Evaluating your current relationship
- Be realistic and practical about your relationship.
Note: Unless there is a major commitment, use caution before sacrificing your prized possessions to squeeze it all under one roof.
- Especially if children are involved and before considering selling your house, play it safe and rent – if you can afford it – both of your homes until the relationship has proved itself.
- Find out about each other’s bad habitssince no one ever knows what to expect when moving in with someone else until they witness first hand the truth of it all.
- Take a real glimpse into what his/her kitchen, bedroom and bathroom look like, on a bad day.
- Once you have figured out what annoys you both, help each other work out fixing those habits; yelling at each other is not a solution.
- Agree to disagree and alternate who gets the “family TV” and who goes to another TV room when you want to watch different shows.
- Give and take to reach a happy medium, about cleaning and cooking.
- If your sweetie does something that’s really bothers you, communicate before it escalates and it ends up with one of you stewing for days or unleashing his/her anger about something your cohabiter is totally clueless about.
- Remember, living with you may not always be a walk in the park either.
- Remember, you two decided to cohabitate for a reason, i.e., being compatible, having a strong and healthy relationship, and both wanting to take it to the next level.
- If things work out, consider selling your individual homes and purchasing a totally new place together so it doesn’t feel as if one person is moving in on the other’s territory.
- If you decide to sell one or both of your homes, you might owe capital gains taxes. If so, consult a tax advisor about strategies to minimize your tax liability.
- If your decisions involve the sale or purchase of more than one home, consider hiring the same realtor for multiple transactions to negotiate a commission discount.
- If you decide to buy a new home together, consider if you want to re-invest all of the equity from the homes you sold or if you want to set aside some of the cash for other uses.
- If you decide to buy a house, evaluate what you feel comfortable spending.
Note: Remember to include homeowner’s insurance, maintenance and repairs, utilities, property taxes and the monthly mortgage payment.
5. If you buy a new home, you may need to consult an attorney about the options regarding holding title to that property, especially if you have children from prior marriages.
6. Time your transactions to minimize the hassles and expenses of moving.
7. In addition to your individual bank accounts set up a joint checking account for shared expenses.
8. Ensure both of your signatures are required on checks, and avoid buying hard to divide items, i.e., furniture from the joint account.
9. Save receipts and split end of the month expenses, i.e., the rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, and other monthly expenses.
Deciding where to live
- Discuss where you want to live and once you select a location take into account if you have children or are planning to start a family.
- Discuss the size of the home you need to accommodate your current and future needs.