Have you made the decision to move in with your other half? Congratulations! Whether you’re moving in together for the first time, or just apartment hunting with someone you’ve already lived with elsewhere, it’s undoubtedly an exciting time in your relationship. It’s also an important one to learn to navigate together. You want to ensure that both of your needs are being met with the apartment you choose, and also learn to compromise when there’s a difference of opinion or preferences. So, what are the most important elements to consider and discuss during this exciting time? Read on for some top tips that will help you effectively apartment hunt as a couple:
Sit down together and make a list of what you want
The best way to get started with your hunt together is to discuss what it is that you both want. Do you want a traditional style or a modern style? Do you have a dream of living in a specific neighborhood? Categorize your wants into must-haves and nice-to-haves. If you’re lucky, then most of your must-haves will be the same. But if not, there’s no need to worry as long as you’re both willing to be flexible. Just discuss what is most important for both of you and try and reach a compromise on the areas where you disagree. There will be many instances where you may need to meet in the middle.
Be really open and honest about what you want
Now is definitely not the time to clam up. Remember, you’re choosing the place you’re going to live in! Be open and honest with your other half about what your likes and dislikes are. If you have any specific preferences in terms of style of apartment, location, or type of neighborhood you’d like to live in, now is the time to open up. Holding what you want in will just lead to eventual resentment later if you’re not happy with where you choose to live. Communication is really key at this time so if you think your partner is holding back, then try and get them to open up so you can both find somewhere you equally love.
Discuss your finances and set a budget that is realistic for both of you
Discussing the financial side can make some couples uncomfortable initially, especially if this isn’t something they’ve had to discuss before. It may not be the most romantic subject of discussion, but it’s an important one to have when you’re thinking of sharing a home together. Make sure that you set a budget that both of you will be comfortable with, and factor in additional monthly costs such as heating and phone bills. Your budget will define your search, so this is definitely the first and most important thing to discuss and decide upon.
Think about the future space you may need
If you’re in a committed relationship and apartment hunting together, it’s fair to assume that you’re quite serious about each other. It might be worth considering that this new apartment could be the one you decide to start a family together in. Think about the possibilities of extra space you may need in the future if you do decide to have a baby there. It’s important to think ahead as you don’t want to deal with the hassle and costs associated with moving frequently.
Decide what furnishing and other items you’ll be bringing in
This is probably one of the last things to discuss when you’re apartment hunting together. You need to discuss and decide what furniture and other household items you’ll both be bringing from your old places. If you both have very different decorative styles, then make sure you’re both happy with the pieces you do decide to bring into your new place. There’s also likely to be a duplication of items such as kitchen items and coffee tables. Decide together what you’d like to take and the rest can be sold, put into storage, or given away. Remember to do this before you move, as every item you decide to take adds to the cost of the move.
The most important thing for any apartment-hunting couple to remember at this time is to try and maintain open, honest and calm communication. If you both have that nailed, then there’s really nothing to worry about. Enjoy this exciting step in your relationship and good luck with the hunt!