Love It or List It Without Fighting Your Spouse
Is your house-hunting venture beginning to feel like an episode of Love It or List It? You and your spouse just can’t agree on anything.You want a home that’s move-in ready. Your spouse wants a fixer-upper. You want a cozy home in the suburbs. Your spouse wants a modern condo in the city.
On the hit show that helps fed-up homeowners decide whether to renovate or sell their home, arguments between hosts Hilary Farr and David Visentin can get heated – and might resemble your own relationship with your spouse in the house-hunting process. Even after making such a decision, buying a new home can put the strain on any marriage. But as the hosts demonstrate, bickering about important home decisions doesn’t have to be bad natured. As Visentin said, “What we’re very skilled at is getting over arguments.”
You and your spouse can take a page from the hosts’ book with a few simple tips to help resolve your own bickering and make house hunting a success. Here’s how:
1. Get Your Views Out On The Table
Biting your tongue and pulling your realtor aside to tell him or her in secret that you disagree with your spouse isn’t going to help you.
When you disclose to your spouse your thoughts on what kind of home you want, what your most-desired features are, etc. and your spouse does the same, you’re establishing a basis for which everything is out in the open.
Arguments are always best resolved when each party feels that his or her thoughts matter. Being afraid of confrontation is worse in the long run.
2. Create Separate Checklists
Each of you should write down your own ideas of what you want in a home. List your “must-haves,” “would-likes,” “dislikes” and “deal-breakers.”
This gives you the opportunity to have a clear vision of what you’re looking for in a home, as sometimes disagreements start and perpetuate when both spouses don’t really have an idea what each is looking for.
3. Compare Your Checklists
Writing things down helps because you can read each other’s checklists and find the commonalities.
Sometimes, in the middle of arguing, you cannot for the sake of yourself find a reason to agree with your spouse, and having everything in writing can mediate the conversation.
You might just find that you agree on more features than you thought.
Use your checklists to talk about what you visualize daily life would be like in a new home. This way, you’re steering things more in the direction of a conversation, rather than an argument.
4. When It Comes To Budget, Look At The Facts
One of the biggest disagreements married couples face when buying a home is how much debt to take on.
Money, debt, finances – all this talk surely can get any couple emotional and ready to argue. But really, there shouldn’t be a reason to fight if you just look at the numbers.
Your mortgage payments should not exceed 25 percent of your take-home pay.
So, when your spouse thinks you can take on a high mortgage payment for a “dream home,” just share this practical advice – and leave emotion out of it.
5. Know That No Home Is Perfect (And Few Homes Are Forever)
Speaking of “dream homes,” it’s important to note that more times than not, you won’t find one home that fits all your desires.
As marriage is about compromise, so is house-hunting with your spouse. Compromise, and the understanding that you probably won’t find that perfect home, can give you more reason to come to agreements with your spouse.
At the end of the day, house-hunting with your spouse can strengthen your marriage. Make sure you understand your spouse’s thoughts and feelings, and that he or she understands yours, and you’ll open the door to productive conversations – ones that lead to you both sharing a happy (not perfect) home.
Avoid the bickering, drama and resentment and just learn to work together and agree on what will truly make a happy home for the both of you, by implementing the above tips.
Justin Lavelle is the Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified.com which helps people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives. BeenVerified is a leading source of online background checks and contact information. It allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses, property records and criminal records in a way that’s fast, easy and affordable. Visit the site at https://www.beenverified.com.