While some individuals purchase their first home solo, a large portion of first time homebuyers are couples, or even friends and family members. The process of buying a home with a loved one can be either a collaborative or contentious experience, depending on whether those involved are on the same page. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have certain conversations ahead of the house hunting process. Here are a few of the key discussions to consider:
- What is the budget? While the market determines the range of costs one may face when buying a home, it is important to know what one can ultimately afford. This can be determined by a mortgage pre approval, but also take into consideration lifestyle preferences and risk tolerance when coming up with a maximum number.
- What are the “needs” versus the “wants”? Most people have a wish list going into a home purchase. However, especially with a first home, it is not uncommon for trade-offs to be necessary. When in doubt, it is usually good to consider the value of the home element, both practically and in terms of resale. Just because something looks good, does not mean it will make a real difference in day-to-day living or the value of the home.
- How will the mortgage be paid? Some people opt to purchase a larger property and rent out part of their home to help pay the mortgage. Others go in with family to buy a larger, multigenerational home. There is no one-size-fits-all pathway to follow, so considering all options that make sense for the goals and financial situation of all involved is wise.
In addition to having these conversations, first-time homebuyers should look into the legal implications of their purchase as early as possible. Buying a property has many legal aspects to it, including contracting and titling. Working with an experienced Massachusetts real estate lawyer can help individuals navigate these issues when entering the real estate market for the first time.