Buying your first home is an exciting and scary time. It signifies a major step in your life, and in your relationship. But managing the stress surrounding the process is crucial if you want to finish the home buying process without harming your relationship.
So, before you jump into the complicated world of real estate, here are some tips to help keep your relationship in a good place while you navigate the process.
Buying a home is a major commitment, both to your relationship and to your finances. With that in mind, it is vital that you plan before you even start looking at homes. Start by determining a budget that you are both comfortable with. You can get information about monthly payments from online mortgage calculators, so you can easily find out how far your money. Just remember to factor in additional costs like property taxes, home insurance premiums, and mortgage insurance or PMI (if you don’t have enough of a down payment.
Once you have an idea about your budget, you can start window shopping a little to see what your money will get you in your preferred location. This step is important because different markets come at different prices. For example, $300,000 will not buy the same amount of New York City real estate as it will in Carson Valley real estate. By checking into this before committing to the process, you can see if your initial budget can actually get you into a property, or if you are better off saving and trying again later.
If it looks like your potential budget will get you a property you will enjoy, then it is time to head to the bank. What you need to do is get pre-approved for a mortgage. The lender will briefly review your current financial situation and will issue a written statement regarding how much they are willing to lend.
The letter is important as it asserts that if you make an offer on a home, you are likely approved for a loan in that amount. In some cases, a realtor might not even be willing to take you on home tours if you do not have a pre-approval letter available.
It is important to note that a pre-approval isn’t a guarantee. Information gathered by the lender during the mortgage process may cause them to change their minds, and they have the right to do so. This means it is critical that you are upfront with the lender during the pre-approval process. Otherwise, you might miss out on a home even if your offer was initially accepted by the seller.
Be Prepared for Stress
Buying a home involves delving deep into your financial history, as well as a lot of money upfront. Couple that with the stress of touring homes, making offers, dealing with counter offers, being turned down, completing inspections, and appraisals, and it is easy for the most secure couples to start to fight.
By acknowledging that this is going to be a stressful period, and choosing to be mindful regarding how you manage that stress, you can avoid taking out these strong emotions on each other.
Make sure and schedule time to relax and unwind, either together or separately, as that will help keep stress levels at bay. And don’t forget that you are in this for your future together, and make an active decision not to let this challenging period ruin your relationship.