How to Avoid Couple Spats When Home Shopping

February 14, 2019

Couples may be eager to find their perfect home. But house hunting can be stressful, and finding a property that both parties agree on can pose a challenge.

A common spat that many real estate pros see? Not being able to agree on where to live. Elizabeth Gigler, broker for John Greene Realty in Naperville, Ill., told realtor.com® in a 2018 article that she once had one partner who really desired a home in a prime location while the other partner wanted to focus solely on the mortgage payment. Touring homes and not being able to agree on the location can lead to a lot of disagreements, agents say.

Another common sticky point for couples is whether the house is perfect enough to make an offer on it. Couples sometimes have difficulty agreeing on whether they love the house enough to make an offer. “So they keep looking, while the other is thinking, ‘Haven’t we found it already?’” Nathan Garrett, a real estate professional in Louisville, Ky., told realtor.com®.

Other spats can arise while discussing how aggressive to be when making an offer on a home, and how much of the home needs to be remodeled.

But working with newlyweds or couples doesn’t have to end in a spat every time. To keep the peace, Jeff Fagan, president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, offers some of the following suggestions when working with couples:

Make a list and find a compromise.

Each should make a list of amenities they’d like to have in a house and later compare notes with the other, he says. “See what features you two have in common and use these as the foundation of your home search,” Fagan says. “From there, compromise on other features you’d like to have. Most importantly, remember that no house is worth a strain on your relationship.”

Determine the ideal house size.

“A common mistake that couples make when buying a home is that it’s too small or too big,” Fagan says. He encourages couples to ask themselves a few key questions, such as: Do we plan on having kids in the next five years (if you don’t have any already)? How often will we have guests? Will we adopt any pets? It's important for the buyers to factor in the answers to these questions when determining the home’s fit.

Drive around the neighborhood together.

“No matter how great the house is, if it’s in an area that doesn’t work for both people, you may regret your purchase,” Fagan says. If the couple plans to have children while living in the home, they’ll want to carefully evaluate the school district. Also, they’ll want to tour the surrounding area to see if what they desire is nearby, such as restaurants, gyms, and access to public transportation. They’ll also want to carefully consider each other’s commute times from the home, too.

Source: 
5 Epic Fights All Couples Are Bound to Have When Trying to Buy a House,” realtor.com® (Feb. 14, 2018) and REALTOR® Magazine