For many couples, buying a home in which to start a life together is a major dream coming into reality, but the elation often wears off once they realize the enormity of the process.
Finding the right home is just the beginning; there are a million small details to worry about, as well as some pretty big ones. Buying a home – at any stage of life – is a major expenditure and will be one of the most important decisions you make, so it’s imperative that you take it seriously and think it through carefully.
Financial issues are often at the root of the problem when a couple decides to buy a home, whether it’s a lack of funds due to overspending on the house itself or a lack of good planning. These issues can be prevented, however, by sitting down and working out the details well before you even start looking for a home.
Keep reading to find out the four biggest mistakes couples make when they decide to buy a home.
Not deciding on a budget
Especially for young couples who have only recently married, the idea of buying a dream home is a romantic one that often overshadows the reality of a budget. While it’s admirable that you want your loved one to get everything they want in a first home, it’s not always realistic. Sit down together and work out a budget before you make any other decisions. Look at your monthly spending and income, take into consideration your down payment, and factor in things such as unforeseen expenses (having to replace the hot water heater, for instance). Consider talking to a financial advisor or, if you’re unsure of where to begin.
As with setting a budget, it’s important to sit down with your partner and talk about exactly what you want in a home. Make a list that includes both of your needs and wants, and take note of the items that aren’t dealbreakers. For instance, you might want a big backyard, but could do without it if the house has a basement. Keep communication open throughout the process; if you’re unhappy with something, speak up! Failing to be open about your ideas or opinions could mean big trouble down the road.
Not getting organized
Staying organized is key when you’re starting off with any new venture, and buying a house is a big one. There are always lots of details to keep track of, and even if you have help in the form of a realtor, it’s possible for some of them to fall through the cracks. Keep everything related to the homebuying process together in one place, including important phone numbers, and start making lists of things that need to be done. Make sure that both you and your partner check off items as they’re completed so that you’re on the same page.
Not doing research
It’s easy to get excited about buying a new home and want to jump in all at once, but it’s better to take things slowly and do your research before making any decisions. There are financial benefits to doing so–you can find the right lender for your mortgage and even find special home loans that could reduce your monthly payments–but it will also help you keep stress levels down because you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing you’re prepared. Buying a new home is a big decision, and while it can signal the start of a new, happy life with your partner, it can also be riddled with anxiety and stress. Keep communication open with one another and remember that this process should be fun and memorable.
Written by Natalie Jones
Natalie Jones, together with her husband, created Homeownerbliss. They try to help others learn from their experiences (applying for a mortgage, pulling together the funds for a down payment, and finding a home within their budget). She’s passionate about making the process of buying a home less scary for first-timers, as well as inspiring homeowners of all stages enjoy the perks of home ownership!