In case you’ve forgotten (which never goes down very well) Valentine’s Day is quickly creeping up on us. Moving in with your partner is a huge commitment and many couples prefer to rent before buying a house, we’ve had cupid working away on a few tips to help loved-up couples that are looking to move in to their first rented home together from starting the search to signing on the dotted line.
The Search is on
Research is key when it comes to finding your first home together. It’s an extremely exciting process when you’re on the search for your first home but it’s always imperative to remember that it’s an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to have a combination of thinking with your head and thinking with your heart to ensure that you are making the best decision – it’s easy to get lost in the moment but it’s essential to realise what it is you’re both looking for. A good idea is drawing up a list of the key feature’s you’re looking for, for example: good transport links nearby, an enclosed garden and two spare bedrooms – that way you can easily start to create a shortlist of applicable properties before moving on to the viewing stage.
Location, Location, Location
A big part of finding your first home is location – would you consider a property if it added an extra 30 minutes onto your commute to work? At the start of your property search, sit down together and work out the location that suits you both…one of you may like the fresh country air and the other may prefer city living, you need to be able to find a balance of both locations. Another big aspect is how far your families are from you – do you pick somewhere with equal distance to both sets of parents to make it fair? You should also think about the long term plans, if you plan on starting your own family then good schools and reliable nurseries nearby are a must, it’s good to do a little bit of research…even if it’s just finding out the OFSTED rating.
As a couple, you might have joint finances – it’s important you understand these before going too far down the line so you can narrow down to what you can afford as a couple. There’s nothing more heart-breaking than falling in love with a property that you can’t realistically afford. You also need to take a deep look at your finances, what outgoing funds do you have each month and what do you have left when your credit card payments, mobile contract and gym memberships have all been taken? You need to take in to account how much disposable income you’ll need each month to also live comfortably after your rent has been taken…for example, how much will your weekly shop cost you?
Take a look around
Viewings are no doubt the most important and vital part of this whole process – it’s the one time you get to have a look around and see if the property and the location suits you, all of the planning has been leading up to this stage. You should always make sure you’re both present at a viewing, it’s a joint decision and you need to both be able to have an open opinion about the property…it’s not the best idea to commit to a property if your partner hasn’t seen it, too! Take a look at the property a couple of times throughout the day and have a drive or walk around in the evening to really get a good idea of the area around the property.
Sign on the dotted line
So, you’ve found the perfect place to call home, it’s in a nice area and you’ve mutually agreed that it’s the place you want to live. You’re now ready to take on a tenancy agreement of the property, you’ll first have the credit and referencing checks done on you both as individuals – if that all goes through then you’re ready to sign a joint tenancy agreement and set up home.