When you’re in a committed relationship, you want to build a life with your partner. And for many couples, part of building a life together is buying a home.
But it takes more than love to successfully buy property—and if you want buying a home to ultimately help you build a happy life with your partner, there are a few key discussions you need to have before you start hitting open houses and scheduling home tours.
But what, exactly, are those discussions?
A recent article from realtor.com outlined the key questions couples need to discuss before buying a home together, including:
- How much debt do you have? If you don’t already know how much debt your partner is carrying, it’s essential to talk about it before you start looking at properties—as that debt load is going to impact your ability to secure a mortgage.
- Where do we want to live—and for how long? Before you buy a property together, you want to make sure you’re on the same page on where that property is—and how long you want to stay there. Talk about what you want and need from a neighborhood and any big changes you foresee in the future (like a major job change) to ensure that you buy in the right area—and that you stay in the home long enough to recoup the costs associated with purchasing the home.
- What happens if we break up? No couple wants to think about breaking up—but if you’re buying real estate together, it’s important to have a discussion about what happens to that real estate if the relationship ends at some point in the future. Ideally, you and your partner should draw up a legal agreement that outlines how you’ll divide your assets (including the house) in the event of a future breakup.
Bottom line? Asking these questions and having these discussions will ensure you and your partner are on the same page—and will make the process of buying a home easier and more secure for you both.