Buying your first home together – are you ready?

Buying your first home together – are you readyWhen you begin any relationship, the plan is always to stay together forever. Nobody ever questions the future when they are in love. After all, when you meet that special person and things are going well, it’s hard to imagine not experiencing poignant chapters such as moving in together, having your first child and even booking that first holiday.

They say that when you are in love, it’s sometimes difficult to think logically and practically, for example when it comes to deciding on the right time to buy your first home together. Caught up in the moment, we often let our heart rule our head and rush into life changing decisions blindly.

When you’re thinking about buying your first home with your partner, it’s easy to lose sight of important considerations such as, is the time right? Do you know each other well enough? Can you afford it? Are the circumstances right? Are you even both eligible to qualify for a mortgage?

Taking a money and relationship quiz can be a quick and fun way of seeing how compatible the pair of you are when it comes to finances and who knows, it might even give you a head start in identifying the areas that you might need to discuss with your partner further.

If you’ve reached the stage in your relationship when you’re starting to think about buying your first home together, it’s incredibly easy to be overcome by excitement about picking out an ideal location, choosing your home’s furnishings together and ticking off your wish list when it comes to finding a property that fulfils your expectations.

Of course, this is a really exciting time that you need to embrace but, what you don’t want to happen is, 6 months down the line, to be faced with the realisation that you just weren’t compatible as a couple after being turned down for a mortgage.

People often overlook the fact that financial compatibility can be an important part of a successful relationship as it is the number one thing that couples fight about, particularly when you introduce a mortgage into the equation.

Many couples find that seeking some independent advice can be beneficial when dealing with joint financial matters for the first time. The first step should be to get a credit report from Experian CreditExpert, which will enable you to compare your financial records together and decide how compatible you are financially.

Be realistic

We all want that dream house with beautiful landscaped gardens, room for a walk in wardrobe and even the convenience of a downstairs loo, but it’s often the case that we have to compromise on our list of requirements.

When buying your first home, it’s easy to lose sight of your budget when you’re looking at potential properties. We all tend to want what we can’t have.

Before committing to a mortgage it is important that you fully think through your plans and options, and research every eventuality.

Here are some questions that might be worth exploring before you take the plunge and buy your first home together.

Can you really live together?
It’s often the case that we do not encounter every side of someone until we have known them for well over a year – no matter how much you might think you know them.
Moving in with your partner is very different to seeing them a few times a week, or going on holiday with them.

If you’re moving in with someone, it’s vital that you are on the same page about how you foresee your future together, and this includes finances. You’ll not only be sharing the same space but you’ll both be responsible for bills, mortgage payments and the upkeep of the property.

You’ll need to consider whether or not you’re going to open a joint account to cover the household costs. If you do decide that this is the best way forward, it’s important to understand the impact of your day-to-day financial decisions as once you open the account, your credit reports will become linked as a result.

Are you sure you are ready to commit to a mortgage with this person?

How well do you really know your partner?
You might be happy in their company. You might have met their parents and think you know them inside out but in reality, when it comes down to the important aspects of their past, do you really know them?

Although talking about money and debt can be difficult for some couples, honesty is always the best policy and will help manage your partner’s hopes and aspirations. If one of you has a less than perfect history of managing their finances and repaying their debts, this could potentially affect both of your chances of obtaining credit.

So, are you ready?

*Guest post in collaboration with Experian CreditExpert