While I’m no expert, I can share my experience on anxiety about buying a house with a partner.
In the movies, moving in together is a magical experience: the husband buys a dream house in secret (red flag, am I right?) and presents his wife with a key – they kiss and make out on the bare (and very clean) floor. The end. No talk of mortgages, being gazumped or bidding wars.
According to the English Housing Survey, in 2021, 48% of first-time-buyers were couples. Buying a house is supposed to be one of the most stressful things you can do – there are so many people involved, it’s emotional and it can be a long process. Basically, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Add your partner into the mix and yeah, it can be tough.
I’m ever-the-optimist so I like to think everything happens for a reason, however, it doesn’t mean the house-hunting process hurts any less. It can feel heartbreaking when you miss out on your perceived ‘dream home’. As soon as I see a place I like on Zoopla, I’ve moved in and decorated (in my head). The home-finding thing can feel like online dating, catfishing included!
For my partner and I, for the first time in our life, we’re on slightly different..paragraphs, shall I say, when it comes to where we want to settle next. I would like a house in the middle of nowhere, he wants to be a stones throw away from a train station. If we both weren’t willing to compromise this could be tough.
Along with where you and your partner want to live, there are lots of other aspects that can make you anxious about buying a house together. Finances can be one of the most common things to argue about and oh boy, does house buying involve a lot of finances!
Then there is the physical aspects like packing, moving, decorating and buying furniture; throw into the mix questions like ‘are we meant for each other’ or ‘could this be an expensive mistake’ and yeah, you can be left feeling a little trapped.
Read more: arguing about decorating (and how to stop)
It’s important for you and your partner to communicate with one another: see where you can draw some boundaries, where you both need to compromise and keep checking in on how you’re feeling. It might be a bumpy ride, but if it feels right then there is no reason you shouldn’t go for it.
According to the Centre for Marriage and Family Realtionships, to get over the stress of buying together you should take time out to relax together, talk out worries, look after your health and remember to get excited about the process.
How long are couples together before buying a house together?
Couples are usually together for 1-2 years before they buy a house together, however, I wouldn’t put a time limit on it. There can be all sorts of reasons why buying a house makes sense before or after this period, it’s whatever is best for you. Listening to other people’s opinions on this can cause more anxiety and leave you feeling worse. I know I’ve said it before, but you do you, babe.
Anxiety about buying a house with a partner: should you live together before buying a house?
Lots of couples now live together before they buy and personally, I think it’s a great idea – I saw it as a little test run. You learn a lot about someone when you live with them, that’s for sure, but I’ll save the discussion about personal habits for another time. But just because this is the ‘norm’ doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for you and your relationship.
Is buying a house with someone a big commitment?
There is a big level of commitment when buying a house, financially and personally so it’s not something I would ever consider rushing into, however, I wouldn’t let the commitment put you off. While we always hope for the best outcome, the fear of it turning sour shouldn’t prevent us from going after our dreams. What if it all went right?
Anxiety about buying a house with someone: when should I buy a house with my boyfriend?
Working to a specific time frame could be a bad move; it’s all about feeling ready – financially and emotionally.
Are you and your partner ready for this commitment and is it going to build on a foundation you already have in place? It’s all about being in the right place as a couple, rather than an exact time frame.
How do I protect myself when buying a house with a partner?
There are lots of ways to protect yourself when you’re buying a house with your partner and while we probably don’t want to think about the worst outcome, it can pay off to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
You can protect your share of the deposit with a deed of trust or a declaration of trust.
Getting legal advice can be useful, but discuss your plans with your partner first, help them see why you might want to do this, otherwise they might feel hurt and untrustworthy.
Is buying a house stressful on a relationship?
Like lots of milestones, buying a house can put pressure on your relationship with your partner, but don’t worry, it’s totally normal and more often than not, what doesn’t break you, will only makes you stronger.