09 Mar 2017
While love may be blind, you don’t want to run head first into home-buying with your eyes closed. And sure, most of the time you adore your other half. They’re funny, they’re supportive, and your life together is pretty damn great.
You may even be that couple who drives everyone nuts with how in love you are, between the cute nicknames, the hand-holding, and the general constant togetherness.
But that’s not to say that the odd argument won’t sneak its way in – especially when it comes time to start thinking about mortgages, moving in together, and choosing the house you’ll make your home. It’s a massive deal so to prepare you, here are a couple of the squabbles you may end up having on the way to home-ownership.
1. If you should open a joint account or not
Do you want to commit to a joint account or would you rather keep things separate? Your money is yours after all, so does he really need to know exactly how you’re spending it or when you’re dipping in and out?
Depending on the couple, you’ll approach this differently. A handy solution to the problem is keeping your main bank account separate and opening a joint account where you’ll both contribute a set amount every month to cover rent/mortgage payments/savings/bills etc.
While you don’t need to know the specifics of each other’s spending down to every euro, it is good to have ticked off all the big picture stuff like bills and rent or your repayments.
2. Money, money, money
It’s a rich man’s world. Or so said Abba* back in the day. While the sentiment of the song isn’t quite right in this scenario, Abba were on the ball about it being a rich man’s world. We’d all love to make a packet and head off to live in the Med forever, but until you win the Lotto you’ll be stuck with the realities of splitting bills, saving for your deposit, and the pure annoyance if one of you dips into your savings account when they weren’t supposed to.
Deep breaths. Just think about all the reasons why you love them.
You’ll need to be on the same page about money, especially if there’s an imbalance in income. In an ideal world, you’ll split the bills and mortgage 50/50 and still manage to save, but that’s not always the case. Instead, you’ll need to approach your spending with honesty.
And if you’re planning on a big spend on something that could be considered frivolous, tell your other half before you do it and not when you come home, bags in hand!
3. The specifics of what you both want
He wants budget set aside for a man-cave at the end of the garden. You want a bigger walk-in closet in your bedroom. But who wins? You’re both entitled to want things, but compromise is about to become your best friend.
Draw up a list and talk your budget through. Be prepared to concede on some things too as both of you won’t get exactly what you want. The house will belong to both of you, so it’ll have a flavour of that – whatever that may entail!
4. Where everything is going to go
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, sure, but do you really need to keep all 69 pairs of shoes or the bobble-heads of the Irish football team left over from the Euros? Joining households means bringing two sets of items together: two stacks of clothes, two TVs, two blenders, two sofas, and on and on.
While two of everything may have been the way to go on the Ark, it doesn’t necessarily translate to the modern world. And it definitely leads to an apartment or house full of stuff. You’ll be attached to your stuff and he’ll be attached to his and if you haven’t lived together before, you’re going to need to draw up a list of who gets to keep what.
On the plus side, you’ll both have stuff you can sell to make some extra cash. Ireland has loads of car boot sales and second-hand stores, as well as Done Deal and Adverts.ie, so you’ll be able to sell just about anything.
5. The size of your family and how you’ll raise any potential kids
2.4 kids and a dog. Or is it one kid and a cat? No kids and a couple of cats? Or maybe it’s three kids and no pets because she’s allergic. Buying a house together inevitably brings up the topic of kids and whether or not you’ll need a garden, the type of property you’ll be buying, and how many rooms you’ll want.
Maybe your wants will line up entirely and you’ll cruise through discussions without any quibbles, but even if you decide a furry pet family is enough for now, she might be all for the dogs camping in the bed while that could be his worst nightmare.
The hair! The heat! The slobber!
It’s all part and parcel of buying a house. And no matter how many arguments you end up in, remember: at the end of it all you’ll have a home of your own and the beginnings of a family. It’ll make every little argument so worth it.
Are you ready to make the leap to becoming a first time buyer?
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*If we mention celebrities, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us.