Acquiring a property alongside a partner marks a significant stride forward in a relationship. Transitioning from paying rent or residing with family to the comfort of shared evenings in your very own abode holds the promise of pure contentment.
However, prior to embarking on a whirlwind of exhilarating property viewings, it is prudent to take a moment and engage in a thorough conversation with your partner. The acquisition of real estate is a substantial commitment, though intriguingly, many couples devote more time to plotting their vacations (7.8 hours) than to strategizing their quest for a new home (5.5 hours).*
Initiating discussions around pragmatic aspects early on will undoubtedly streamline your search endeavors and circumvent potential disagreements down the road.
Although some of these inquiries might seem rather delicate, they are pivotal in setting the stage for a harmonious journey towards your new residence as a couple. Upon addressing these concerns, you will find yourselves well-equipped to embark on the enjoyable task of house-hunting together.
Outlined below are six key questions that warrant exploration:
- What is your financial standing? Openly discussing matters of finance is paramount. Both parties should candidly disclose their earnings, savings, and debts, as these factors influence borrowing capacity.
- How shall ownership be apportioned? While a 50/50 split is the conventional choice for many couples, certain scenarios might necessitate alternative arrangements due to variations in deposit amounts or income levels.
- How will financial responsibilities be shared? Arriving at a consensus regarding mortgage payments, council taxes, utilities, and sustenance expenses is pivotal. Adequate reserves are advisable, given the potential responsibilities for maintenance and repairs in your new abode.
- What are your future plans? While commitment is evident, it remains important to envision where you see yourselves in the next five or ten years. Aspirations for children or pets, for instance, will significantly impact your property selection.
- How inclined are you towards DIY endeavors? Opting for a property requiring renovation can be a shrewd investment if you are prepared to undertake some refurbishment work yourselves. It is crucial, however, to fully comprehend the extent of the commitment and potential messiness before proceeding down this avenue.
- Should a cohabitation agreement be considered? This legally binding document delineates the division of property ownership and outlines financial obligations for each party. Though broaching the topic might not evoke immediate enthusiasm, it can offer both parties a sense of security. In cases where family members have contributed to the deposit, they may insist on its inclusion.
By adopting a professional tone, the importance of these considerations is underscored, paving the way for a smoother journey towards shared homeownership.
If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a property, contact us here today.