Buying my first home was one of the most exciting times in my life. I would get so excited when it was time to go and view a home—and I viewed lots and lots of homes while pregnant with my second child. For many, home buying can be a stressful process, especially when you and your partner have two different opinions. If you’re like me, you’re dying for a cute home in the suburbs with a backyard that never ends. But when all your husband can think about is how much time he’s going to spend mowing the lawn and how far from the city you are, the home buying process can be agonizing. These disagreements can create roadblocks on your way to arriving at the perfect home.
Here’s the best advice I can offer to help you get on the same page as your sweetheart and keep your house hunt from turning into a world war.
Make separate top 10 must-have lists
After getting our mortgage preapproval, my husband and I were ready to hit the ground running. We wanted to see as many houses as possible. We didn’t even know what we should be looking for in a house, let alone what we wanted. Thus, we spent days looking on various realtor sites figuring out what we liked and didn’t like based on the houses we saw online. Do not do this.
Trying to figure out what you want based on internet listings will get you nowhere. The best way to narrow your search is to create a must-have list. You jot down your top 10 must-haves and your darling should do the same. Compare your lists to find the shared characteristics you and your partner want in a home. This serves as a foundation when the house hunt begins.
Some things to consider when building your list: location, lot size, age, curb appeal, design/floor plan, room count, closet and storage space, garage, basement, indoor/outdoor entertaining, space for pets, updated plumbing/electrical, and school district.
Don’t know where to start?
Here’s a simple home buying checklist:
- Golf course
- Ocean views
- Type of home
- Single family
- Attached or detached
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Number of stories
- Yard size
- Neighborhood/school district
Compare the lists and identify all the must-haves that are important to both of you. If there are things you aren’t willing to compromise on, be honest. The first few times my husband and I went house hunting was in a small town with lots of beautiful homes, but house after house after house, my husband didn’t like any of them. I couldn’t understand. Then he finally said he didn’t like that there weren’t any basements in any of the homes. Our realtor informed us that in this town, none of the homes were built with basements. Sigh.
When you and your love bug start the home search on common ground, you’ll save yourself some stress and time. You’ll also be more likely to compromise later down the road.