House Hunting Tips for Couples
Many happy couples will admit they are an example of opposites attracting. When these couples decide to buy a home together, their differences can certainly pose a challenge
Buying a home is exciting but the process can also be stressful. It is the biggest purchase most people will ever make and there will almost certainly be some conflict when two people need to make such an important decision together.
Once a couple understands the house-hunting process, however, they can have informed discussions, come to compromises and ease some of the stress. Farhaneh Haque, director of mortgage advice at TD Canada Trust, outlines the topics that every couple needs to discuss before they start house-hunting:
• The skeletons in the closet: When a couple takes out a mortgage together, both of their credit ratings, incomes, and other factors are taken into account. If one person’s credit rating is less than ideal, it can affect their joint mortgage application and even the interest rate or type of mortgage they’ll qualify for together. Couples should have an open and honest discussion about finances to decide on their best course of action.
• The expectations: Before they even look at a listing, couples should decide together on their price range based on what they can afford and what features they’re looking for in a home. The home-buying process may move quickly and both parties need to be ready to jump in with both feet when they start searching.
• The mortgage: The decisions don’t end with choosing the right neighbourhood and home features. Deciding on the right mortgage is just as important as choosing the right home. Since a mortgage becomes as much a part of a couple’s life as their new home, it’s important that both are comfortable with the mortgage term, interest rate, repayment schedule and other features.
“Some sacrifices will have to be made to find the home and mortgage you will both be happy with,” says Haque. “Having the discussions and coming to these compromises before you’ve entered the pressure-cooker of the house-hunt will make a big difference and likely make the house-hunting journey a much more positive experience for you both.”