Buying a home is one thing, but buying one as a part of a brand new partnership is quite another. Everything you thought you would be discussing on your own (where you want to live, what schools/churches/hospitals/ your home is near, etc.) all of a sudden are open to discussion with not only your new bride or groom, but also your new bride or grooms family. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on buying a home together:
1.) Get pre-approved. Of course this is often a tip no matter what the situation is when buying a home, but the fact is it’s even more important when buying a home with your new bride/groom. Unfortunately, debt is one of the least talked about subjects in a new marriage, and there might be some surprises hiding in a closet or two. Make sure you are both as honest with each other as possible, but if something comes up that one of you has honestly forgotten about (“That dentist bill from 14 years ago? I thought I paid that off!”) You can deal with it before the time comes to make an offer.
2.) Be ready to compromise. If he loves the living room and you adore the kitchen, one of you is going to have to give. One trick to being able to compromise is to list each feature of the room you like. You love the stainless appliances? That’s an easy fix; surely you can install stainless steel appliances in another home if the price is right. The open layout, on the other hand, might be more difficult to find and much more expensive to create in another house. Chances are you’re not going to agree on everything, so you need to draw a line in the sand beforehand on what is negotiable and what isn’t.
3.) Keep your families in mind. This can really go either way. If you’d like to stay far, far away from your own family (I completely understand), maybe you should live in a location where she can be closer to hers. If you both want to be close to your families, a central location might be your best bet. Either way, consider their input. These are often the people you will call when you need a sitter at the last minute, when you need to vent about problems in your marriage, or when you simply just want to hang out with your sister for a day.
4.) Be on the same page. I can’t tell you how many couples have gotten into trouble after buying a home because everything wasn’t laid out on the table beforehand. Did you push for this house because you knew you could afford it, only to find out that the private school your spouse was planning on having your kids attend is now out of your price range? Everything needs to be sorted out beforehand so you know what you can and can’t afford, no matter what comes down the road.