Couples Guide to Buying

COUPLES GUIDE TO BUYING


It’s one thing to buy a house on your own, but it is an entirely new adventure altogether when buying a home as a couple. You will need to make these big decisions together and learn how to compromise to be successful. Lakes Country Realty has helped many couples buy a home, so we’ve witnessed the ups and downs along the way. We’ve been there through the arguments, the death glares, and the awkward silent treatments, but we’ve also been there for the excited smiles and happy tears when the couples finally find their dream home together, keys in hand.

Buying a house as a couple is truly a journey and it’s okay to feel a little trepidation about taking the first steps. If you’re looking to buy a place with your special someone, some preparation and seasoned advice can make all the difference. Grab your partner, pour two glasses (or three or four) of whatever you enjoy drinking, and settle in to go over our list of important considerations for couples looking to buy a home to make the process as hassle free and fun as possible. The more you know now, the better off you’ll be as a couple while searching for your new home together.

Needs & Wants


It’s a good idea for each of you to make a list of your wants separately before going over them together. This way you’ll each have an honest idea of what the other one is looking for in your new home. Write down your preferred number of bedrooms, bathrooms, amenities, features, available outdoor space, parking situation, and ideal size. Once you’ve each completed your own list, go out to your favorite restaurant and go over both lists together. The goal is to come up with one single wish list by the end of dinner that both of you could be happy with in a home. If you feel like this may lead to an argument, you may want to share a meal at home instead..lol. We have had clients that come to us with one of them wanting to buy a hobby farm in Scandia and the other a condo in Forest Lake or one wanting to build on acreage in Taylors Falls while the other wants to be in their favorite neighborhood in Lindstrom or Chisago City. Do not fret if you find that you both have differences of opinions regarding your ideal situation. If your lists cannot be combined because your goals are so different, just bring both lists with you to meet with your agent. Your agent will be an impartial professional and will be able to focus on a solution that allows you both to check off as many boxes on your lists as possible. Don’t feel upset with your partner for wanting something different than you do; just remember that you love each other, and that we will help you find a solution!

Type of Home


As a couple, you need to decide what type of home you’re looking to buy. The most popular types of homes are condos, townhouses, and single-family houses. This step can become a roadblock due to the many advantages and disadvantages each type of home has to offer, so if you get stuck, let your real estate agent in on the dilemma and he or she should be able to help you narrow it down by location, price, and lifestyle. In our experience, when clients are very location sensitive, they are more open to different types of homes if it will put them in their ideal neighborhood or school district. A good agent will give you what we like to call a Reality Based Perspective Analysis, which means your agent will show you what is available and how it matches up with your various criteria, so you can adjust your expectations and desires. If you keep an open mind, your agent will be able to show you recent sales and then you will be able to narrow or broaden your goals.

Neighborhood


Think about the activities that each of you enjoy, both together and separately. Does your partner love running in the park with your dog? Do you start your days with walks to your favorite cafe? The neighborhood you choose will ultimately have the biggest effect on your lifestyle. You need to decide how important it is to be close to parks, shops, and restaurants —or maybe you'd rather have your privacy with a big backyard further from town. Take the time to explore each other’s top neighborhood choices to get a real feel for what it would be like to live there.


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