I will make this a short as possible:
DH and I are first time homebuyers, both in stable careers and are financially sound. However; after house hunting– it’s become pretty apparent that it is taking a toll emotionally on us. I do not mean that we did not get the home we wanted type of thing, but more of a what is important to us and the future of our lives type of thing.
All of a sudden, it’s not just a bonus room. It’s a room where our kids will play one day. It’s not just a yard, it’s a yard where we want to plant a rose garden.
Instead of it being fun, exciting, scary and thrilling. House hunting has led us to arguments, hurt feelings and some deeply rooted insecurities ( ie: YOU have expensive taste or YOU are just being cheap!)
From our financial standpoint: we are golden. From an emotional standpoint, we can’t seem to agree on anything ( it feels like). Every time we bring up something we like about a potential home, it somehow backfires and all of a sudden liking granite means I’m spoiled or needing 500 extra sq feet means he is wasteful. I thought this process would be fun to do as a married couple, but thus far it hasn’t been the greatest experience.
How do you make the jump from being a nervous first time buyer to having some confidence in these decisions? Anyone have any suggestions to get us from point A to point B? I’m just pretty at the end of my rope today and want to just concede that we aren’t ready and to revisit this down the road :/
@Mrs_Amanda: Tell him to quit being an asshole, man up and buy you the god damn countertops already….I don’t know a man alive that wants to be married to a “cheap” woman…so he’s going to have to take the good with the bad, buy some parkay floors and shut up!
@Mrs_Amanda: Sound slike you two are on totally opposite sides of the home buying field. Maybe sit down and decide together what would work for you both in a home. That way when you go look you both can see it’s not right for what oyu have picked out and say nope, on to the next one. Or yes it’s perfect.
Maybe you guys are putting too much pressure on yourselves to find the “perfect” home. Or the perfect home right NOW. Obviously each of you will have to make certain concessions about what is better for the two of you and your future home and family.
I might be suggesting something that y’all have done already, but have you sat down and wrote a list of the must haves, cannot deal with and the nice to haves in a house? If not, maybe you should write your private list, have fiance write his and then together go through them and make one for the two of you. It might surprise you what he thinks would be a must and vice versa. This might also lead to one of these arguments you were referring to, but this is a breakthrough whether you can see through that or not. It’s making these kind of decisions that strengthens you as a couple and makes the big purchase when the time comes, a happy one because it’s something you BOTH chose.
This is one of those big decisions not to take lightly, but you should have fun with it. You guys are financially ready to do it – but you both have to be on the same page about what is the most important in your future home that you will live in for at least a few years.
@Mrs_Amanda: My FI and I just purchased our first home together this past summer. One of the first things we did was talk about how we saw ourselves in 5-10 years. We prioritized what things were important to us such as: a large functional kitchen, or a bathroom with a garden tub. We also discussed things we thought that were wasteful (cathedral ceilings, in ground pool, etc). We made a rule that we could not talk about these things when we were feeling upset, and there is absolutely no accusing. You can only explain your point of view/your feelings. The key is to be 100% honest and look at it as a way to level up your relationship. Best of luck!
I haven’t bought a house so maybe I’m totally off base, but after watching some HGTV house-buying shows, this seems like something that’s really, really common: the couples almost always seem to have a lot of tension and fights when it comes to prioritizing all the various, competing elements. I think you’re being really perceptive about it, actually: you’re realizing that the little fights aren’t necessarily about the countertops or whatever, it’s about the fact that you hope this is a forever home and that’s exciting but also scary.
Also, stop trying to buy THE MOST PERFECT HOUSE EVER — it doesn’t exist!
You will both need to make concessions and compromise and any house that you buy will be perfect for you and your family if you are willing to make it your home. 500 square feet or a bonus room does not make or break that. Buy a place that feels like home when you’re inside it, not by what’s listed on the MLS fact sheet.
Buying a home together was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. It was so hard on our relationship. He kept wanting to hold out for the perfect house – which didn’t exist in our budget. There were lots of hurt feelings. The only thing I can say is that you will get through it! It is so worth it in the end, even if you do both have compromising to do. Hang in there!
I think its important to make a list of whats important to each of you BEFORE looking at any houses. It will be much easier to agree if your not emotionally involved in a certain house. Buying a house can turn into a very emotional experience, i feel at least, but it really needs to be merely a realistic investment in your future.
If you make a list and compare what is really important to each of you then maybe it will be easier to focus on finding those things in a house, and not focusing on things that are easily changed-countertops. Also, if its getting into an arguement about whose cheap and whose spoiled ( I have had this arguement in updating our house by the way), I have found whats best is to cool off. Talk about why what you want is important to you, as rationally as possible. Do you want the granite countertops because they are studier and last longer, don’t burn if you put hot pans on them, are really really hard to crack or chip?
