First Time Home Buyer Disputes Couples Have
Buying a house for the first time is a huge decision and lifestyle change. Buying a house with a partner is both those things, plus some added complications. You and your partner may agree on the fact that you want to buy a home, but that might be just about the only thing you agree on when it comes to that subject. But, since you know you won’t be happy in your house without your honey, you’re going to have to make some compromises and make this decision in a way that lets both people feel excited and secure. The good news is that going in on a property with someone else means you can probably afford more than you would if you were buying alone. You don’t, however, just get to pool all the money and go make the decisions on your own. Here are the first time home buying disputes most couples have.
Where are we going to live?
If you live in a major city, and one of you starts pricing houses in more remote areas, you may begin to find that your money goes much further if you, well, geographically go much further. But one person might be set on staying near the big city, while the other is frustrated knowing they could have a larger, better house far away.
How much to put down
This can cause quite a bit of discussion. How much are you willing to empty your savings accounts, right now? What predictions can you make about other events that might require some of those savings? But putting down more can mean a lower interest rate…But it can also mean having most of your money tied up for a while.
Safety over space
Sometimes, you have to choose between a smaller home in a safe neighborhood or a larger home in an…up and coming neighborhood. But one that isn’t up yet.
A new place over a big place
Another choice you have to make is between a big place and a new place. You may be able to afford an older house with more space, or a brand new one with all new floors, countertops, and insulation…that’s smaller.
Nearness to family
One person wants to buy a house near family. The other doesn’t want that at all because they know said family will stop by all of the time, and be in their business.
Nearness to work
The neighborhood you finally find a place you can afford might make one person’s commute very far to work—and one person’s remarkably close. This can cause some tension.
A fixer-upper or a new house
Should you get a fixer upper or a new house? You gamble a bit here because sometimes, there’s more problems than meet the eye with a fixer-upper and the money you saved in buying it goes all into fixing it.
If it’s a fixer-upper, who is fixing it?
If you do get a fixer-upper, who is going to be in charge of the renovations? Is one of you great at home improvement projects? Or does one of you at least know how to find good contractors and what market pricing should look like for certain jobs?
To co-sign or not to co-sign
Having a cosigner could mean affording a much bigger or nicer house. It could also mean having an in-law or your own parent breathing down your neck forever about a lot of your financial decisions. This may not be something you or your partner wants.
The aesthetic is also very important. This will be the place to which you come home, every single day. You’ll spend a lot of your waking hours here. It has to be visually appealing to both of you. But some couples find that their taste in aesthetic varies drastically.
Putting it in the prenup
Once you own property together, the sticky matter of the prenup comes up. Maybe you didn’t have many assets to figure out within the prenup before, but now that you have a house, that’s a pretty big asset.
How long should the mortgage be?
How long do you want to stay in this neighborhood? Or city? Or country? You don’t build equity for quite some time on some mortgages, so you’d better be sure you’re willing to stay as long as it would take to build that equity.
Ability to pay the loan
Other elements of your life—like the raise that one person has promised they’d ask for or that new budgeting habit the other said they’d take up—come into the discussion. Why? Because everyone has to do their part to make sure these mortgage payments are made.
If one or both parties’ families are having too much say in this decision, that can start quite a few arguments.
What about kids?
If you don’t have kids yet, but might want some one day, do you buy a house that would accommodate a family now? Or buy a small one and move to a larger one later? Moving is a pain. Buying a new house is a pain. But you are also uncertain about the future. It’s a lot to discuss.