Deciding to buy a house together with your significant other is undoubtedly an exciting time. Plenty of thought and discussion should go into this big leap in a relationship, so keep track of all the loose ends and have the following conversations before purchasing your dream property.
1. Find Out Exactly How Much You Can Borrow
If you’re looking to buy a home together or considering a mortgage, knowing how much you're able to borrow is essential. With the cost-of-living rising and spiking interest rates, budgets are likely to be much tighter.
How much you can spend on a house will be driven by how much you can afford to spend each month on your mortgage payments, so you’ll want to make sure you can cover all your bills and livelihoods in your new home. You should also be aware of all the mortgage options available to you, from specialist lenders to high street banks.
2. Set Up a Joint Account
Honesty is always the best policy. Make sure you both have a clear understanding of each other’s finances and how much you can borrow without getting yourselves into unmanageable debt down the line.
It might be sensible to set up a joint bank account to keep track of shared payments, such as mortgage repayments and household bills. Also make sure you have a budget for removal costs, solicitors’ fees, maintenance, decoration and repairs.
3. Make Sure You’re Both Legally Covered
Early on, it’s important to have a frank conversation about whether you’re both covered, legally and financially. If one of you takes out the mortgage and you split up, the other may not have a legal claim on the property.
It may be wise to set out who’s contributed what in a cohabitation agreement, which your solicitor can draw up for you. Make sure you choose the right classification for your agreement too, like the “joint tenants” option.
4. Don’t Get Carried Away
Sometimes a house may sweep you off your feet and you can’t imagine living anywhere else, but make sure your head and heart have equal say when it comes to making an offer. Research conducted by Onepoll found that more than a third of first-time buyers are more ambitious about owning their own home since the pandemic hit. Yet a quarter hasn’t been able to start saving for a deposit.
Decide what your ceiling price is together before you pick up the phone to the estate agent and stick to your guns. Also, remember the extra cost that comes with buying a home, including furnishings, solicitor fees and valuations. Always play it cool when you’re negotiating, even if the whole process feels emotional - you’ll need to be there to support each other.
5. Remember the Home Insurance
Home insurance is essential to protecting yourself against any disasters or burglaries. Bear in mind the level of excess you might have to pay if you must make a claim. Seek professional advice to ensure you are fully informed and find the best deal for your personal circumstances. The right level of protection makes sure everything's covered so you can concentrate on making lifelong memories together.
Source: Specialist Lender Together