Survive Your Relationship: Home Buying Edition

Has anyone ever given you relationship advice? As well-meaning as it may be, most of it ends up being inapplicable at best and at worst, damaging. Someone once told me to never, I mean NEVER, go house shopping as a newlywed. To wait a few years. The reason? Nothing will wear down that honeymoon feel like realizing that you and your partner have very different tastes.

Now I’m not a counselor, or a psychologist, but I can tell you that many-a-couple has successfully found a home that suits both partners’ needs. Can negotiating different architectural, location, and design preferences be tricky? Yes. But it can most definitely be done. Those that can learn how to communicate and plan before home shopping have a better experience overall as they are looking to buy their first home. Let’s not call it relationship advice per se, but instead, read on to learn some valuable tips and tricks to keep both you and your partner happy while home shopping.

Create “Must Have” Lists

Must have lists should be practical lists of things that you and your partner cannot live without. Each partner should compose a list separately and then compare the lists to see what things are similar. When touring homes it is easy to get caught up in the flashy additions, while overlooking what really matters. Sitting down and creating a must have list beforehand will vet properties before you look at them, and help you to understand where your partner is coming from. Home aesthetics can be changed, but remember, things like location and privacy cannot. So your must have list should be made up of a few non-negotiable home qualities.


Of course we all have things we need in a home, but there are also things we’d really like in a home—a good sized back yard, granite counter tops, a walk in closet. Part of creating the must have list should also be sitting down and creating a few other lists too—prioritize using a few different columns like “must have,” “would like,” and “nice to have.” That way you know before you even look at homes where compromise can happen and where it can’t. These lists can also help your real estate expert show you properties that will best appeal to your tastes and that meet the largest number of both partners’ needs and wants.

Use Your Real Estate Expert

A lot of fighting can be averted by making sure the couple is on the same page as their real estate agent. Spend time talking to the agent before looking at homes so the agent gets to know you and your needs. This will also create a better relationship between the couple and the agent so that everyone feels as if they are being heard. The real estate agent is a good source of knowledge too—so if you’re having a hard time coming up with your lists, or knowing what you need vs. what you want, the real estate agent can help counsel you on what most people find important in a home, and what can be changed/negotiated. Furthermore, they’ll be able to give you advice about what things are going to help your home appreciate in value over time, and what won’t. Don’t overlook their expertise in the buying process.

Successful home shopping might not be the easiest thing in the world, but it can and should be thrilling. Realize that there are bound to be bumps in the road, but with good preparation, smart planning, and open communication these difficulties can be minimized so that you and your partner aren’t yelling at each other by the end of the excursion. Instead, you can use these skills to build a healthy relationship and keep the spark alive. How’s that for advice?

Nice newsletter. Good article. Good information. Thank you. Carol

For conventional financing, borrowers with scores at 740 or anywhere above generally receive the same loan pricing (rate and cost). That being said, the better your credit the higher your chances of receiving loan approval with high debt to income (up to 50%) or high loan to value (up to 95%) which can be a major benefit when applying for a new loan. For Jumbo financing, borrowers with credit scores above 800 are generally rewarded with both better pricing and easier guidelines. There are no situations where better credit is a negative when obtaining new financing so we should all continue to strive to reach and then stay in the 800’s.

What are the advantages of a score over 800

Thank you Mike for this information. As a residential realtor the information that you provide is crucial to a successful transaction for my clients. You are indeed a pleasure to recommend to all of my clients. You are so professional, thorough, conscientious and pleasant to work with. !!

Hi Dane! Wanted to make sure I'm clear on this. Am I right in saying that on whichever remodel is done you still take a loss rather than an increase in value - the ROI will never exceed 100% of cost?