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4 questions you and your partner should ask before you house hunt

By Andrew Bell

Are you and your partner looking to enter the Gold Coast property market by buying your very first home? Working together could be a great way to increase your collective income and capital, and thus purchasing power.

It's also a fantastic opportunity to strengthen your relationship and overcome teamwork challenges. That said, not all couples are ready to take this step together just yet. Before you launch into a property search, it's important you have these conversations:

1. Why do we want to buy a house?

If you're thinking about homeownership, odds are you're already living together. So why is it important you own your home?

Take the time to explain to each other what it means to own a home. Discuss your dreams and how they relate to owning property. When you both know what each other wants from the journey, you can develop a mutual purpose. With this shared goal in mind, you may be better able to compromise later in the property search.

You might want to own a home because:

  • You want security of location before you start a family.
  • Getting on the property ladder will help you grow your investments.
  • You'd like more control over how you use your home.

2. Do we know when and when not to compromise?

You need to accept early on that there will be times along the journey when you and your partner disagree.

Finding a middle ground is important, as it can help avoid unpleasant arguments and keep both of you feeling positive about the process. That said, when working towards a large commitment like homeownership, you also both need to know your limits.

There could be times you feel compelled to simply agree with your partner, even if something really bothers you. In big decisions like signing a sale and purchase agreement, it's important you both genuinely agree, as it's likely this will be the largest and most important asset you own.

3. Are we financially resilient?

When entering the home buying process it is absolutely mandatory that you and your partner are completely honest with each other regarding finances.

Your chosen lender will assess your eligibility for a loan based on your credit score, income and other factors. It's unlikely you'll be approved for a loan you can't afford, but the application and repayments processes will be a lot more pleasant if both of you are open about your financial situation. Acquire your credit score, identify red flags and work with your partner to address these before your search begins.

Money owed to family and friends – where no paper trail is available for credit reporters – must also be addressed before you consider taking out a mortgage. Talk to a financial planner or mortgage broker if you're concerned about your ability to afford a mortgage.

4. Do we know what we're doing?

Buying a home is so rewarding – but it can also be scary if you aren't expecting the many obstacles and failures that you might experience along the way. Before you start house hunting, the two of you should sit down and research the home buying process. Read buying guides, watch property programs or talk to a loved one who has already done it.

It pays to understand the journey from searching through to settlement day. The process can be daunting when there are so many unfamiliar terms to navigate, but with the right research, you'll be well prepared to take on the challenge.

You might also like to select a team of trusted experts, such as a mortgage broker and property valuer, to help you along the journey.

When you and your partner feel confident you're ready to buy a home together, take a look at the best first home opportunities in the Gold Coast right here on the Ray White Surfers Paradise website.

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