You and your SO have made the decision to buy your first home. And that’s where agreement ends. Your thoughts on home style and location are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and the bridge loosely connecting the two? Way wide.
Don’t let bickering get the better of you. Follow these steps to establish some common ground:
Making lists of needs and wants is very important in the home buying process, whether you are buying solo or with a co-buyer. Try this sticky notes exercise, being sure that your SO also takes time to write, paste and re-arrange. Then come together to compare notes. Any similarities? These will form your initial list of search criteria.
Once you’ve retained the services of a real estate agent, open up to that person about your differences. And don’t be embarrassed. Most likely, he or she has counseled plenty of couples who can’t see eye to eye. Share the writing exercise with your agent and let him or her provide feedback and guide further conversations. An expert agent will listen carefully to each party and, from that info, suggest neighborhoods and homes therein that meet your needs as a couple.
An all-or-nothing attitude, paired with spells of the silent treatment after disagreements, won’t get you anywhere fast.
Be open to your SO’s suggestions. Perhaps seeing your partner’s preferred home in person will give you a different perspective. And work together as you compare/contrast neighborhoods and homes. The ultimate goal is to find a home that you both will enjoy living in and proves a good investment. You may love that battered, time-worn Victorian cottage, but when you add up renovation costs and start tracking comps, do the numbers add up? Your partner may love a home that is located in the middle of nowhere. It’s gorgeous, but the daily commute would crush you. Is a dope home worth wear and tear on your car and complete exhaustion by week’s end?
There’s a time to negotiate and make a case for a certain home and then there’s a time to move on to the next. Don’t try to convince a partner to love a home as much as you do, when he or she simply can’t stand it. You’re most likely wasting your time.
Your SO won’t budge on one specific need or want, an outstanding issue that is making the home shopping experience a real beast.
Time to do some probing: Why is this or that thing so important? What will happen if he or she must live without it? By letting the person vent a bit, you may find that the real need has nothing to do with home style or location. Something more emotional is going on. Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, work together to find a solution that makes you both happy.