Money & relationships
Buying your first home with a partner, and getting a mortgage together, can mean there’s a lot you’ll need to agree on – from furnishings to finances and more, so there are a few things you may need to consider.
What are you looking for in a property? A compromise will have to be reached regarding the area you choose, the layout, the size, how long you intend to be there and several other factors. Do you need to be near a good school? Is it important to be close to a train station? Buying together is likely to mean an element of give and take in many areas like this.
Would buying a property stretch your budget to breaking point? Bear in mind that as well as a monthly mortgage payment, there are one-off costs such as solicitor’s fees, surveys and stamp duty that you’d both have to consider on top of the regular maintenance costs.
Your credit report can be an important factor here. Generally speaking, a good credit report could mean a higher credit score, which could better your chances of getting your mortgage, lower interest rates, and better deals.
Finding the right house may take a while and even after you’ve had an offer accepted, it’s quite normal for it to take around 12 weeks for the home to be officially yours, sometimes longer.
Check your credit report before you apply for a mortgage and allow plenty of time to manage and improve it, it could save you money and improve your chances of getting the mortgage deal you want.
You’ll have to think about how you’re going to pay for these – depending on your respective incomes, is one of you going to take the lion’s share of the finances? Having a joint account is one option, though bear in mind that this is likely to link your finances together – so if one of you has a poor credit score, this could have an impact on any credit applications you might make.
If you already share, or decide to open up a financial connection, each of you would see the other’s name in the section of your credit report entitled ‘Financial Associations’. Although lenders would then be able to look at both your credit reports, your own credit report would show only your own credit history.
Credit reports only become linked if two people have applied for credit together (eg: a joint bank account, a mortgage with two names on it) or they tell Experian or a lender that they are financially connected.
By checking your credit report you can see if and how you are financially linked. It can also help you both understand if one of you needs a little work to tidy up their credit history before a joint mortgage application is made.