Are you ready to buy a home to­gether?

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE -

With Valen­tine's Day com­ing up this month, you might be think­ing of mak­ing a big move with the one you love - mov­ing in to­gether, that is! Be­fore you take this mas­sive re­la­tion­ship leap and start pick­ing out fur­ni­ture, sit down with your sweet­heart and have a se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion about what buy­ing a home to­gether en­tails and what your ex­pec­ta­tions are. Iron­ing out all the "de­tails" be­fore mak­ing any moves will al­low your buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to be one filled with joy and ex­cite­ment and help avoid dis­ap­point­ment later on.

The Fi­nan­cial Con­sumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) of­fers th­ese tips for cou­ples look­ing to take the step to­wards home own­er­ship:

Have an hon­est dis­cus­sion -

This isn't the time to sugar coat things - be­fore you com­bine your fi­nances, it is im­por­tant to talk to your sig­nif­i­cant other to get a bet­ter idea of their spend­ing habits, in­come, debts and sav­ings. Dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of open­ing joint ac­counts (chequing or sav­ings) to cover your es­sen­tial house­hold ex­penses or to save money. What­ever choices you make, you should agree on how your joint ac­counts are to be used, and the amounts you will each de­posit into them.

Fig­ure out a bud­get -

Once you have agreed on the life­style you would like to have, you can draw up your bud­get to ob­tain an over­view of your to­tal in­come, your es­sen­tial and non-es­sen­tial ex­penses and your abil­ity to save. You may not par­tic­u­larly en­joy draw­ing up a bud­get, but sim­ply set­ting ob­jec­tives, such as pur­chas­ing a house or condo and sav­ing for your chil­dren's ed­u­ca­tion if plan­ning to have a fam­ily, will mo­ti­vate you to draw up your bud­get and, more im­por­tantly, to stick to it.

More in­for­ma­tion about how to draw up a bud­get is avail­able on­line on the Fi­nan­cial Con­sumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) web­site, fcac.gc.ca.

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