Searching For A New Home As A Couple? How To Find Agreement When You Disagree About Everything

Posted on: 5 July 2017

Although searching for a new home together should be an incredibly exciting event for a couple, when you can't agree on what to buy, it becomes a laborious debacle. Here's how to come together on this very important decision so you can find the best possible home.

Make Lists And Compare

Sit down and create individual lists of the features you each want in your new home the most. You might be able to give up a spiral staircase in exchange for the kitchen island you want, and your spouse will also have a chance to haggle for their favorite features. Working from a list, you can trade and persuade more easily than while you're actually out looking at homes. A common list comprised of features you both agree on will also help the real estate agent narrow down your options.

Agree On The Design Of The Home

It's one thing to disagree about a walk-in shower vs. a tub, but when it comes to the basic style of the homes you're looking at, you should reach an agreement before contacting a real estate agent. That alone should give you some common ground. Compare the basics, then choose a few of your favorites:

  • Contemporary: Current home designs boast an environmentally friendly side, with energy efficiency, sustainability, and working with, rather than against, nature and the landscape.
  • Cottage: This style home is quaint and more modest in size but has uniquely shaped entrance ways and roofing.
  • Colonial: Most colonial homes are architecturally symmetrical with well-spaced windows, shutters, and pillars.
  • Farmhouse: A farmhouse could be the perfect option for a couple in disagreement because there's a lot you can do with the large, square exterior and expansive interior, too. Especially if a wrap-around porch is involved, this type of home is easy to love.
  • Ranch: Classic ranch design offers practicality with style, often with open-space floor plans and wide-open areas, perhaps leaving plenty of room for a disagreeing couple to find common ground in.
  • Victorian: Older Victorian houses are more romantic, usually quite roomy, albeit with oddly-shaped rooms and exteriors. You might be able to find a reasonably priced fixer-upper, too.

Opt For The Most Practical

While you may have always dreamed of having that spiral staircase, for example, it may not be practical to insist upon it if it means giving up other, more practical features. It's far better to look at homes for what they offer in total for you and your family, rather than on individual nuances.

Look For The Lower Price

Especially if the difference in opinions on homes is causing a commotion, you could decide to look for the lowest price home, leaving you with room to renovate. If your basic mortgage is lower than you expected and not much of a struggle to reach every month, start saving for the features that will truly make each of you happy. Let the real estate agent know that this is your plan, so they can find a good deal on a basic home that will serve as the beginning of a dream home, created together and based on your mutual goals and desires. It may be better not to rush into the renovations, though, getting to know the house first, instead.

Prioritize Your Favorite Features

If you simply cannot live without the spiral staircase or some other feature your spouse is opposed to, each of you should prioritize what you want the most and then work toward finding a new home that offers the top coveted features. Even if you aren't excited about each other's choices, at least you'll both end up with what you want more than anything. However, finding a home with more than a few particular assets could be challenging and it could mean a higher price, so you might have to be willing to make sacrifices in other aspects of the purchase.

Ask Your Real Estate Agent For Advice

Most real estate agents have sold many houses to many couples under a variety of circumstances. It won't hurt to seek their advice on how you and your spouse can find your common ground. For example, there may be some other option in a home that would send your spouse over the moon that you haven't even thought of yet, but that would then convince them to let go of something else you simply can't agree to. Likewise, for you, there might be elements you've not considered that would make a house the perfect home for you. Let the agent know in advance what you and your spouse do and don't agree on, so the search can begin as soon as possible for what may very well be a hard-to-find home.

Consider The Trends

If all else fails and you're still having a hard time deciding on a home you'll both be happy with, look into the different trends. Most often, trends in home design have a practical basis, meaning the options should serve your family in different ways:

  • Smart-home technology: Look into homes that regulate their own temperatures and control lighting by your voice commands.
  • Indoor gardening solutions: While somewhat pricey, indoor gardening can be a delightful and healthy feature in a modern kitchen, possibly leading to better eating for everyone.
  • Space-saving designs: Because home shoppers demand more and more space, designers are coming up with new and innovative ways of providing it. Maybe the space saved could be used later to install a few features you and your spouse are adamant about having.
  • Modernized kitchens with islands: Nearly no one can argue against an amazing kitchen, whether you're best at eating or cooking. Great kitchens are also a strong selling point, if that may be an option in the future.

Don't let a few disagreements keep you from the perfect home. Find common ground and make a few compromises, so the home you end up in gives you the happily-ever-after you both really want. For more help, reach out to real estate agents at companies like RE/MAX Moves.