One of the biggest challenges first home buyers face at present is saving for a decent deposit. While there are definitely some advantages to buying as a couple compared to on your own, pooling your savings for a deposit can put a strain on even the most solid relationship.
So here are some tips to help you into your own home, while keeping the harmony in your relationship.
Working together on the three ‘C’s’
Getting a deposit together is all about saving as much as possible, keeping in mind that you will most likely be earning different amounts and have distinct approaches to managing your money. Focussing on the three c’s, communication, compromise and setting common goals, can help you maintain a healthy and happy relationship while you are saving for your own home.
The key is to keep talking. Communication is critical but it’s also important to know the type of conversations you need to have about money and your goals for home ownership, can bring up strong emotions. It’s Ok to call time out if it’s getting heated and pick up the chat another day when you are both feeling calmer.
Then make sure you come together regularly to look at and discuss how your finances are going.
It can be hard to reach agreement about your plans to achieve your goal, a little give and take can make things easier. You can start by understanding where the other person is coming from. ‘Money values’ are often hard to shift and formed in childhood, so a little empathy can go a long way.
If one person is a spender and the other a saver, find ways you can both compromise to avoid friction in your relationship. The saver in the relationship may need to relax the reins a little from time to time to have some fun, and the spender may need to make some sacrifices to achieve your common goal of owning your own home.
Keep in mind what you are doing this for – keep the focus on your final goal of picking up your keys and walking together through the door of your own home. While that’s the ultimate goal you share, there are other considerations you need to make sure you are on the same page about.
Thinking about what you are both looking for in a property, what areas you are interested in buying in and what you are likely to have to spend, will help you decide your budget for your purchase and how much you’ll need to save for a deposit. Another consideration is how much lenders will let you borrow and that’s where we come in.
In terms of how much you need as a deposit, most borrowers try to save 20% of the property purchase price to avoid paying lender’s mortgage insurance. For example, if you wanted to buy a $750,000 property, you’d need to come up with $150,000 to complete the required deposit.
Another aspect to consider is your timeframe for coming up with the deposit. While it’s understandable you are impatient to buy as soon as possible, it’s important to be realistic about how long it will take you to save the required amount.
Knowledge is power
Having a clear understanding of your financial situation will help you work out what is achievable. This is a time for you both to put all of your cards on the table. It’s important that both of you know your outgoings and where your money is being spent to help you cut costs or find ways you could earn a little more to help with your deposit. It’s also important to reduce existing debt and also look at your respective credit scores to see if anything can be done to improve them.
Think about the best way to structure your financials. While it’s usual that managing the household finances and paying bills will fall largely to one person in the relationship, it is important that both parties are involved in the planning and setting up of accounts and setting up budgets for savings targets.
Your also need to consider what government grants might be available to you and the best loan structure for your needs. Contact us today to discuss how we can help with the finance side of things.
And remember – you’re in this together, and together you’ve got this!
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