Buying a home that you and your loved one are happy with over the long term is a challenging process that takes time, patience, and a fair amount of compromise.
Over the years, we’ve helped countless couples purchase their dream homes across Toronto and the GTA, so we know how important it is to work together during the complex real estate process.
The good news is: the real estate process doesn’t have to be painful. The vast majority of stress can be alleviated when you align yourself with an experienced realtor that knows how to navigate difficult situations that arise when couples disagree.
So, before you dive headfirst into the demanding world of house hunting in Toronto and the GTA, take a few moments to read through our expert considerations to ensure you and your spouse can find the best home on the market.
Key Considerations for Couples Buying a Home
As with any relationship, communication is critical. And the same is true when it comes to purchasing a home as a couple. In most cases, you can avoid stress and minimize arguments by listing out your demands and defining clear search criteria from the very beginning.
In our experience, buying a home you love always requires compromise, so be prepared to make concessions along the way — and that goes for everybody.
With that said, here’s a list of six vital things to consider when buying a home in Canada with your loved one(s).
#1. Communicate your wants and needs first
Speak with an experienced realtor, and they’re likely to advise you and your partner to sit down and hammer out a list of your individual demands, preferences (can do without), and wishes first. Also, if there’s any particular instance where you don’t want something, go ahead and add it to the list now to avoid potential issues in the future.
After listing out your wants and needs on a piece of paper, give it to your partner and review each item together. Take a few moments to discuss any areas you feel strongly about so your partner knows your stance.
Then, make a new list that represents your collective wishes for your new home, and share it with your agent right from the beginning. Be sure to include any features you find essential. A few examples are location, room size, parking, outdoor area, kitchen layout, to name a few.
#2. Define your search criteria together
After you and your spouse make a list that clearly defines your mutual stipulations, it’s time to start hashing out specific search criteria for your house hunt. The most important thing to consider is location, which is why we suggest couples select at least three particular neighborhoods to focus on before kicking off any official house hunt. The earlier you can put a pin in the map, the smoother the overall process.
Other than narrowing down the preferred location, effective search criteria require partners to discuss and agree upon features like property type, budget, and proposed timeline.
#3. Calculate a budget and stick to it
Telling clients to come up with a budget before entering the market may seem like self-explanatory advice. But, the truth is you’d be shocked to hear how many couples enter negotiations before putting a hard limit on how much they’re willing to spend.
Over fourteen years in real estate, we’ve learned it’s essential for every couple to create a detailed budget that highlights a specific cost range before you start looking for houses. Bear in mind the number you come up with should be final, accounting for every potential expenditure from purchase price, closing costs, to post-purchase renovations.
By setting a clear budget now (and sticking to it), you’ll avoid emotional blowouts caused by unforeseen financial pressure and disagreements during crucial negotiations.
#4. Agree on a reasonable timeline
After listing your collective demands and laying out well-defined search criteria and budget, the timeline is next to consider. In times of doubt, remember that finding a house that you can call home for the long term is no simple task. It requires careful planning, extensive research, and dedicated time and resources.
Whether your time frame is small or not, it’s highly advantageous for couples buying houses in Canada to determine a reasonable timeline and patiently wait for an opportunity that meets expectations.
If you want to avoid last-minute decisions and costly impulse buys, take the time to sit down with your loved one and choose a date that gives you enough time to make a calculated and informed decision.
#5. Always be willing to compromise
The cold hard fact of buying a house in Canada (or anywhere else for that matter) is that all parties will have to compromise at least a little bit — in one area or another. We published this guide not to convince you that the process is easy but to help you find a warm and welcoming home without all the headache and hassle.
No matter your status, criteria, budget, or timeline, understand that compromise is an inevitable part of the real estate market. For the most part, it all boils down to patience, planning, and a little bit of good timing.
If you want to find your dream home without the added stress on your relationship, make a clear plan and stick to it, and communicate with your partner every step of the way. After all, you are buying a home with your partner — so teamwork is key.
Are You Ready to Find the Ultimate Dream Home in Canada?
Since 2008 Joel Cooper has been going above and beyond to help couples find houses that they love.
Joel makes the buying process stress-free and straightforward by following a few key steps that ensure all parties have open communication, total transparency, and results that go above and beyond your expectations.
If you’d like to start the house hunt with your loved one but feel unsure about navigating the real estate market, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to get started.
Hi, I’m Joel, a real estate professional based in Toronto.
My approach is simple—I put you first. I believe in open communication, total transparency, and meaningful results. I’ll guide you through the real estate process, market values, and always keep the focus on you—and your needs.