Couples don’t have to agree on everything in life, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, when home hunting, there are some basic points on which a couple must agree if they are to happily spend the next few years living under the same roof.
After going on home hunting trips with several dozens of couples, I’m confident that I have nailed down the key points on which couples buying homes have to agree on before they make an offer on anything. Otherwise, figuring out where the opinions overlap can take a lot of time and grief, leading to missed opportunities and potential for tension in the future.
So, before you go out house hunting with your significant other, have a serious conversation on where you stand on the following points:
This is the first question you should be asking yourselves: what can we afford? Maybe that’s not even the right question! Perhaps it’s “what do we want to spend”? A great start for this conversation could be a preapproval from a mortgage agent or your preferred lender. The range in which you are looking should be appropriate for the market you are looking in and for the key “must-haves” you are looking to get. Let your agent know if there’s anything that would make the budget “moveable”, such as a bonus rentable apartment in the basement or something equally unique.
You should both be part of the conversation regarding where you want to live. For some, the desirable areas are the same, while for others they are all over the place. If you belong to the second category, start by taking turns listing “black out zones” where you refuse to live. Hopefully this will eliminate the main points of contention and no one will be miserable with the results. Remember to think holistically about location- consider proximity to employment, family, friends, transit, as well as the schools if you have kids that age.
Move-in- Ready versus Fixer Upper
When I meet with couples, some both agree on wanting something move-in ready, and some are willing to put in time and resources into renovations. Figure out between yourselves to what level are you willing to “fix up” a property, and what price are you willing to pay for something that has already be renovated for you. Some things to consider for this conversation is who would be doing the work, what the timelines would be, and where would the funding come from. Sometimes a lady thinks that her handy husband will happily make her dreams come to life while he can’t think of anything he would rather do less. Other times an ambitious DIYer wants to tackle the projects even though his significant other knows that it will never get done, or at least not like envisioned. Voice your concerns and dreams before going house hunting so that you can communicate more clearly and together envision the properties you see.
Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is going to be guiding you through the home buying process. You want this person to be knowledgeable, experienced, and have great communication lines with you. The goal is to be able to comfortably open up about any reservations, fears, and dreams that you might have so that she or he can bring you as close as possible to the ideal you are looking for.
Though there are so many other things that will require joint decision making like home style, size of property, kitchen cabinet colours, or whether or not you need a garage, but if you can agree on these four previously mentioned points, you’re ready to start the hunt for your dream home. The rest will fall into place as you go!
Contact Urszula Kudla to get started on your home hunting journey in the Kitchener Waterloo region!
Urszula Kudla is a member of Team Home & Loan, Peak Realty Ltd. She has lived in the Kitchener Waterloo area for the last 19 years and loves working with people looking to relocate to her hometown. In addition to her local work, she is a Certified International Property Specialist and has completed additional training to make her an Accredited Senior Agent.