Buying a home can be exciting. A question I often receive is, "Should I purchase my first home with my boyfriend/girlfriend?" There is no right or wrong answer to that question; every situation is unique. Here are three questions I ask:
1. What's the status of your relationship?
If you don't see yourself with your partner for the long haul, it might be best to purchase on your own. We're trying to avoid a situation where you and your partner purchase a home and you breakup.
If you have a great relationship with your partner, put things in writing. Will you split the cost 50-50? How will you hold tenancy? If you and your partner breakup, will you buyout your partner? Don't leave anything to chance.
Having a conversation about this topic might not be easy. Take the time to speak openly with your significant other.
2. How much can you afford?
You and your partner should sit down and create a budget. Creating a budget will allow you to track all your expenses. If you're not good with numbers, it might be worth your time to hire a financial advisor.
Part of this process is getting prequalified by a mortgage lender. By purchasing with a partner, your purchase amount should increase. However, you shouldn't feel obligated to buy a more expensive house. The last thing you want is to be financially stretched.
3. Are the both of you on the same page?
I want to own. No, I want to rent and live in different areas.
I want to live in a townhouse. No, I want to live in a high-rise condo.
I want to live in metro Honolulu. I don't mind commuting from Central or West Oahu.
I want a 2-bedroom condo. No, I'm okay with a 1-bedroom condo.
Need I say more?