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Are you ready to buy a house with your partner?

By Matthew McCormack

So you’re living in domestic rental bliss with your partner when the conversation inevitably turns to buying a house together. 

Excitement builds as the benefits of entering the property market beckon, but so does the realisation that buying a home comes with big financial, emotional and time commitments.

How do you know if it’s the right time? Here are six signs that indicate you and your partner could be ready to buy:

1. You’re ready to settle down

Buying a property is a long-term investment; to get the most from it you should be prepared to hold onto your new home for at least a full market cycle – around five to seven years. That means you and your partner should be ready to settle down in one place for an extended period.

2. You’re both happy in your careers

Job stability is important when you have a mortgage to pay. Having a set, regular income will help you plan your household budget and minimise any nasty surprises. If you or your partner are considering a major career change, or are not happy in your current jobs, it may be wise to put off buying a home together until your careers are where you want them to be.

3. You want the same thing

If you’re dreaming about a renovator’s delight but your partner is keen on a trendy new apartment, you’re due for a discussion. Communication and compromise are the key words here. Write a list of ‘must-haves’ and secondary ‘should-haves’ that you both agree on. These will help to govern your property search and ensure you’re both reading from the same page.

4. You agree on location

Have you decided exactly where you’re going to live? This can be a point of disagreement – especially if your families live far apart or if you and your partner work at opposing ends of a city. To reach an agreement, consider commute times and scout locations that will work best for both of you.

5. You have some savings

In addition to saving a deposit for your new home, you’ll also need to cover other expenses that come with home ownership such as moving costs, transaction costs, utilities, repairs and rates. It’s important that you and your partner have both made a commitment to tighten your disposable incomes to boost your savings power.

6. You work as a team

Finding the right home for you – especially if you’re first-home buyers – can be a challenge. You’ll need to support each other through the search, and work together at high-pressure auctions and negotiations. The buying process can become easier if you can lean on each other through the stressful times.

When it comes to buying a property with your partner, communication and compromise are vital. Get that right and you’ll be on your way into your new sweet home.

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