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How to buy a home with your partner

By Andrew Bell

If you're in a committed relationship – whether you're married to your partner or not – you may be thinking about taking the big step of buying a home together. However, just like any other major financial decision, that kind of milestone in your relationship will require a lot of careful consideration and planning to make sure everything goes as well as possible.

The following steps are absolutely vital to getting the home purchase process with your partner just right, and ensuring a successful and happy future of homeownership together:

Start with a conversation

Perhaps the most important part of entering the home shopping process with your partner is knowing what you're looking for and what you can bring to the table. You may have many preferences in common for your dream home, but there may be some differences of opinion as well, and those will have to be ironed out long before you start shopping.

In addition, there is the matter of actually paying for the home, and what each person will bring to the table in terms of both helping to build the necessary deposit and making monthly payments going forward. Having a firm understanding of all these ins and outs before you proceed is a must.

Do the financial prep work

You likely know that it takes a strong financial background to qualify for a mortgage, so that means building a large savings account – preferably together in a joint account – and making sure both of your credit ratings are as strong as possible, before you apply.

This is a process that can take months or even years, but if you want to get the homebuying process just right, it's something you have to go through carefully to know just what you can afford and what will constitute the best available loan terms.

Know your loan options

When you're buying a home, lenders will typically give you the option of entering into the loan agreement two ways: as joint tenants or tenants in common.

In the case of the former, you will be considered equal partners in all things you do (providing a single deposit, for instance), and in the latter, you might have more flexibility (such as one partner paying 70% of the deposit while the other chips in the remaining 30%).

However, there are likely to be reasons why one option is better than another given your specific situations, so you should do more research to determine which will work best for your needs.

Start shopping

Once you know what you can afford and all the features you're looking for in a property, you can start looking for a home that meets your unique wants and needs. Something real estate experts always recommend is for both partners to try to avoid "falling in love" with a given property, because there's likely to be a number of interested parties – and you may not ultimately have the winning bid.

Work with an experienced agent

When you haven't gone through the homebuying process before, you won't have any real way of knowing everything that goes into making the right move every step of the way. As such, it's critical to have a reliable agent to help shepherd you along. That way, any questions or concerns that arise throughout the shopping period will be addressed with ease.

At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we have helped countless couples transition from being aspiring homeowners to actually owning properties of their own. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you follow that path as well.

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