Buying a House: A Couple’s Guide

When two people decide to get married, a myriad of decision points then comes up. First, there’s the wedding planning. How many people should we invite? Where should we have our reception? Lunch or dinner? A long, detailed programme? Maybe we should hire this or that wedding planner?

As big a project planning a wedding is, it still happens only over one day. Other decisions we make as a couple have longer-term effects, and one of these is the decision to buy a house.

When Daniel and I decided to get married, we decided to look around for an HDB, what we call housing units by our Housing Development Board. We were happy to find one that we liked, even if it was quite a walk away from the MRT, because it fit our budget. And wouldn’t you know it, after several years, an MRT line was constructed within one block, so the value of our property has shot up several times!

Other friends we know, usually higher-income professionals, think about investing in a condominium unit. Still others think about renting for a time until they are ready to choose and buy a unit they can call their own.

Any change affecting your spouse affects you.
Click & Share

5 Things to Consider When Buying a House

Here are some important things to think about and discuss when you start to think of buying a house together:

1. List down your preferences, negotiables, and non-negotiables.

Being married means that you become a team. But that doesn’t erase any of your individual personalities, interests, and preferences. The key is open communication. Before you even start the process of buying a house, begin talking about the things you would each like in your future home. For example, if one of you loves gardening and would like a big outdoor space, you probably will not want to invest in a tiny HDB.

As you start discussing your wants, also consider which features are negotiables and non-negotiables for you. This will help narrow down your choices when it comes time to start viewing different property.

2. Check your monthly income versus monthly expenses relating to the house.

Whether you’ve been married several years or are just planning to get married, the idea of buying a house is a great conversation starter: if you haven’t done so already, this is a good time to get started discussing your finances as a couple. Aim for transparency as much as possible. You need to know how much the both of you bring in each month so you can decide what kind of housing arrangement can work best.

This may also be the time to discuss what kind of financing arrangement, if you need to apply for a loan, that you are both comfortable with.

3. Look at your current jobs or career.

After you take a look at how much you currently have and how much you can afford to spend on a house, take a look at your current jobs. Do you foresee staying at the same company for the next five, ten years? Or are you looking for greener pastures elsewhere? This not only helps you project income, it also helps you look at whether you would like a house near your current workplace or someplace else. Of course, there would still be a risk, since you don’t have that new job yet, but it may spell a difference in the general location of your choice.

4. What are your plans about having children?

Another consideration when choosing a house is about your children. If you already have children, what are your preferences for their schooling? If you don’t have children yet, also talk about your future goals for them. Are there a few schools that you would like them to go to? Consider buying property nearer those schools, as it would make the daily commute easier for the kids as well as for the both of you, if you choose to drop them off and pick them up everyday.

5. It doesn’t have to be a perfect first home.

Many couples fall into the pressure of wanting their first home to be absolutely perfect. This can cause lots of unnecessary tension between the two of you, especially since, if you’re just starting off, you’re still just getting to know each other.

Instead, understand that while your first home together is important, it’s by no means permanent. Sometime down the road, you can still decide to move, or invest in another property, and you’ll be all the wiser for the shared experience.

Buying a House is a Big Deal

Like it or not, buying a house is a major decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly or jumped into impulsively. Take time to discuss your plans, and don’t be pressured into making a quick decision.

Understand that the process of choosing, as well as moving, is a major transition. So be sure to give ample allowance for each other for the emotions that tend to run high and low during changes in life. Learn more from our post about navigating transitions as a couple.

More Reads

Enjoy what you are reading?

Subscribe to our mailing list to get first looks at our articles as they become available. We respect your privacy and we guarantee no spam! 

By using this form, you acknowledge that you have read and agree with our Data Protection Notice.

Thank you for joining our Mailing List!

Pin It on Pinterest

Inspire someone

Share this post with your friends!