Six questions to ask a partner before buying a home together

One in five home hunters split up when buying as financial secrets come to light – here are six awkward questions to ask before taking the plunge

  • Young people most affected, with 61% of under 25s breaking up with a partner
  • A lack of planning is a key reason many couples end up arguing, warns expert 
  • We reveal a six-point checklist to ask before buying a property together 

One in five homeowners have previously broken up with a partner during the process of buying a home together, new research reveals.

Splitting up during the buying process has even happened more than once to some people – a total of 9 per cent, according to Zoopla

Young people are affected the most, with 61 per cent of under 25s who now own a home breaking up with a partner while looking to buy together.

Almost a quarter of existing homeowners who looked to buy together split up, according to new research

A lack of planning is a key reason many couples end up arguing, according to the research.

But people typically spend longer planning a holiday – at 7.8 hours – than they do planning the search for a home at 5.5 hours, Zoopla said.

The property website carried out a survey of 1,000 people who have previously purchased a home as part of a couple. This included existing homeowners who then bought together.

The reasons behind why people split up while buying together include financial secrets coming to light, affected 34 per cent.

The process may have also prompted the need to have big conversations about the future, such as if children are on the agenda, leading 19 per cent to part ways.

Meanwhile, 23 per cent said their partner became obsessed with money and how much they would own, leading to the relationship breaking down.

In addition, one in ten got the boot for not being able to meet their financial commitments to buying a home, at 10 per cent.

The idea of buying a property together is more appealing than the reality for some people

The idea of buying a property together is more appealing than the reality for some people

Arguments over money are a serious issue for couples when buying homes – even if they don’t split up.

Nearly half, at 47 per cent, of those who have bought a home with their partner argued – with four in ten of all couples, at 40 per cent, saying they disagreed about finances.

As a result of not discussing it beforehand, three in ten – at 30 per cent – of respondents said they or their partner made incorrect assumptions about who was paying what.

Among them, 87 per cent said it was about how much they would each be putting into the deposit, while even more – at 89 per cent – said it was about how much of the mortgage they would each pay.

Another cause of arguments is revealed with 68 per cent of those who say they assumed their partner would pay more still expected to own half the property themselves.

Six questions to ask before buying together 

The awkward questions that couples need to ask before buying a property together have been outlined by Zoopla.

They includes:

 1. Do either of you have any debts?

2. How are you splitting the deposit and mortgage?

3. How are you splitting the bills for utilities and food?

4. How are you going to cover the maintenance or renovation costs for the home?

5. How will ownership of the property be split?

6. How are you going to split the housework and cooking?

Consequences of not planning

The financial consequences of not planning are also revealed by the research, with 46 per cent saying they had to move again because they didn’t agree on a place they both liked when they bought together.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘There’s no sugar-coating it – looking for the right home can be stressful if you’re unsure about what you want and don’t plan.

‘When two people, with differing ideas and differing thoughts on finances, are doing so, the stress is multiplied. As such, many couples who expect to be having discussions about splitting the mortgage end up simply splitting instead.

‘However, it doesn’t need to be this way and the vast majority of arguments can be avoided by simply discussing it all beforehand.’

Life coach Jacqueline Hurst, said: ‘Buying a home together can mean having tough and ‘big’ conversations with your partner. But the truth is, if you’re not comfortable having these sorts of conversations, it may not be the right time to buy a home together.

‘Two of the many ‘big’ topics are finances and children. The thing is, talking to your partner may feel awkward, but it can actually bring you closer to each other, help you connect, and deepen the relationship.

‘It’s normal to feel a bit of trepidation. My advice is to do it at the right time – over a nice lunch at the weekend, not when you are both tired after work.’

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