LOVELAND – Buying a home is a huge decision. Naturally, it can be difficult for couples to agree when it comes to many home buying decisions.
Here are a few common disagreements and how couples can overcome them.
One of the first home buying decisions is the price range for a home. Quite frequently, one partner wants to spend more money while the other wants to be conservative. To help with this debate, couples should first obtain a pre-approval. This will be the maximum you can spend, but it doesn’t mean you need to spend it all. Next, take a look at the monthly cost for a home in that price range. Consider mortgage principal, interest, insurance, property taxes, association fees, property maintenance costs, etc. Plug these figures into your overall monthly budget. Consider all of your other fixed and variable monthly expenses, and what may be left over for savings. Going through these figures can help couples understand the impact of the price range and what amount of housing cost makes the most sense.
You always hear that real estate is about location, location, location. It’s comes as no surprise that one of the major disagreements among couples is over where to buy a home. Most couples work in different cities and have different preferences when it comes to desired community amenities. You can easily change the features of a home but you can’t pick it up and easily move it.
Couples should sit down to discuss commuting times and community features. Think about how both of those may contribute to home prices and affordability. Come to a compromise where each may get all that they want, but enough to make it work.
Another common debate involves home features: size, layout, amenities, style and condition. It’s rare to find a property that perfectly matches what each person wants, and sometimes those “wants” can be conflicting. Couples should sit down to discuss what they “need” versus “want.” Additionally, think about features that are truly required versus those that can be added to a home later. Lastly, consider how the features may impact home price. This exercise can really help couples develop realistic search criteria.
Once couples find the right home, the next source of debate is often price. It’s common for one person to be more aggressive with pricing than the other. Before this becomes an argument, consider first what the home is worth based on comparable properties that recently sold or are under agreement. Look at what alternatives are available if you are unable to get the particular property… are there plenty of options or very few? Are there any competing buyers? Your agent can help you evaluate all of this, which in many cases can bridge some of the gap between couples and their desired offer price.
Working with a real estate agent
Real estate agents are often informal home buying counselors for couples. They can’t provide you with relationship advice, but they can provide you with helpful facts and information. This can aid in discussions and help couples make smarter home buying decisions.
By Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland. Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail email@example.com.