Buying a house or an apartment is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life. It’s that big-ticket purchase that everyone wants their hands on eventually. After all, most homes, condos, and land prices appreciate in value as years go by as long as they’re taken care of. If you and your partner have been looking to dip your toes into the real estate game, there are some things you should consider before taking that full leap.
Have you lived together before? If you and your partner have never lived in the same place before, buying a home together can be a real risk. Sure, many people move in together and their relationship becomes stronger than ever, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the relationship goes south faster than geese when it’s winter, and getting out of a buyer situation is a whole lot more difficult than if you two rented first.
Are you planning on being together forever? If you’re just seeing where things are going and think it would be fun to live together, you need to STOP. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Heck, get off the board entirely. A mortgage lasts decades for most people and if you aren’t seeing that future laid out for you and your partner, there’s no reason to jump into that much debt together just to “see where things are going.”
Do you really know each other? Quirky little idiosyncrasies tend to come out in full-force when you live with someone. Maybe you had no idea that your partner literally doesn’t know how to do laundry or that they spend an insane amount of time in the bathroom. Whatever the case may be, learning these new little things about your partner can either make you love them more or lead to having your real estate agent on speed dial.
Is there a good level of trust in your relationship? Trust is everything in a relationship, and when you live together, it’s that much more important. You’re both going to have your own lives and do your own thing, but if for any reason there’s broken trust, it’s going to make for one tense home life. The relationship will eventually break down, and selling a house is a whole lot harder than breaking a lease.
Can you work well as a team? The best relationships are ones where people complement each other in various ways. When it comes to the ins and outs of daily life like taking care of the housework or making sure you’re both eating balanced meals, knowing how to function together so that you do things as a team is a good thing to know before jumping into such a huge commitment.
How do your living styles differ? Is your partner as messy as a pig in a pen while you love things orderly and tidy? That’s going to create a huge rift. It would in any situation but when you own the house your partner is messing up, it will irk you even more because you’ll wonder why they don’t have any pride of ownership.
It’s a lot of money to bet on your relationship. If you have any doubts whatsoever about the person you’re with, it might be time to reevaluate putting all your money into something with that person. You work hard for the things you have and you don’t want to end up in a battle for money if things don’t work out.
Do you have an exit strategy if things go south? Living together for the first time will make or break a relationship. That’s just a fact. When you sign those mortgage documents, though, if things do end up breaking, it’s not going to be easy to get out of. Knowing what you’ll do if the relationship fails in terms of who gets what in the break-up will need to be discussed ahead of time.
Do you know property laws if things get ugly? Say your partner cheats on you but you’re not on the title of the house. You could have put thousands down and even more into making the house a home, but if you aren’t aware of your rights, you could get seriously screwed over. Make sure you’re well-versed in property laws or rent just to be safe.
Do you really love this person? Moving in with someone is a commitment all its own, but buying real estate is on a whole next level. Consider the love you feel for this person before jumping into a commitment you’re not ready for.
It’s not all bad. Maybe it all works out and you and your partner are now sitting on the best investment of your life. You never know how things could turn out. Just make sure you think it all the way through and you’ll be fine.
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