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How to avoid arguments when moving home

June 28, 2021

They say moving home is up there with death and divorce in terms of stress levels. It’s hardly surprising given the sums of money involved, the level of commitment required and the pressure of deadlines. Together, these elements can put a strain on any relationship, whether you are buying with a friend, sibling or partner. Here’s our guide to surviving one of life’s most testing times with as few squabbles as possible.

Acknowledge that not everybody is equal

Money is often at the heart of arguments and it’s no different when it comes to property – perhaps one person has put down more of the deposit or maybe one buyer is going to pay more of the monthly mortgage repayment. If you’re the party stumping up the most cash, the temptation is to use this as a position of superiority in arguments, or to take control, which can lead to resentment further on. Quarrels can be avoided if there is a serious ‘clear the air’ discussion before any property is bought.

Explore a ‘Deed of Trust’

This is also known as a Declaration of Trust, and protects the financial interests of the buyer who is contributing more – an important aspect if there should be a parting of ways in the future. A Deed of Trust ensures shared assets are divided fairly, and it covers instances where one buyer is stumping up a bigger deposit, paying off more of the mortgage or is picking up the cost of the property’s maintenance. Just having this legal agreement in place can ward off arguments.

Sharing the same property vision

It’s no good looking at property without discussing what you can afford and really need beforehand. Being dragged along to a house that’s £50,000 over your budget or that is too far from a school, for instance, will lead to tension. Make sure you agree on what you can afford before going anywhere near a ‘for sale’ sign. Agreeing on a budget and a shared list of things a new home must have can also stop buyers falling out. Use two columns – ‘essential’ and ‘preferable’ – so you’re both working towards the same vision.

Split the admin

There is a fair share of paperwork and administration involved when buying a property and if you have a property to sell too, that workload can double. Filling in forms, chasing solicitors and talking to mortgage lenders can be time-consuming and tedious. Split the admin side of things equally to avoid one person feeling like they have been burdened with the mundane but crucial tasks.

And if it goes wrong…

…..don’t blame each other. Sadly some property purchases never get off the ground or the transaction fails to clear the final hurdle but this is usually because of factors outside of the buyers’ control – especially if you’re in a property chain. Focusing on a new plan made together is much better than dwelling on the ‘what ifs’.

If you are looking to buy a property with a friend, relative or partner, we’re here to help. Although we won’t take sides in any arguments, we will be here with impartial, constructive and useful advice.

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