Going through the homebuying journey with your partner can be a relationship-building experience, but it can also be a challenge! Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a complex process with different moving parts and a lot of money–this can be a recipe for a stressful situation for many people.
The secret to smooth out some of those bumps in the road before they happen? A money date! Going on a money date is a great way to get on the same page when it comes to buying a home.
To go on a money date, set aside a specific time that’s just for talking real estate. You may also want to gather your financial documents and budgets beforehand so you can focus on making decisions together (rather than rooting around old paperwork).
When you’re ready to get started, grab some coffee or your favorite beverages and get talking! Here are a few of the things you should cover during your money date.
- Budget: Sit down with your monthly income vs. expenses and then get really clear on how much you can spend on a home. This is the time for both of you to be really honest about what you can comfortably afford and to get on the same page when it comes to expenses.
- Credit Score & Debt: Take a look at both of your credit scores and then any debt that you may have. Decide if you need to pay down debt or work on boosting your credit before starting the house-hunting process. Having a high credit score and low debt-to-income ratio can help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage, so this is definitely worth discussing!
- Mortgage Amount: Once you both understand how much you can afford and your financial situation, discuss how much you’re planning to spend on a home. You might find that your partner has a very different idea of how much they want to spend, so it’s good to get on the same page here.
Having a money date with your partner before starting the home buying process is a great way to ensure that your real estate experience is a smooth one. By discussing the money stuff that comes with buying a home beforehand, you’ll avoid those common pitfalls and will be more effective by working towards the same real estate goals.