She adores the kitchen; he hates the backyard. Or he loves the proximity to work but she thinks they need an extra bedroom. Agreeing on a house can potentially be a relationship test for some couples.

Compromising, keeping a level head, and being objective are key for house-hunting couples. If you and your spouse find yourself searching for a house in a tight market, then agreeing on a house will likely be even tougher than under normal conditions.

Some things to keep in mind to help you evaluate each house you and your spouse are considering:


The neighbourhood.

Remember that you’re not just buying a house, but you’re deciding on a neighbourhood and a way of life. If you have kids and being close to a neighbourhood school and other amenities is important, you’ll want to consider that. How close are shopping, restaurants, churches, and other services? Are the streets maintained? Are homes maintained well? How long will your commute to work be?

The house is compared to others in the neighbourhood. It might be enticing to have the biggest house on the block, but real estate experts say it’s best to have a smaller or mid-sized house (compared to others in the neighbourhood). The value of the biggest houses will be bogged down by the lowered value of the smaller ones.


The layout of the house.

Before you start looking at houses, determine how many bedrooms and special spaces — home office, playroom, hobby room, etc. — you need. If the houses which you are looking for don’t meet these physical needs, they should be eliminated from consideration, even if you fall in love with the kitchen.

***The potential. ***If you or your spouse is put off by the tiles, purple walls or vinyl flooring in the kitchen, think about how you can eventually improve and change with new flooring and paint. Look at the major structural elements and layout of the house. Always keep in mind that cosmetic aspects can be changed.


Your budget.

The amount you plan on spending on purchasing the home as a cash buyer or on a down payment, closing costs and your monthly mortgage should be determined before you start looking at houses. Once those figures are established, your real estate agent will be able to help you determine the price range of houses you should be looking at. If you or your partner eyes a house outside the budget, you should discount it unless you both agree you can afford more than you originally agreed.


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