Transition to Moving in Together

TMAAT November 23, 2015

Crunch the Numbers
It’s normal for one partner to earn less than the other in most relationships, so it makes sense to work out who will be responsible for what payments when it comes to rent or mortgage payments and bills.

Sit down and discuss what you can both logically afford to contribute to the financial side of the relationship. Will you open a joint account to cover all your bill payments and living expenses? Do you intend to contribute money from your own individual accounts as bills arrive?

The more open and honest you can be about what’s expected of each of you before you move in, the easier your financial lives will be.

Sort Out the Legalities
If you’re moving into a rental property together, will both names be on the tenancy lease? Likewise, if you’re buying a home together, did you sign your purchase contract as joint tenants or tenants in common, and will both names be on the mortgage?

When you’re both moving into a home together at the same time, sorting out the legalities is a little easier. However, if one of you is shifting into a home that the other has already established, things can get a little trickier.

For example, if your partner is already settled in a rental property and you intend to move in, discuss the option of adding your name to the lease with your rental agent.

Of course, if your partner is buying the home and has a mortgage in their name alone, you might want to sit down and talk about protecting each person’s financial interests.

The partner who owns the home may have put a lot of time, effort and money into saving a deposit and buying the property in the first place. However, the partner moving in will need to know that any financial contributions made into the household are taken into account if the relationship should break down at some point in the future.

It’s never easy discussing a potential break up while the relationship is still new and exciting, but it’s necessary. It’s important to know your financial interests are protected in the event of something going sour later down the track.

Combine Your Furniture and Belongings
It’s common for many couples to already have plenty of furniture and belongings before they commit to moving in together. The problem you might have is trying to combine two households full of furniture into one property.

Take a good look at how much each of you own before you move in together and work out what you’ll keep and what’s got to go. Likewise, if you’ve taken stock of how much you both have and you find some things are missing, discuss how you’ll factor in buying those items in your budget.

Pets
If one partner already has children or pets before moving in together, it’s crucial you both sit down and talk about the impact they could have on the relationship. For example, is your partner allergic to your cat? Perhaps your significant other is afraid of dogs or hates the idea of keeping pet pythons in the house?

Before you take the big step of moving in together, think carefully about how both of your lives will be impacted by the shift. More importantly, discuss whether renting or buying a property together will enhance your relationship or put unnecessary strain on it. When you can have those honest discussions together and reach a mutual agreement, it’s time to take the plunge.

Moving in together for the first time can be stressful enough, read the top ten things people forget to do when they move house to avoid this happening to you.

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