Also, I would try not to read too much into every little detail. A bonus room is great! If it turns into a play room for kids one day thats great too! Maybe focus on what exactly you want out of a house before looking would help.
Just for reference, my fiance and I own a house. Its not exactly what I wanted, but it was a great deal and its perfect for us now. The garage was converted into a rec room, so we can’t park inside, etc. We talk a lot about the things we would want in a future house so that when the time comes we know what is important to each of us. It really is compromise. I want to live in a neighborhood, he wants to live in the country with no neighbors…We live on 1.5 acres across the street from a neighborhood. Compromise:)
I think a good idea would be for you two to each come up with your 1 or 2 non-negotiables for what you want in the perfect house, along with the must-haves you both agree on. That way, you each feel like you are getting the things you want in a house, and you won’t waste time looking at houses that aren’t going to fit your requirements and possibly lead to a fight when one loves it and one doesn’t.
@Mrs_Amanda: Do you have the budget to custom build a home? You get to customize a number of things, and I think that a lot of couples compromise by saying “ok, if you get the soaker tub upgrade, I get the attached garage” or “if you want granite countertops I get the bonus room for my big TV” etc. That way you both get to pick features you like, but the other isn’t feeling like they’re being outdone.
I think you two are getting a little too focused on the details. I know it’s hard not to imagine future kids or a rose garden, but realistically, can you agree on certain things like “ok, we know kids are in the picture, so we need at least a 3 bedroom place with a yard, near a school”, and then leave it at that once you define the parameters. Then look online (or get a realtor) to narrow the search to only places with those features.
You should also come up with a list of must haves, nice to haves, and must not haves. This process may not be that easy, but again, if you decide it on paper before hand, it’ll be easier than arguing when you see a particular property. You both have to stop judging each other’s wants. Let each other have some wants, as long as it’s in the budget. To me personally, kitchen is #1… so I’d give up the soaker tub and pretty much anything else if I had to.
To me buying a home will probably be one of the most stressful experience I would ever have to face because it is just a big commitment. And when you are stress and nervous, sometimes people says what they don’t really mean, and pick on random things. Have you thought about may be just stepping back and taking a break from it all for a little while? Take a vacation and don’t even mention hourse hunting just to clear both your heads. Focus on other things that make you a couple.
House hunting was SO stressful. Compromising is a lot harder when its because of the largest purchase you’ll ever make. I would take a week off, come up with your non-negotiables and start fresh. In our case, I was the one being “cheap” and when my DH talked about things in terms of our mortgage payment it was a little easier for me not to stress. Also, remember that you are partners in this decision. You are a team and if you are treating eachother like enemies/roadblocks then it’s not working and its time to reassess.
ETA: The list should preferably be things you cannot change down the road i.e. location/schools/things that would require major renovations. I wouldn’t include things like granite countertops. If a house was perfect perfect would you really pass because of the counters?
H and I are in the process of buying a home and it can be stressful – you are not alone! We typically get along very well and rarely fight, but since we’ve started looking for a house, we’ve been arguing more. Sometimes I think he’s too negative and unrealistic and sometimes he thinks I’m over-optimistic and am not really understanding how hard/costly some fixes will be. I see a bathroom and think it needs to be upgraded ASAP because I can see the scum and mildew and other ickiness and he doesn’t see a problem with it and thinks it’s pefectly acceptable to live with for a year+. It gets frustrating.
I think the best thing to do is sit down and figure out a list of your must haves, things that you really want but can live without (or live without for a few years until you can upgrade or renovate), and things that you’d like but aren’t super important. Be sure to give explanations for why you want things. This might help determine what are the things you need and what are the things you just want. Then figure out what is realistic with your budget and your location. Odds are, unless you have a crap-ton of money, you aren’t going to find the “perfect” house. I would do this before you look at any more houses.
You said like granite countertops. Is it really going to be a deal breaker if a house doesn’t have them? Maybe it’s something you can look to upgrade to later. Explain that you want them because they are durable, easy to clean, they look nice, and you spend a ton of time cooking and it’s worth it to you to have the nicer materials.
He wants an extra 500 sq ft. Does he need space for an office or hobby or to put in a pool table? If a house doesn’t have it, then you can try and get creative with the space it does have or look to add an addition. Or mabye not having an office space is a deal breaker because he works from home a lot.
It might also be a good idea to just take a break from looking at houses for a while. Give you time to cool down and figure out what really is important.
I second the idea of sitting down and individually listing all the things you do or don’t want and reasons WHY, and then talking about them rationally and calmly. Hopefully you can come to a compromise, and then either find the house that fits those specs, or turn a house into that