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By Connie De Groot

RISMEDIA, Sept. 20, 2007-It would indeed be sad if you and your partner struggled through the maze of home buying just to find that you both are not particularly excited to be together in that home. Sounds dramatic….well it most certainly is for most.

I have gone through this process with countless couples and I would like to share some of my suggestions based on observing couples who did it right:

1.) Contact a lender to find out exactly what you can afford.

2.) Make an official agreement and put in writing:
A. What your top purchase price will be
B. Your top three agreed must-haves in any property you purchase
C. The area(s) you are both open to living
D. A home search plan such as: what days you will go home hunting or decide if one partner will preview all properties first.
E. If one person sees a home they like, do not write an offer until the other partner has been notified.

3.) Do not argue in front of the agent or any involved party. You do not want the other side to know too much about your excitement for the property or intimate details of your relationship. This information can sway the other side against you. Always present a united front.

4.) Establish a time and place where you can both comfortably meet to discuss the situation. You will need to sit down and talk about the homes you have seen, homes you each favor, terms of an offer, who will witness the inspections, future negotiations after reviewing the inspections, and countless other matters. If you are seriously searching to find a home then a weekly meeting might be a good idea to share information.

5.) You will disagree on many things but try to keep in mind that this experience is emotional for both men and women. Try to be kind in your dislike of things so that each person feels safe sharing their true feelings. This is good advice to practice everyday!

6.) If some remodeling is necessary do not guess as to the costs. Find out exactly what the costs will be and the time to do the work. Remodeling a home can be costly and if your budget does not allow for it your relationship will suffer. Do your homework and talk to friends that have done similar work to see if in fact you are up to the demands!

7.) Choose a Realtor whom you both trust and feel can be fair to you both. Your Realtor will guide you through what can often be a confusing and emotional process. It is important to choose someone that both of you trust and feel can best represent both of your interests. If one person has doubts about the agent who is representing them, it could lead to second-guessing and possible problems throughout the entire process.

8.) Remember that this should be a positive experience and try to stay focused on the goal. Selecting and purchasing a new home with a partner is an exciting new beginning that should be enjoyed and celebrated. While the home buying process can at times be intense, try to remember all of the positive aspects of finding your special home and think of how much you will have to celebrate once the process is complete. That positive thinking will help you both during the process.

9.) Look at the situation in terms of “we”, not “I.” This will be a home to both of you, so it should feel that way. Don’t try to pressure your significant other into entering into a situation that they don’t feel entirely comfortable in. Try to think of their needs and wants as much as your own. This kind of outlook will not only help you as you complete the purchase, but also once escrow is closed and you move in. You want to make sure you find a house you both can love and feel at home in.

10.) Do not plan a party right after closing. Work you may have scheduled could be delayed or discoveries could be made that need time to work out. It is a good idea to have some quiet time. After all, you just went through a stressful process. Take the time you both need to re-evaluate, plan and to congratulate each other!

Write these points down and have each partners sign it and have a copy. This will keep things on track

Connie De Groot works for Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North. She is distinguished for being within the top two percentile of all Coldwell Banker agents internationally, has worked with countless couples in helping them to achieve their dreams. She is committed to making sure that the purchase of a couple’s dream home doesn’t turn in to a nightmare for their relationships.