Do you have a definite idea about how you’d like to decorate your future home? Generally, women think more about decorating and beautifying the home, but some men care very much about color schemes and furniture placement. I would think most men would care about furniture placement more as a means of effectiveness than beauty. At any rate, you and your future spouse will have to agree on your home’s layout.
If it seems like you and your significant other are moving towards engagement, it is a good idea to briefly discuss your expectations for your first home – and for your dream home. Most people are not in the financial situation to immediately move from a college dorm, house they were raised in, or a small apartment into the home of their dreams. So, it’s good to talk about your expectations for your first, or starter, home based on your incomes and your expectations for your dream home so you can know toward what goals you will be working.
You don’t want to be married a few years and start the house hunting process only to realize that she expects a 4,000 square foot home, and he’s planning to move into a 1,200 square foot home. And obviously price is a big deal, but location and home blueprints are also topics to consider. You may be able to find a 4,000 square foot home for a reasonable price, but is it half an hour from everything you need? Do you want to care for several acres of land, or do you simply want a small lot? Talk about it! J
Here are a few questions to consider when talking about your first home:
- How large of a home do you expect to have?
- How do you want the furniture arranged in the rooms?
- What are a few “must haves” in your future home (dishwasher, whirlpool tub, glass-top range, etc.)
- Are you laid back enough to accept some changes that are important to your future spouse? (e.g., no hamper in the bathroom, towels being folded a different way when stored, etc.)
- Does everything need to match – or does that matter?
When our home was first bought and set up, we hadn’t talked about it yet – and I didn’t expect some of Eric’s “must haves” and he didn’t expect some of my home “needs.”
Also, here are a few questions to consider when talking about your dream home:
- When do you foresee you moving into your dream home (5 years after marriage, 20 years after marriage, retirement, etc.)?
- How much are you willing to spend on your dream home and how much money will you need to have in savings and investments before you are comfortable spending a large amount to move into your dream home?
- Where would you like to build or buy your dream home?
- Do you want sizable land or are you more interested in a dream home in, or near, the city?
- What kind of layout do you want in your dream home?
Remember, make sure to talk about your “must haves.” And also remember, people change over time, so let this be a fun discussion, not a deal-breaking discussion. It is just good to vision and dream together at your various stages of life.
There are several more questions you could ask, but this is a good start. Some people don’t have a dream home planned for their future. That’s okay. Some people are content to stay in their first home forever. If that suits you both, that’s great. However, if you do want to work toward a dream home, it is important that you discuss that dream early – before marriage! If your dream home is pricy, you will need to start working toward that financial goal sooner than later – which means you will likely forgo other lifestyle concessions to get there sooner. The dream may change over time – though, it may not as well – so, continue to talk it over in advance.
Have you given much thought to your first home, or a dream home?