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buying a houseTaking your relationship to the next level is full of excitement and unknowns. The average American moves 12 times in their lifetime, and often this move is to live with a significant other. While apartment hunting with your partner may give you butterflies, it’s important to include some logic in the search as well. This is why asking the following questions is key to starting cohabitation off right.

What are our shared expenses?
While renting is not in depth as buying a house, you will still have some costs to address up front. Decide if you will be buying furniture together or if you will each purchase your own. The security deposit, decor decisions, and food expenses are other factors to consider.

Are we putting both of our names on the lease?
Decide if one of you will be the primary renter or if you are splitting everything evenly. This could lead to an awkward conversation about what would happen if one of you moved out, but it is worth discussing. This way, you can be prepared for the unknown.

How will we handle having guests over?
When you live alone, having friends over is totally your call. This shifts when you share a space with another person. Decide if having guests always needs to be a joint decision or if weekends will be free game, for example. This will prevent any conflict over visitors in the future.

What are your top priorities for an apartment?
You certainly know your partner well, but have you asked what they really want out of a housing situation? Perhaps they are interested in eventually buying a house, so a lease with an option to buy might be the best way to go. Be sure to voice your priorities and expectations as well.

How will we handle household responsibilities?
This question is especially important if you and your partner have different living habits. Arguments over a full sink get old, so decide ahead of time how the two of you will split cleaning the apartment.

When it comes to living together and looking for apartments, communication is key. By discussing these questions ahead of time, you and your partner can establish a foundation of understanding and respect. Then you can figure out the rest as you grow a home together.

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