You are purchasing your first home and you have never been more excited. You and your significant other, your spouse, your business partner, or your best friend have taken the plunge. You’re ready to commit to this astronomical purchase. It would be wise to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to putting so much of yourself and your savings into this project.
1. Are we buying to live here or as an investment?
Do you want to stay for the foreseeable future or just flip this thing and move on? This will determine what kind of home you choose. If you’re keeping it then perhaps raising your family, location, schools, crime, cost of living and so many other factors will come into play. If you’re just keeping it as long as it takes to fix it up, much of that might not matter to you. Will you get a better price once it’s overhauled? Renovated homes for sale in Lakeland might bring in a lot more than a DIY property. Or not. Do your research.
2.Are we splitting all costs down the middle?
Are your incomes similar? Is your debt-to-income ratio similar to that of your soon-to-be co-owner? Work this out before buying. You want to make sure you can both afford the purchase equally so that one of you is not left carrying the bulk of the load. That is one quick way to end a relationship.
3.What’s your number?
Credit scores do count to a large extent. If you’re planning to buy a home outright, you won’t need a credit score, just the money. If you’re planning to have a mortgage, then credit will matter. How is your partner’s credit score? Do they pay their bills on time? How much do they have saved? How much do they make compared to what they owe? How will this purchase affect their financial status? Will you be able to carry each other if one of you has a financial crisis?
4.What if we go our separate ways?
Even the best-laid plans can go awry. You could get divorced or break up. One of you could move across the county or lose your job. You could just decide you don’t want to have this home anymore. Where will that leave both of you standing? An exit strategy would be a good idea, so write it down. Even if you never use it, having it in writing for an unexpected occurrence that might disrupt your plans could save you a big headache.
Purchasing a first home could be a bonding experience that you will treasure forever. As long as you both go in with the willingness to discuss problems as they come up, and they will come up, and promise to keep lines of communication open and be honest with each other, there is a positive future ahead of you.