How to search and buy a house as a couple

sydney_property_buyersNearly every property brief needs development and every buyer needs to come to terms with the things they are prepared to compromise on.  When a couple are looking to buy a new house,  they need to agree on the same compromises! It’s important to be firmly on the same page, but this process can take some time. Even when couples seem to agree, there are often subtle differences in what each wants, which can make it hard for them to come to a point of decision.

I always find it interesting to test whether there really are no differences between a couple.  Because often you cannot buy a property until those differences are uncovered.  They have to be identified and acknowledged before compromises can be agreed upon.  Couples who are scared to disagree often float around making no commitments. Once the deal breakers for each partner are on the table and discussed at length, they will be able to work out which compromises they can both live with.  This is why it is important for both partners to be actively involved in the property search.

6 steps for getting couples on the same page

Even couples that seem to agree on everything will have subtle differences when it comes to property preferences and what they are prepared to compromise on. And unless these differences are acknowledged and reconciled they could become hurdles when it comes to the crunch. Some couples have obvious differences and if one half feels like they are being ignored or forced to capitulate on major points that can lead to resentment. At its worst, in some cases I have even seen the less dominant partner sabotage property deals. So how can you ensure that both you and your partner are equally represented in the property buying process?

  1. Realize at the outset that there will be differences even if you think that you agree on everything. There is no right and wrong here, both of you need to be represented.
  2. Write your briefs separately then meet and compare notes.
  3. Compile a joint list starting with the things you both want. These will become the must haves.
  4. Then list the things you differ on. These need to be discussed and negotiated. If you can’t come to agreement at this stage then put the list aside to review in a few weeks.
  5. Go and inspect properties together. Don’t let one half do all the work unless they are the sole decision maker.
  6. Once you have both inspected a number of properties and got a handle on what your money will buy you in your chosen area/s, revisit your list of differences. Often at this stage you will have a more realistic idea of what you can afford and may have even adjusted your own thoughts on what you are prepared to compromise on.

The quicker you recognize the differences and work out acceptable compromises the sooner you will buy your next home and get on with the living!


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Please note:

Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.


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