Save Your Sanity: A Guide to Buying a Home with Your Spouse

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Only a few things make for big, serious couple fights. But perhaps the craziest would be the disagreements when buying a home. It’s overwhelming because one, this is probably the biggest investment you’ll be making, and therefore the most serious buyers’ remorse if ever, and two, you’re making a huge decision that can change your life altogether.

The differences in preferences, lifestyle, and childhood backgrounds can make settling on a particular home difficult. Nonetheless, you can get there — as long as you commit to making this work from the very start. That said, follow these tips to save your sanity while shopping for a house:

List down your needs and wants individually.

A needs and wants checklist is your bible when it comes to buying a home. It’s the ultimate reference guide, helping you filter through options and make a swift decision to put in an offer letter when it’s time. Knowing that you and your partner have different tastes, you should complete your checklist separately. Your goal is to identify the things you both share. When you start off on a place of commonality, you’re more likely to compromise on the things that you don’t share. Common ground for middle ground.

As a reminder when listing down needs and wants, be honest with the items you’re categorizing. Under the needs list would be location, space dimensions, number of rooms, over-all layout, and availability of outdoor areas. The rest, including the furniture, appliances, and finishes, should be filed under wants. Once you complete this, that’s when you drive by properties, like the house and land packages in Donnybrook, VIC.

dream house

Get a third-party perspective.

A mediator, of some sort. This could be a family member who bought a home recently. They would be able to give you a little bit of advice on things that you disagree on, say, which amenities are worth having or what kind of mortgages to get. Take note that just because they’re the third party doesn’t mean they’re completely objective about the matter. For sure, they’ll have biases towards certain locations or types of homes. These are not necessarily bad, but being aware of these preferences would help you better filter through their advice.

Aside from family members, of course, you can consult your real estate agent. In fact, they’re the best resource person for this. They know the ins and outs of the market, so they’ll be able to give you expert advice on things you’re disagreeing on.

Choose your battles.

When you don’t agree on something, ask yourself if it’s worth fighting about. Sure, the vintage style house may not be your thing, but will it be really bothersome to you? Will it keep you from enjoying your home? If not, then let the issue go. It’s not worth having the “perfect” home when it would mean ruining the relationship, right? So as a principle, pick your battles.

On the flip side, if what your partner wants would affect you (or your family) greatly, say, taking out a bigger mortgage just to get the house that comes with a wine cellar, then let them know the consequences of taking this route, exactly why you disagree.

Buying a new home when you’re always disagreeing with your spouse makes the journey a whole lot more stressful. But don’t be discouraged: a lot of couples have been through this and came out stronger than ever, with a beautiful home in their possession. Remember these tips as you start looking at houses and you’ll have the same happy-ever-after love story.

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