You’ve read ‘Seven steps to buying a home‘. You sat down together and worked out your finances. You’ve even started looking at houses for sale online and have a short list of properties you want to look at. Now it’s time to do some serious house-hunting. Are you ready for it?
Buying your first home is a three-stage process:
If both of you are to be happy with the house you commit to buying, you need to successfully get through the first two stages.
The art of communication
The dreaming stage probably began even before you met. For one, your first dream home is the nest you’re going to live in throughout your life. For the other, it might be just a stepping stone towards financial independence.
Part of the art of communication is sharing your dreams without holding back. You will have differences of opinion, but if you communicate honestly, you will also find common ground. If you sit down and openly discuss your dreams, you can find that common ground. If you keep some of your dreams to yourself, there’s likely to be friction between you after you start house-hunting.
The art of compromise
If you’ve openly shared your dreams, you will both have a clear understanding of what each of you is looking for in a home. You will also have learned a valuable lesson that will serve you well throughout your relationship. Relationships thrive when couples know how to compromise.
Compromise doesn’t have to mean one of you has to give up your dream. You may have to take a longer view, though. Is having one nest for life realistic? Do you have to find a fixer-upper and flip it next year or can you take your time and focus on your family and careers first?
If you have openly communicated and both understand that you will have to make some compromises, you’re off to a good start, but you’re not out of the woods yet. House-hunting can be a stressful process. Any number of things might happen to make the stress levels rise:
- One of you might like a house while the other wants to keep looking
- You might both love a house, but it’s outside your budget
- A deal can fall through at the last minute
- A pre-purchase inspection might reveal something that makes a renovator’s dream look like a nightmare
To reduce stress levels, take time to do something enjoyable together now and then. Go out to lunch before moving on to the next house or even take a weekend off just to relax. Remind each other that stress is part of the process, but that you are working towards your goal. Stay positive.
One day, you’ll sit down together over a cuppa and realise that your house-hunting dreams have come true for the both of you.