How your relationship can survive house hunting
Buying a house has got to be one of the most stressful financial decisions many of us make in our lives, so it's no wonder the process can have an adverse effect on our relationships. Here's how to make sure you and your partner still want to live together by the time you find the perfect home.
Make sure you both know what you're looking for before you start your search. There's nothing worse than realising that your partner has envisioned a very different home than you had in mind. Talk about what you want from your home and how you see it impacting your life now and in the future. Is the home simply a step into the property market and an investment that you're both looking at selling or renting in the future? Or is this going to be your family home, where you see yourselves staying in the long term? Make sure both you and your partner know what kind of home you're looking for so the road won't be filled with confusion and frustration.
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You want a yard, but the significant other wants to live in the heart of the urban hustle and bustle. Or, perhaps you're thinking of the capital gains, while they're more concerned about getting a home that feels like a home, no matter what the cost. Try and meet somewhere in the middle so you can both feel good about the search. Compromising might mean finding a place in the perfect suburb, but downsizing from a four-bedroom to a three-bedroom home, or perhaps looking for an investment property that you can see yourselves turning into a home until deciding to sell or rent it out down the track.
If each and every moment together is spent at open homes and inspections or scrolling through real estate websites, then the relationship is going to need some more attention. While looking for a home to call your own is an exciting time, if attention isn't given to nurturing the relationship, too, then the idea of actually living together in your own home might not seem like such a desirable prospect, after all. Enjoy the process of house hunting and also give yourselves time to just be a couple, too. Date night is so important; just be sure to keep all the property talk to a minimum.
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Dealing with stress
Whether you've moved in with your mum and dad while you save up for the perfect property, or you've put in your third offer on a home that hasn't worked out, house hunting can be stressful and put a strain on any relationship. So, how do we combat that stress and make the most of the situation? Turn the negative into a positive by doing things like calculating how much money you've saved while living with your parents, or start planning for the move by buying pieces for your new home. If times do get tough and the conversations get heated, try to remain calm or calm your partner down by looking on the bright side.
See the opportunities
If you want to get to know someone, buy a house with them. House hunting is a fantastic way to really get to know your partner (and yourself) so take advantage of it. How do you both deal with stressful situations? Are there areas you both need to work on? What is there to learn about you and your relationship throughout the process? These are all great questions to ask of yourself and your relationship through the stressful situations that arise during house hunting. You're both sure to learn a whole lot about each other. A recent study by eHarmony conducted in the U.S. actually found that acutely-stressful situations can have a positive impact on a relationship. While another study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that "under certain conditions, stress can enhance the durability of a marriage." This stressful house hunting business just might do wonders for the relationship, after all.
What to remember when house hunting with your partner:
- Know what each of you is after in a property and see if you can compromise to find a match that fits both of you.
- Remember things like layout, paint colours and aesthetic details of the home can be changed. Don't get too hung up on the design of the home or aspects of the house that can be easily changed.
- Enjoy the process and learn as much about your partner and yourself as possible.
- Factor in your needs in the future, not just your needs right now. Unless you want to move every few years, it is smart to look for something that will sustain your lifestyle in the future.
Tell us! What other tips do you have for house-hunting couples?