Buying your first home together

Posted: Tuesday October 31, 2017

Main Image

Buying your first home together can be a very stressful experience. Whether it is a friend or your partner that you are purchasing a house with, you should be prepared that there are many things to consider and do before you purchase a property. Hopefully, this blog post will help you both prepare for taking this step and make the process smoother for you. 

MAKE A LIST

It’s important to make sure that you are compatible in the qualities of the home that you are looking for. If one person is looking for a 2-bed terrace, and the other is searching for a 4-bedroom detached house, you are simply wasting time in your house hunt.

It’s important to plan for the future, do you want to have children in this home? Do you have specific areas that you don’t want to live in? How are you both going to travel to work, do you need to be near a bus route or a train station? Is a garden a must?

Each make a list of ‘must haves’, ‘nice to haves’ and ‘can’t haves’ and from your lists have a discussion to create the dream house list. It’s important to result in a list that you are both happy with so that you can easily narrow down your search and avoid arguments further down the line.

CHECK YOUR CREDIT RATINGS

You should both get your free credit rating from noddle.co.uk as soon as you contemplate buying a property, to see if there is anything you can do to improve them and understand your likelihood of being approved for a mortgage. 

BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR FINANCES

You have to have some potentially uncomfortable conversations about your finances. You have to be very honest about exactly how much you earn, what debt you have, what savings you have, how much of the deposit you can afford to contribute to, and how much you can afford in mortgage payments each month. Do not put off having this conversation. Your financial circumstances will influence which properties you can consider and which ones are out of your budget.

PROTECT YOURSELF LEGALLY      

If you aren’t married to the person you are purchasing the property with, it is important to legally protect yourself and your investment. Unlike when married couples buy a property, there are no laws about how to divide up a property in the event of separation. If the house is in joint names, but one partner pays more of the deposit or contributes to more of the mortgage, by law they are still only entitled to half of the money back from the sale of the property. Likewise, if the house is only in one name but both contributed to the purchase of the property and/or paying the mortgage, the unnamed partner isn’t entitled to any of the property if it was to be sold.

If you are purchasing a property with your partner or a friend, you must agree what would happen if you were to either separate or decide to sell the property, and you must instruct a lawyer to protect you with legal documents such as a pre-purchase agreements, a declaration of trust or a cohabitation agreement. You must also decide what would happen to the property if one of you were to pass away, and prepare a will which states what would happen in this eventuality.

GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

If you need excellent, impartial legal advice then please get in touch with our fantastic conveyancing partners on 0151 290 7891. They can help you prepare for purchasing your home together.