So you and your partner are thinking about buying a house together–how exciting! Purchasing a home with your significant other is a huge milestone, and I’m happy to help you make it a great one.

Here’s what any new couple needs to know about buying a house together.

How much can you afford?

The best way to determine how much you can safely spend is by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. When you meet with a mortgage advisor, they’ll review your finances to determine what type of mortgage works best for you and what your budget looks like. Doing this before you start the home search will save you a lot of time and heartache–no one wants to fall in love with a house they can’t afford.

What type of property is best?

For any buyer, the right type of property is the one that reflects their lifestyle and needs. Many younger couples that are buying for the first time are drawn to condos for their convenience, price, and amenities. But if you and your partner are looking for a bit more space or are planning on having children, then a detached home in a quiet neighbourhood might be more up your alley. Having a home with an income suite is another option as long as you’re prepared to become a landlord.

What are your plans for the future?

Planning for the future before buying a house together will make it easier to find the right long-term home. If you’re thinking about having children in the near future, that will impact the location, size, and budget of the homes you see. If you’re looking for an investment property to flip, then you’re set of needs will be quite different.

What’s on your wish list?

Want plenty of room for entertaining? Does your partner prefer turn-key over a work in progress? When it comes to buying as a couple, creating a list of your combined needs and wants is a must-do. This might require some compromise, which is why determining what you really need in a house is so important.