House hunting with a partner can be an awesome experience — or leave you ready to pull your hair out. To make things go smoothly, check out these tried and tested tips for making sure everyone gets what they want and you don't spend 2 hours chatting with a landlord you have no intention of ever renting from!
Will the process be a blessing or the most frustrating experience ever? The situation either supplies you for a partner in crime to give you another set of eyes to look for pit falls and problems or it means you spend hours looking for something that you'll never find or talking to people on end because your better half feels the need to become BFF's with everyone they meet (which we happen to know nothing about).
After moving a ridiculous number of times in the last several years, my husband and I have come to a certain set of ground rules when it comes to apartment hunting. We save the stress for the actual moving process and make the house hunting part as easy as can be with these simple ideas:
• Start the Hunt Together. Although it's easy for one person to have a busier schedule than the other, try to start the hunt together, or at least in the same room. Talking about the spaces you find — or even sending each other links and photos — can help both people be on the same page or have excitement to tour the good finds you come across. If one person does all the searching then the other is bound to be slightly bored or not as interested in the properties in question.
• Schedule Multiple Appointments on The Same Day. If your schedule is anything like ours, we don't have multiple free evenings or entire weekends to spend day dreaming about which home will provide us with the best backyard for a hammock. Try scheduling appointments back-to-back throughout one time period. That way, if you have to take off work or schedule a sitter, you can knock out multiple candidates at once.
• Eat Lunch Before You Go. It sounds silly, but grumpy people due to lack of food are destined to not like anything, even if it's the perfect place. We've all been there, our body is literally collapsing in on itself and you've passed hungry and are onto nauseas? Eat before you start out and pack a few simple snacks in a bag to tide you over if things go long.
• Establish Signals or Key Phrases. You always want a potential landlord or homeowner to like you, so when touring properties it's easy to get carried away. If you have a keyword or signal to rein you back in from a partner who's really not interested in the space, it can save you a lot of gabbing time and allows you to jump ship right away instead of spending an hour at a place your partner really has no interest in.
• Make a List of Wants. Before you ever set foot in a new space, make a list of the things you each want in a space. The sky is the limit — list them all. Though you probably won't find a space that encompasses them all, it's a quick way to see your priorities and allow you to find a compromise between each of your needs and wants.
• Take a Tape Measure & Paper. Things always feel like sunshine and roses when you're out touring new spaces, but when you get home and it comes time to really hash out which space is best for you, quite often it comes down to actual measurements. Instead of making second appointments to re-see a space, just measure the large basic measurements first. That way you know your husband's vinyl record collection will fit or your girlfriend's shoes will actually have a home!
Do you have a trick or suggestion that always helps you and your partner out while house hunting? Let us know in the comments below!
Image: Flickr member elisfanclub licensed for use by Creative Commons