Sex & Relationships

Should You Buy a Place Together? 6 Conversations to Have Before Moving In

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Some couples may want to take the next step in their relationship by purchasing a home together. This is a big decision that not only involves your commitment to each other but also your financial health. Before making this move, take a hard look at your relationship and sit down with your partner to discuss any possible issues.

1. Discuss How Your Relationship Will Change

Living together means that the dynamic of your relationship will change. Instead of spending time with your partner intermittently, you will be sharing the same space, which means you might not always be putting your best selves forward. There might be a period of adjustment, when you both will learn how to tackle the more practical side of your relationship. And, there might be some things you don’t like, but just remember that this is natural in any relationship. Also, understand that living together can move you closer to each other because you can cook together, watch movies on a whim and spend lingering mornings in bed when you live together.

2. Assess Your Finances

This is a key factor that must be discussed before you decide to move in together. Be open about your assets and liabilities. Pull your credit reports if you decide to purchase a house together because it determines your loan amount and interest rate. Or, if you don’t put the bills in both of your names, decide who pays for which bill and how you want to split your spending. Hammer out these financial details early because it will save you potential angst in the future.

3. Know Why You Want to Move in Together

Are you moving in together for the right reasons? If you think that moving in together guarantees you will get married, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. If you think that moving in will help shift the financial or household burdens, then you might want to reevaluate why you are moving in together. Before signing any papers, be sure to discuss why you want to move in together and how that will better your relationship.

4. Decide How to Decorate

When going through your individual belongings, talk about your personal style and how you can mix it with your partner’s style. If one person is more invested in decorating the home, let them take control. Or, shopping together can be a great way to bond and get excited about your new place together. For example, if you are keeping your bedding, you might want to shop with your partner for bedroom accessories like curtains, lamps or artwork.

5. Realize You’re Giving up Some of Your Independence

Living together means that you will sacrifice some of your independence because you have a built-in partner for your social engagements. But, spending too much time together might affect your relationship, so set boundaries on how much you are together and make sure you still do things by yourself or with your friends.

6. Be Candid About the Worse Case Scenario

It is smart to talk about what will happen if your relationship doesn’t work. Know how you are going to split your financial obligations, who is going to keep the home and who is going to keep your joint possessions like the couch and TV. It’s hard to have these conversations because you are excited about your future together, but it’s important to discuss it before you move in together. You even may want to have a written agreement that you both can sign so that both parties are aware of what will happen if the arrangement doesn’t work out.

Moving in together is a fun step for a relationship, but you have to think about everything that goes into making this decision. This way you both know the pros and cons and can make smart choices.

By Rudri Patel

*Former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. Written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. Seeking grace in the ordinary.

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