What should you discuss before moving in together?
Should we move in together?
How long should we wait before moving in together?
They’re common questions asked by couples when trying to decide if it’s the right time for them.
Living with someone else and buying or renting a property together is a massive step and being certain you’re both ready for that kind of commitment is key before taking the plunge.
Here are the things you should be considering before deciding if moving in together is the right step…
Your moving in together checklist
Before moving in together, take a look at this checklist, which outlines some key questions you should ask yourselves:
Why do we want to move in together?
Moving in together can be great when it comes to saving money. Putting two salaries together when it comes to rent or paying a mortgage will enable you to consider properties that would be out of reach if buying or renting on your own.
That combined financial clout could mean you get to live in larger property, with more space and in potentially a better location.
However, you should always make sure your relationship is ready for living together – regardless of how appealing the financial and property benefits may be.
Are we both protected financially?
If you’ve decided to buy a property together, it’s important to ensure you’re both financially protected.
That means you should both consider a life insurance policy. You should also make sure you own your property equally and have buildings and contents insurance, as well as deciding how to split major expenses.
Where will we live?
Before taking the huge step of living together, make sure you both agree on where you want to live.
Whether you’re renting or buying, location is key, so you’ll need to think about commuting time, distance from your families and many other factors before signing a tenancy agreement or taking out a mortgage on what could turn out to be a property in the wrong location.
Should we buy or rent?
Another big decision when considering moving in together is whether you buy a property or rent one.
While renting could provide you with the flexibility to move more easily, while also being a great way to see if living together suits you, buying a property could set you up for a healthy financial future together.
Whatever your decision, make sure that what you decide to you works for both of you.
What’s our ‘Plan B’?
You haven’t moved in together yet, but you should have a plan in place if things don’t work out, too.
That plan could include how your jointly owned belongings are split, or where pets would live should you break up in the future.
Is moving in together a big step?
Moving in together is a huge step for almost all couples.
Living with another person, no matter how you feel about them, can be as testing as it is enjoyable.
The financial responsibilities of owning or renting a property together can also put a strain on a relationship.
You should always be as certain as you can be that moving in together is the right step at the right time before you start your new life together.
And you should be 100% sure you have the finances to commit to renting or buying a house, too.
When to move in together
The amount of time you should spend with a partner before moving in together varies hugely.
Some couples take the plunge after just a few months, while others live apart for years before finally co-habiting.
One thing is for sure: You should be financially ready to move in with each other as much as your relationship is ready for being together more often.
Entering into a rental agreement or buying a property is a huge financial commitment, so think things through and be sure you’re both ready for it.
What moving in together means for your finances
If you’re currently both renting individually, or paying mortgages yourself, living together can be a good way to combine your money and be more comfortable with the monthly bills you have to pay.
But when the only person you’re financially responsible for is yourself, suddenly entering into a joint financial arrangement can be a shock to the system.
If you buy a property, you’ll both be jointly responsible for paying your mortgage and your bills every month.
So, if one of you is struggling for money, it’s down to the other to ensure all bills are paid on time.
What should you discuss before moving in together?
There are a number of key discussions you should have together before you decide to rent or buy a property as a couple:
1 Talk about debt
When living apart, there may not be a reason to tell your partner that you have debt. After all, you’re responsible for it, not them.
But if you live together, your partner has a right to know about any debts you may have and how that could impact your joint finances.
If you’re buying a home, these debts will need to be declared to a mortgage lender, too, so the best option is to have an open discussion about any debts either of you have before you commit to living together.
2 Agree on a long-term plan
Planning for the future is vital when moving in together.
You should discuss how long you plan to stay in a rental property together, before perhaps buying a home of your own. If you need to save a deposit to do this, discuss how you’ll do it and set a goal for a certain amount in savings by a certain time.
If you’re buying a home together right away, talk about how long you’ll stay in your new home before selling and upsizing, or moving because you plan to have children.
3 Discuss housework
One of the biggest causes of disagreements between couples living together for the first time isn’t always money – it’s housework.
To avoid arguments, discuss who will do what and when they’ll do it when it comes to household chores.
Knowing each other’s roles when it comes to housework will help avoid petty squabbles and ensure that your early months living together are argument free.
4 How will you handle arguments?
Moving in with each other can be a catalyst for certain disagreements, so it’s important you agree on how you’ll handle the odd argument or two.
Things like finding the right property, intense discussions over locations and even things like how you’ll decorate your new home can cause conflict.
So, it can be really beneficial to discuss how you’ll nip arguments in the bud before they start arising.
You know now everything you need to consider before moving in together.
So, if you’re planning on buying a home with your partner, take a look at some common questions around purchasing a house or flat for the first time.
Then, once you’re set on buying, read through some of the major dos and don’ts when it comes to getting on the property ladder.