3 tips to help you house-hunt harmoniously as a couple 

House hunting as a couple can be a nightmare and a dream come true. You both have different needs and wants of your “dream home,” and some of your “essential elements” may seem unimportant to your significant other. So how do you comprise and find a house you both like? What about your move-in timeline. Do you want to buy a pre-construction home and wait a few years before moving in or do you want to move into a home in the next few months? We have compiled a list of tips below to keep your house hunting as peaceful as possible.

Once you start opening up the conversation of what location you want to move to, what budget you have in mind, and what design of home you want, you can start meeting in the middle towards a unison decision.

Tip #1: Be on the same page financially 

According to Investopedia, money is the number one reason couples fight. So if you aren’t on the same page at the start, you will be in for a bumpy ride.

Here are some tips:

  • Establish a down payment amount that you are both willing to contribute
  • Discuss if you’d rather pay less and buy a fixer-upper or if you want to buy a move-in ready home
  • Figure out how much you can afford to each pay monthly for the mortgage
  • Decide if you want a separate rental unit in your home, so you can collect rent to help pay for your mortgage

Tip #2: Choose a location you both like

There will likely need to be some compromising on location. Especially since high house prices are pushing many couples to move outside the city in order to find affordable housing. This means you need to open up the discussion of what you each deem a necessity in a location. 

Here are some questions to ask each other. Do you want:

  • To live close to family and friends or are you okay with moving a bit farther away
  • To live close enough to commute to work
  • To have quick access to downtown, shopping malls, and grocery stores
  • To live close to transit
  • To live close to restaurants and bars
  • To live close to a hospital and great healthcare amenities 
  • To have lots of green space, walking trails and parks to go to
  • To live in the city, the suburbs, the countryside or by the lake
  • To live by good schools for your kids to attend
  • To live in a good neighborhood 
  • To live near recreation and leisure centres

Tip #3: Identify “must-have” elements of a home

Between the two of you, you need to figure out what components of a home you cannot live without. You are going to have to comprise or sacrifice a few on your list, so make sure you can narrow down your list to the top five needs and then additional wants.

Here are some elements to consider and to have on your list:

  • How many bedrooms you want
  • How many bathrooms you want
  • 1 car or 2 car garage
  • How large of a kitchen you want
  • Do you want an open concept house
  • A large master suite with an ensuite
  • A large backyard
  • A pool 
  • A modern or a contemporary looking home
  • Newer home with brand new appliances and up to date electrical and heating and cooling
  • An older home with character, but has older appliances and outdated heating, cooling and electrical
  • A large living room to entertain, as well as a dining room
  • An additional living room that can be used as a playroom or an office space
  • A finished basement 
  • A rental unit 
  • A single-detached home or a townhome

What you have to remember is that no home is perfect. You can make the home your own once you move in. You can start decorating and renovating as you wish. We hope that you found these tips helpful and that they help minimize arguments when buying your next home together.