The late summer of 2020 saw 43 percent more home sales than the same time period in 2019. A pandemic certainly didn’t stop people from wanting to put down roots and nest. In fact, it made them want to more than ever. One survey found that 63 percent of millennials hope to buy a home in the next year. So much for that being the generation that others say doesn’t have their sh*t together. It sounds like, if anything, they’re getting their down payments together. With home sales skyrocketing, you would almost think that the process of purchasing property is quick, easy, and painless. But I am here to tell you that it isn’t…at least not when you’re buying it with a significant other.
In mid-2019 my husband and I caught the home-buying fever. We were comparing monthly mortgage payments to places we could afford to do monthly rent at in honestly less-than-desirable apartments and realized they were pretty comparable. In some cases, mortgages were less. Throwing away money on rent started to feel pretty stupid and we resented each and every check we wrote to our landlord after that. So we looked at our finances, figured out a realistic down payment we could make, spoke to several lenders, found a realtor we liked, and were off to the races. Buying a home was meant to be something that brought us closer. The act alone was a gesture that said, “I want to intertwine my life with yours, more.” But, surprisingly, the process of searching for and buying a home drove us apart. We’re good today, but things were rocky for a moment, and we had some damage control to do once we closed escrow.
Date night becomes an Open House
Once you catch the home-buying fever, you will spend all of your free time checking and refreshing listing sites like Zillow and Redfin. You’ll sit down to have a “chill date night” and, before you know it, you both have your laptops up, side by side, and are checking out new listings, emailing each other links to ones you like, and texting the listing agents to see about upcoming open houses. Furthermore, any relaxing time together that would be spent, say, going to the park or going on a hike turns into driving around the city like lunatics, checking out open houses. All of your free time is dedicated to the hunt, and before you know it, you feel pretty distant because you haven’t focused on each other in a while.