackle. And while purchasing your first home together can be exciting, it can also bring up some challenges. You'll need to find a balance and compromise between what you really want in a home and what your spouse wants. Here are some tips to help make that compromise easier -- and streamline your home buying process.
Make lists of your "must haves" independently.
When you and your spouse are used to doing everything together, it can be hard to separate your wishes from theirs. But both of you likely have unique, important thoughts to contribute regarding the purchase of your home. To ensure you both get to express your desires and see them met, sit down independently to list what you each want in a home. First, list your "must haves." Then, list the things you'd like, but find less important.
When you're done writing, come together and compare lists. Now, you have a complete list of what you both agree you need and things you disagree on. Keep in mind that it's not bad that your spouse has listed items you didn't list. Many of these will likely be things you find important in a home, but did not happen to think of.
Decide what your deal breakers are.
Home shopping will be a lot easier if you make a list of your deal-breakers before you start shopping. Do this together, and agree to walk away from a home if it has any of the deal breakers. For instance, if you both agree you won't buy a home with a pool and then you view a home with a pool, there should be no discussion -- you just walk away. This strategy will help prevent a lot of conflicts along the way.
Go to see houses together.
With today's busy schedules, it can be hard to find time to do things together. But if you want to find a home you both really love, it's important to house hunt together. Don't run off to see a house while your spouse is at work. You don't want to be in a position where you're trying to convince your partner that a house is "the one." You want to find one that makes you both go "wow" the second you walk in. You'll know the home when you find it… together.
To learn more about the home buying process, talk to a realtor in your area.