It is not easy to merge two families with kids. Separate households, different ways of doing things, different clutter levels, and expectations. However, you have met each other and have decided it’s time to move forward with your relationship and you are ready to buy a home to share.
A few things to think about.
1. If you are legally married you will be protected by the Dower Act, “Under the Dower Act, neither spouse may sell or mortgage the homestead without the other’s written consent.”. (Edmonton Community Legal Centre, 2022).
2. If you are moving in together and both are going to be on the land title, (the ownership document which registers and shows ownership of property in Alberta), there are different ways to structure. For instance, you could meet with a lawyer and at the same time complete your Wills and Personal Directives (more on these another time), to ensure you are understanding each other’s wishes with the estate if something should happen. You may want to each seek out independent legal advice before moving forward and have candid discussions on what each of you is understanding and wants before moving in together. Better to get on the same page prior.
3. If you have children there are added things to think about, take some time and review the commitments needed, for instance, sports, hobbies, schooling needs, along with the logistics of getting ready in the morning, and how many bathrooms would be ideal?
What kind of kitchen would work best? In my little kitchen, it gets a little busy if we are all in there at 530 am and trying to pack our favourite lunch, make tea, coffee, well you get it.
4. How many bedrooms will you need, are the children staying part-time with you or full-time? How will this be managed?
Open, honest discussions are the best way to ensure that your expectations of what you believe your life will look like will help with the transition.
5. Do you have existing properties to sell? How much are they worth in the current market? Is it better to rent one of them out? You may be able to claim part of the rent to assist with qualifying for a new loan.
6. Will you both qualify for a mortgage? Have you checked your credit reports lately, and have you been open and honest with each other about your financial stability? It would be awful to find out that your partner has 17 credit cards maxed out when you find your dream home. I am exaggerating but I think you understand what I mean. Ensure you get pre-approved, and reach out to a mortgage broker or specialist to assist. I work with many fabulous ones and I can help you find one to match your needs.
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