#RelationshipGoals: The Divorce-proof Guide for Couples Buying Their First Home

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Couple talking to real estate agent

Psychologists say that major life events can put a strain on relationships. But couples look out for only unfortunate happenings such as loss of a job, a partner’s serious illness, or death in the family. But happy milestones can also bring in some conflicts precisely because they shake up the status quo. They change the way things are. A case in point is buying a new home.

It’s a promising life event. But along with it come conversations on money, differences in preferences, and lots and lots of time and energy spent. It’s inevitable that this major change in your life will put a dent in your marriage. The only question is how exactly you’re letting it affect you as a couple. If you want to get your dream home while keeping your relationship strong throughout the process, follow this guide:

Be on the same page

In one way or another, you have probably talked about what you want in a home before. It is nice to think of all the fancy stuff in your dream house. But now that you’re buying a real one, you need to be more serious about your talks. You need to figure out exactly what you need. Expect to have some contention between you and your spouse. 

You probably think that a walk-in closet is a need, but your partner believes that it’s too much of a splurge. Or maybe he wants a fixer-upper to reduce the costs, but you feel like a move-in ready is what you need. It’s important to settle these differences right off the bat even before you hit property listings or go to open houses. You’ll save a lot of headaches — and heartaches — if you negotiate, compromise, and be on the same page from the very start.

Get your finances in order

Money is the root of so many evils in marriage, but it’s especially damaging to a relationship when you’re trying to make a big purchase such as a house. Along with your needs list, it’s important to prioritize arranging your finances before you visit homes. Check your credit scores, and pay off your debts. Partner with a mortgage broker in Utah. They can walk you through different types of loans, which would fit your unique financial situation. 

Know how much you can borrow. Ultimately, you want to get a pre-qualification letter just before you hit the open houses. Of course, it goes without saying that before doing all these, you’ve already discussed with each other how much of your income would go to house expenses.

Work with a real estate agent

Real estate agent showing contract to couple

You can always DIY the negotiations with sellers and the property searches. But remember that you want to keep this entire process as smooth as possible to avoid major relationship problems. If you handle tough talks with sellers yourself, this might add tension to an already stress-filled experience. Also, if you end up getting a home you regret, that might trigger finger-pointing toward each other. Feelings of guilt, shame, and blame aren’t the best ingredients for a successful marriage, let alone a good home. Work with an experienced real estate agent instead. Find professionals online. Ask your social circles for people they have worked with in the past.

Buying a home can deeply affect your relationship. It’s your call whether you’ll let it weaken or strengthen it. If you want the latter, then follow the three simple strategies.

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