Buying a Home Together
Moving in together is a big step in any adult relationship, but buying a home together comes with a whole new set of hurdles. A home is often the most expensive purchase that you will be making…together! Below are some tips to help you prepare for this next big step.
Agree on Priorities
You want a home where you and your partner are both comfortable. In order to do so, you will have to flesh out some of the details and set some priorities. Is a luxurious bathroom a non-negotiable? Is your need for a large backyard able to be compromised? How much closet and storage space is absolutely necessary? Think about what amenities you would like nearby when you begin your home search. Is it important for you and your partner to be near the action of downtown, or are you looking for a quiet neighborhood in the suburbs? Be sure to consider your shared lifestyle when making a list of needs and wants.
Agree on a Budget
A good partnership comes when you both know what you are committing to. Only you and your partner know how your finances work and determining how much you can afford together will be one of the most important conversations to have. Take a moment to have a solid look at your current monthly expenses and how much money you can comfortably put toward a mortgage.
Consider these added expenses:
- Down payment – usually 20%
- Home inspection – $315 average
- Taxes and insurance – cost varies
- Moving costs – $2,300 average
- Closing costs – 2% to 5%
Check Your Credit Scores
A good credit score is essential to buying a home. As you prepare to buy a home, request an official credit report for each of you to make sure things there are no mistakes to dispute. When applying for a mortgage together, both credit scores will be taken into account. The lender will use the lowest score – so both you and your partner need to have good credit.
If you want to exclude the bad credit score, you can still apply — only that applicant's income will be considered when determining qualification.