Moving in with a significant other is a huge step in any relationship and may cause heightened nervousness, excitement, and stress all at the same time. Of course, you want to make it a seamless transition so to do so, communication is everything. Discussing the best ways to combine your individual styles into one prior to the big move can make all the difference. To give you some guidance for your communication with your partner, we created a list to break the ice when it comes to more serious topics like finances while designing your future home together.
Design a List
Start by making a list to get all of your belongings in order before the big move. Since you’ll be sharing a space with one another, you may need to discard old clothes and forgotten items to prevent duplicates or clutter. Consider having a yard sale, or sell items online for some extra money to put toward new furnishings or upcoming living expenses. You can also donate to your local Goodwill.
Be sure to make a list of your needs and wants as well. This will help you establish a budget when it comes time to hit the stores. Additionally, it gives you both a chance to note pieces you want to add to your new space. Communicate and be open to your partner’s suggestions and avoid creating a list that is too one-sided. Ideally, you want your list to reflect both of your individual styles.
Also, have a date in mind for when you’d like to move in to your new home and be sure to get all your items sorted in time for the move. If the two of you are running low on time and may not be able to handle the move on your own, hire movers to ensure a seamless transition. Then,start decorating your space one room at a time to create an organized home before you’re officially settled in.
Design a Budget
Reviewing your finances before the big move is important to understanding your financial health both individually and jointly. Because you’ll most likely be investing in your new home together, you’ll want to know how much each partner can contribute to the rent, down payment, mortgage or other monthly expenses.
It also helps to weigh your buying options and find a loan that works best for you. For example, FHA loans assist those with poor credit history in finding an affordable home with a reasonable down payment. However, if you have built your credit up over the years, other first-time home buyer loan programs may be more fitting. If instead you are renting, mapping out your finances can help to divide the costs evenly and set aside money in advance to ensure you don’t miss a payment. To start, go over your current salaries and how much you make in gross income per month. This can be a difficult topic to discuss, so be sure to approach the subject without judgement and with a budget in mind.
If you don’t already have a budget, design a list of your expenses — both fixed and variable — and factor in your prospective mortgage or rent. This gives you an accurate benchmark for how much you’ll both have in expendable income each month and how much money can be set aside into a savings account for your future.
Design Your Dream Home
Now that the serious topics of conversation are covered, start creating a plan for your dream home. Sharing a space means combining your two design styles into one home; so making a list of your wants and needs is a great starting point.
Break it down by room and decide on an overall design theme you both like. Then find ways to add your own individual style through color schemes, unique furnishing pieces or decorative items that capture your time spent together. Having an idea of what your dream home needs is also important when preparing for your future as a couple.
If you plan to have kids, consider the amount of space you may need to accommodate them. Or, if one of you plans to work from home, consider a house with plenty of office space. Thinking ahead will allow you to grow into your home and prevent you from having to buy again in the short term.
Design a Routine
Once you’ve settled into your dream space together, design a routine that ensures both parties are pulling their weight when it comes to taking care of the home you have both designed. Make a list of chores from vacuuming to washing the dishes, to even cleaning the bathroom. Then rotate these tasks on a weekly basis.
This ensures each individual is contributing fairly to the upkeep of your new home, and it can also act as an opportunity to learn something new about one another. For example, if your partner has never mowed the lawn before or used the dishwasher, take time to teach one another.
This is a great bonding experience while still keeping things fair when it comes to household responsibilities. For more tips on dividing up chores, check out this article about keeping the peace while maintaining a tidy home with your partner.