09 Mar 2017
The ‘m’ word. Agh! Why does it create ‘the fear’ amongst so many Irish couples?
We’re talking about mortgages, of course, but there are other ‘m’ terms that can raise neck hairs just as quickly – mention ‘marriage’, ‘money’ or ‘moving in’ and just wait for the sharp intake of breath that follows. Yes, maybe you’re right to be cautious. You certainly don’t want to put your relationship into a pressure pot.
So we have to find that nice limbo, that comfort spot – the stage when you’re so comfortable with your partner, you can even sleep through their bear snores. That’s when you know you can take on anything together. But, as you can imagine, reaching this place is no easy feat.
And recognising when you have both reached this place is tough too – who’s to know when you’re really ready to mortgage with your other half? Well, the first thing you can do is read the five big signs below, which will hopefully make things that bit clearer.
1. You live together most of the time as it is
We don’t mean sleepovers the odd three nights a week. We mean a week on the trot – seven days of sharing a TV, the washing up, the cooking – and in the midst of all this, being able to practice your individual hobbies, too.
The success of cohabitation usually reveals itself in years of harmonious Netflix viewing, IKEA assemblage and sharing of toilet cleaning duties. Sure it’s positively aspirational at this stage!
And if you both rent your own places and are able to pull this off, an even bigger bravo, as this shows that you are both willing to compromise on your surroundings so you can live together.
2. You already share bills or a bank account
It’s not the sharing of a physical space that’s the tricky part – it’s mostly the sharing of domestic work and bills.
Many couples don’t realise until it’s too late that until they both own the same space, they have never truly shared the responsibility of domestics and bills. In the past, it had always been ‘someone else’s’ mess or financial burden, and therefore, out of your subconscious worry zone.
So already sharing bills or an account is a massive sign that you’re well on your way to a mortgage.
3. You’re equally as excited about owning a home
This may sound kind of obvious, but you should share a mutual feeling of excitement from the offset.
Of course it’s a good idea to air concerns early on. But this should consist of one or two conversations, and then you should move forward with can-do attitudes. If your partner is himming, hawing, and voicing quibble after quibble, it is possible they are harbouring a reluctance to commit.
The easiest part of the home buying journey is at the beginning, when you can daydream about big gardens and fancy furnishings. So if your other half is starting to sound like a negative Nancy or Ned, you may need to sit them down to find out what’s going on, and why they are putting up unnecessary barriers.
4. You both agree on settling down in the long term
Again, we hate to broadcast the obvious. But are you both completely on the same page when it comes to marriage, kids, and pets?
These are all big subjects that underlie one scary question – a question most couples avoid like the plague (until push comes to shove).
Are we 100% ready and willing to commit to each other for the rest of our lives?
You see? You probably flinched a little when you read that. Cohabiting does exactly what it says on the tin. You become, in part, co-dependent on another person for the long-term, financially and emotionally.
And even though some people don’t believe that marriage is the be-all-and-end-all, it’s still important to be certain that you want to commit to this person for the rest of your life before buying a home with them.
5. You both have savings for a rainy day
Equal financial responsibility is crucial before taking the mortgage step together. And you both need to be financially responsible in order to make things work. When you really want something, you will work consistently to make it happen.
If you have both started to save, it shows that you both really want this and (this is the important part) are actually serious about making it happen.
Thinking about buying a home with your partner?
Buying a house with your partner can be tough work – remember, we all have different perspectives and we value money in different ways. It’s about respecting your partner and being honest about everything.
For more tips on how to get mortgage ready with your substantial other, download the EBS ‘Guide to Buying your first home’, or if you have any questions about the process, you can book a friendly chat with a mortgage advisor.
EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
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