Buying an apartment together? Here’s what you need to know

Moving in together (or purchasing an apartment together) is a huge step in your relationship. First, congratulations! Now, what do you need to know? Huge decisions like moving in with your S.O. can put a lot of stress on a relationship, which is why Panda7 wants to give you some of its top tips for saving money, making your transition seamless and time-efficient, and how to go about the insurance.

The worst thing to do is to rush the decision, scramble through all the stress of a move, and then realize it was not the right time and have your relationship be put in peril. You want to ensure that your relationship is one hundred percent solid, and you are ready for your next big step.

Here is what you need to know before you move in with your S.O. for the first time.

There is an agreed upon budget for you do any actual moving.

Maybe you have this idea of some fantasy apartment with all the fixings: a private gym, an indoor pool, a sunset balcony…but many luxury amenities are expensive, and your partner may be wanting to err on the realistic side of things. Before you close on an apartment, be clear with your partner about how much (both of) you are willing to spend for rent each month, plus any additional utilities that may come separate. This way, you will both have similar expectations.

You are doing it for the right reasons.

While, yes, moving in with your S.O. can definitely mean saving some costs and equalizes the rent you will have to pay, it should not be the only reason you are moving in together. Try to check your reasons for moving and ensure that the decisions is entirely because of your intention to take the next step in your relationship.

Renter’s insurance – to each their own, or together?

Relying on your roommate’s insurance is typically a bad idea (as their policy covers them, their belongings, and their liability – not yours) but what about an S.O.? Here’s the thing – sometimes blending insurance can be difficult, but you’re in this for the long run (hopefully.) Remember that if you are sharing a policy and your S.O. files a claim, that’s a claim that shows up on both your insurance histories. Of course, given that it is presumed the two of you will be living together well into the future, you won’t need to constantly update your insurance company about a new living situation.

Check with your insurance provider about including your S.O. on your policy. One great advantage to this is that you can split the cost of your insurance and there is no added expense to including your partner on your insurance. If either of you own any expensive jewelry or valuables, however, you may see an increase in your premiums by a slight amount.

You have a plan for the future.

Rent, utilities, future expenses, etc., all require an adequate plan. Before you move in, you’ll want to ensure that you are both clear on what the plan is and that you are comfortable with the decision. Maybe the two of you have different ideas on how much a grocery budget should a lot, or one of you has a far more expensive idea of how a Friday night should look. More than anything, you’ll want to agree on what the split is going to be or you plan to assess how your budget is faring is the next couple of months to split things more proportionally to either how you use your utilities or based on income.

You know how to live well together.

This should definitely go without saying, but pre-move the both of you should live together well! That may mean having schedules that work well with each other, a good idea of how the chores are proportioned, and a general feel for how the other likes to go about their “day-to-day.” Both of you should be pitching in and feel that the contributions you make are valid.

You don’t keep secrets from each other.

With any relationship, keeping secrets from the other person is always a no-go. When it comes to moving in, you will want to be careful not to have any financial secrets as well, such as student loans, debt, or poor spending habits that can later come back to haunt the both of you. It can seem personal to share, but you are likely wanting to live with this person for years and years to come! Discuss all your debt, personal loans, vehicle loans, or any items you have in collection and divulge them to your partner so there is a clear idea of what each other’s financial situation is like and there are no unexpected surprises later down the line.

It can be a difficult endeavour – moving in together. However, with clear communication, expectations, and a strong relationship, you can get through it all! If you and your partner have already survived struggles, whether relationship struggles, financial, or other, you know what it means like to put aside your emotions and work towards the greater good as a couple. It isn’t a bad idea to have an exit strategy just in case things don’t work out – and be up-front about this (it’s not romantic, but it can help to spare your finances.) Good luck on your move! We hope things pan out smoothly for you and your partner.