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Four Tips for Couples Looking for a New Home

If you and your spouse are on the market for a new home, house hunting can be an exciting experience done correctly. There are a few things, though, you should both make sure you are on the same page about before getting serious about buying. Here are four things you and your spouse should review together before you start hitting open houses and deciding on your dream neighborhood to live in.

1. Keep Commutes in Mind

While neighborhoods might be more affordable or safer further from city centers, if your commute will suffer, this needs to be addressed. If you and your spouse both work downtown, it is a good idea to factor in how long the commute would be during rush hour from neighborhoods you are serious about moving to. Of course, jobs and commutes evolve over time, and you may be able to eventually work from home or change your hours. That being said, a long commute shouldn’t be a rude awakening after you’ve been handed the keys and are now a permanent homeowner. While a potential home you love might be easy to get to while visiting a Sunday open house, it is worth it to try the same drive on a Monday at 8 a.m for a more realistic understanding of traffic patterns in the area.

2. Your Long-Term Goals as a Family

If you and your spouse are up for any type of living environment, reviewing your goals as a family for the next five years can help narrow down the type of dwelling you are looking for. While you might like the idea of living in a condo downtown, a new stand-alone home might be a better fit if you are thinking about expanding your family or simply getting pets down the line. Be open and honest about your domestic needs for both today and tomorrow. This will help you decide where and what type of home to look for when it comes to your current and future family.

3. Understanding Each Other’s Deal Breakers

Even if you don’t care if a house has wall-to-wall carpeting or doesn’t have a dishwasher, these might actually be big deals to your spouse. Take the time to each list out your ‘deal breakers’ separately and then discuss these before pinpointing your perfect new home. You’ll then have a starting point for avoiding certain amenities or lack thereof in homes for sale. If you find a home that might not meet all your criteria, discuss how this might be remedied over time by making augmentations your new home once you move in.

4. Getting Your Finances in Order

While you might have your heart set on a new development the next town over, knowing what you can afford should be your first step. If you aren’t sure where your finances stand, there is little use in dreaming for something that won’t be realistic. It is a good idea for you and your spouse to meet with a financial planner or mortgage broker to review your current salaries, savings and give you a realistic number when it comes to the mortgage size you can be pre-approved for. This way, you can stay within your means and still keep your house hunting limited to realistic properties.

Buying a home is an exciting process, but can be stressful as well, especially if you and your spouse aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on general wants and needs. Spend some time discussing all the details around buying a new home and what this can mean in the long run. This will narrow down your search and hopefully make it easier to find a home that works well for your family.

Are you looking for a new home in Orange County, Long Beach or the Los Angeles metro area? Brandywine Homes is opening six new communities over the next year offering a combined 265 single-family homes and townhomes. If you would like more information, sign up for our interest list here.