Guest blogger: Shannon Smith, Marketing Coordinator, Regional Support Center
My fiancé is a male Capricorn and I am a female Cancer which means we’re perfect for each other in the astrology world. According to the stars we balance each other out and while I’d like to believe I’m the one with the awesome ideas and vision, I know that he is the planner that helps bring our dreams to fruition. We usually don’t mind spending extra time executing these plans as it is more important to us that we are comfortable and confident in our decisions. With a 7 year relationship and a 2 year engagement it’s clear we don’t rush into ANYTHING. This why I am a twee bit concerned about our decision to purchase our new home by the time our lease is up next August. Of course I’m excited to embark on such a poignant point in my life with my fiance, soon to be husband in October, but making such a speedy financial commitment makes me everything but comfortable and confident.
Here are some things I suggest you begin to discuss with your significant other as a first time home buyer:
What Are Your Finances Really Like?
When preparing to buy a home, it is imperative that you prepare to be transparent about your debt with yourself and your partner if you have not done so already. Your credit score is unaware that this may be a sensitive topic and will bring your entire financial history to the forefront. Consider this a necessary evil, as this step towards homeownership is vital in letting you and your partner know what you can realistically afford. Taking this step first will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home outside of your price range.
What Kind of Home?
- Townhouse vs. House – Make a decision early when thinking about what’s important at this stage in your life when getting a home. Since we desired more control and privacy with our property, we decided to stick to searching for a house. However, if lower initial costs and less maintenance intrigues you, it may be useful to research the pros and cons of both options.
- Renovated vs. the Fixer Upper – I’m attracted to anything I don’t have to fix, whereas my fiance is intrigued by potential and eager to let his inner handyman out. I don’t mind if he fixes things up, but I am not interested in taking on any “We” projects right now. However, I’ve heard that’s pretty unavoidable in marriage. We have yet to come to a solid decision on this issue.
What is Non Negotiable?
- Location – It is important to set boundaries early on in the process or you can find yourself searching all over the place! My fiance and I grew up in the west suburbs where we currently reside. In addition to the fact that we are familiar with the area, it is also a great location to any expressway which is perfect with him working downtown and me working in the north suburbs. Therefore we have been able to narrow down the west suburbs as our potential neighborhood.
- Bedrooms and Bathrooms – If you have not lived with your partner before, I urge you to never underestimate the power of two bathrooms in a relationship. A two bathroom home is absolutely a requirement for wherever we decide to move. I don’t care if it’s 1 or 6 bedrooms, as long as we have 2 bathrooms!
With one year and a month until our lease is up, I’m interested to see how this list evolves as we search to confidently decide on a home we are comfortable with.