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

My life will never be the same again

* by Mark

As I wander down the path of my life I occasionally pause to look back at where I have come from. Picture the scene, a moonscape stretching out before you, only the small rocks and boulders breaking the seemingly endless expanse of nothingness. As I gently swing around to continue I find myself at the base of a steep incline. Climbing up the incline I am accompanied by a chorus of rousing strings that echo through my mind reaching an emotional crescendo as I crest the top and see before me…. a large black obelisk. I approach cautiously and touch it and at that exact second a realisation washes over me that my life will never be the same again.

What on earth, you may well wonder has me so worked up that I can wax lyrical on a Sunday afternoon. The answer is easier than you would expect in short I finally sat down and started to investigate this phenomenon called “crypto-currencies”.

I first heard of this thing called Bitcoin around a year ago I thought to myself, bitwhat? My initial thoughts run along the lines of “That will be useful for nerds, geeks and those unable to stop playing the latest crazy multiplayer game in the internet”, and went about my life unaffected.

Evidently psychologists’ claim that a person needs on average “5 touches” before curiosity takes over and research begins. Well I must have hit that target because I found myself doing just that, researching.

That was about four months ago and it has led me down the rabbit hole to a world of subjects that I have never considered before. Money is everything in our modern world, have it and you can live like all those perfect people in the magazines and on TV, don’t and you can fade into obscurity until the grim reaper himself tracks you down. Yet given the all consuming totalitarian control money has on our lives it is staggering just how little we know about it. Even the fundamental question “what is money?” is extremely hard to answer once you actually start to think about it.

Yet within Bitcoin and the Blockchain it is based on is a tool, like the internet, or even computers themselves that if adopted by the masses will change the world, and I would like to think for the better. Imagine a money supply by the people for the people that is devoid of the control and manipulation by anyone, anywhere, no matter how important they are in the world.

I urge you all to start with Youtube and search for an introduction to Bitcoin. I warn you, it will probably melt your brain at the beginning unless you have grounding in finance, banking or economics. However like all new concepts and ideas it takes a little while to get to grips with it but as the fog of confusion lifts and the reality sets in then you will find yourself smiling and then you find yourself dreaming.

I intend to write a series of article for you all as I love you so much and like a born again evangelist I feel a compelling urge to spread the word about this potential future of mankind. I shall start as an introduction and cover a range of subjects to add context. Hopefully it builds up as a parts work into a comprehensive guide for you all.

Oh and if you’re wondering, yes I have joined the family and I have opened up an account, in fact here is the QR code for my account:

BitCoin QR Code

If you know about Bitcoin already, good for you, then you know all you have to do is scan the above code and enter an amount an click send. Then no matter where you are in the world, nor what time of the day or night it is, I will receive the sent sum within seconds for a few pence in transaction fees. How else could you do that?

Anyway I hope you have read this far, and more so your imagination is peeked, as mine is.

I will write more on this soon.

Have you heard of Bitcoin?

Would you be interested in this new form of global trading?

Do you use Bitcoin or another crypto-currency already? If so please share your stories with us.