Apartment Hunting Together? Discuss These Major Points First
If you’re in a relationship and ready to take the next step and find a place together, ensure the process is a smooth one by discussing the following points before even opening up your Craigslist or Apartments.com app. From deciding who will pay for groceries and basic apartment needs to making sure you’re on the same page about hosting weekend parties, getting these details finalized before signing a lease will certainly ensure domestic bliss.
Are you both going to be signing on the dotted line, or will one of you put the place in your name while the other just contributes rent? Be sure you’re on the same page before even looking at a place to avoid an uncomfortable situation when you go to submit an application. If one of you has a less-than-stellar credit record or is nervous about having your application approved, certainly give your partner the heads-up beforehand.
Are you splitting rent evenly, or will one party contribute more? Who will be paying for groceries or apartment necessities like paper towels and laundry detergent? Are you going to open up a shared checking account and contribute monthly? Finances and money can be tricky subjects to discuss, especially if one partner has a significantly higher income than the other, but ironing out these details ahead of time will spare you later arguments and headaches way before your first joint trip to Target.
If one of you works from home and feels a second bedroom or den is necessary as a workspace, be sure you agree that this is non-negotiable. Similarly, if one of you needs an outdoor space or insists on only looking at places that come with a dishwasher, you’ll want to make that known so one of you doesn’t fall in love with a place that lacks the other’s must-have. Other important characteristics to discuss: a modern home versus something with a little more character, location on a busy street versus something quieter, and browsing for a unit in a large high-rise versus finding something in a smaller walk-up building.
Make sure you are both clear on who will be doing what in terms of keeping your place neat and tidy and the amount of time everyone is expected to spend on household chores. You’ll likely fall into a routine where you each take charge of a particular task (one of you always empties the dishwasher while the other takes out the garbage), so no need to assign specific chores before you’ve even found a place. Just begin the dialogue so expectations will be set.
If you both are coming from your own places and have a lot of furniture and décor already, talk about what you’ll both be bringing and if someone needs to post items on Craigslist or think about putting things in storage. If you’re thinking your beloved tufted headboard is going in your shared bedroom and your partner won’t part with that streamlined wooden bed, you need to get on the same page… and fast.
Your partner may envision hosting weekly football viewing parties or having your friends over for impromptu weekend bashes while you’re thinking of keeping your place more private and quiet. If you’ve been dating awhile, you’re already aware of your partner’s social habits, but not having places to yourselves may alter things. As long as you’re both open to the other’s thoughts on having friends and family over, you should be good to go.
Shop the books below for more advice on moving in together.
What other points would you suggest discussing before looking for a place together? Share with us in the comments!
Opening image: Ashe + Leandro