4 Tips for Househunting if You and Your Spouse Can't Agree on What You Want

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KEY POINTS

  • Finding the perfect house is a challenge.
  • When looking as a couple, it can be even more difficult.
  • If you're having a hard time agreeing, these tips can help, including naming your deal-breakers and focusing on the lifestyle you want to live in the house. 


If you're having a hard time finding a home you both love, reading this could help.

Buying a home is an exciting process, but finding the right property can be difficult. Not only do you need to make sure the house comes with a mortgage that is within your budget, but you also want to make sure you settle on a place you'll be happy in for years to come.

As complicated as this is, it can become exponentially more challenging if you are married or have a life partner with whom you will be buying the home. In this situation, you have two different opinions to take into account -- and this can create problems if they conflict.

If you and your spouse can't agree on the perfect property for you, these four tips can hopefully help you find one that's good enough to make you both happy. 

1. Make a list of what your common desires are

If you and your partner have some differences of opinion in what you want in your next home, it may feel like you'll never find the right place for both of you. But if you actually sit down and make a detailed list of things you both want, you may be surprised that you have more in common than you think.

Write out everything that's important to you both even if it seems insignificant, as this can help you narrow down potential properties that there's a possibility you'd both be interested in.

2. Discuss what is a deal-breaker for each of you

Many people have things they'd ideally prefer in a home or features they would rather avoid, but those features are not necessarily deal-breakers. Since you have to compromise when there's conflict, you may need to come to terms with the fact that you might not get every single thing you've been dreaming of -- but that doesn't mean you won't end up happy with your place.

You want to avoid features you absolutely cannot live with. So, make a list of what those home deal-breakers are. This will enable you to exclude houses that will absolutely not work for one of the two of you, which can further narrow down properties to look at. 

3. Focus on what will fit your lifestyle

Next, have a discussion with your partner about the lifestyle you'll be living in the home. This can help you to get a more realistic picture of what the property should look like. For example, if your spouse wants a big yard but you want a small one, thinking about how yardwork will be handled and who will be responsible for which jobs could help you come to more of a consensus on what kind of property is right for you.

4. Give each person veto power

Finally, it's important to remember that you are both going to be living in the house so it really needs to work for both of you. If there's a house that either of you says absolutely no to, vow not to get upset over it. 

It may take some time and you may need to look at a lot of properties, but if you focus on what you have in common and on how to find a home that fits your lifestyle, you'll eventually find the place that's just right for you as a couple.

Our Research Expert

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