House Hunting with Your Spouse? Avoid These Common Pitfalls
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When you and your spouse are house hunting for a new home, it can be an exciting endeavor. But it also can lead to trouble if you don't enter the process together with open eyes. Couples might have a vague idea of what they want in a home, but these ideas should be discussed and narrowed further down together. Here are three common issues that couples could run into while house hunting and how to steer clear of them:
1. No Strong Time Line Set
If you don't set a deadline for when you would like to move, house hunting can turn into a never-ending process. It is a good idea to sit down with your real estate agent and let them know when you would like to be in your new home. This might coincide with the start of a job, the holidays, or the next school year. You can all work backward from there to plan when you need to get serious about your move and start putting in offers.
2. Ignoring Financial Realities
If one spouse has dreams of a home outside of the couple's overall realistic budget, this can lead to a lot of wasted time looking at unaffordable homes. Having a clear picture of your budget can make sure you are house hunting realistically. Your real estate agent and financial adviser can help guide you through collecting documents and gaining an understanding of what you can afford.
3. No Long-Term Plans
Some people may just be trying to get into the market with a starter home. Others may want to find their forever home and start a family. The struggle is when couples individually fall on either side of this spectrum without realizing it. Having a long-range plan for the future can put house needs into context and will help with both real estate and life planning. Don't waste your time by starting the process without discussing what role this home will play in your life.
Working together as a united front when working with a real estate agent can help keep everyone on the same page. If everyone can get started on the right foot with the home-searching process, there will be fewer misunderstandings and delays along the way. Make sure you and your spouse are as ready as possible to make an offer when your dream house comes along.