More people are choosing to live together, but it’s a big decision and not to be taken lightly. Here’s some key things to think about if you are planning to cohabit with a friend or a loved one.
The number of people cohabiting has gone up. According to the website UK Parliament, the total number of cohabiting couples has increased from around 1.5 million in 1996 to around 3.5 million in 2020.
Moving in with your loved one or a friend is a big decision. It’s natural to feel both excited and apprehensive about taking this step. Here are some key things to consider as you prepare to move in together…
1. How well do you know each other?
Make sure you know the person well before making the commitment to move in together. You should feel confident that you can communicate openly and effectively about important topics like finances, housekeeping, and differences of opinion. Living together can be stressful at times, so it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page about how you’ll handle day-to-day challenges.
2. What is your financial situation?
Be honest with each other about your respective incomes and debts. Will you be able to comfortably afford rent or mortgage payments and other shared expenses? If one partner makes significantly more money than the other, how will you handle bills and other household finances? Having these conversations early on will help avoid disagreements later on.
3. What are your expectations for cleanliness and tidiness?
It’s important to be on the same page about how you expect your home to be kept. Talk about how often you’ll need to clean and how much clutter you’re both prepared to have in your home. You might be a tidy person or a minimalist, and your partner might be messy. Having different views on cleaning and clutter can be a source of tension in relationships, so it’s best to figure out a system that works for both of you before moving in together.
4. Do you have compatible sleep schedules?
If one person is a night owl and the other is an early bird, living together can be difficult, as you may end up going to bed and getting up at different times. Talk about when each of you likes to go to bed and get up in the morning and try to find a compromise that works for both of you. It may mean adjusting your sleep schedule, but it’s worth it to avoid being constantly cranky with each other. If you’re planning to live with a friend rather than a partner, you may go to bed at different times, and you’ll need to respect each other’s right to sleep in a peaceful environment.
5. Are you ready for the commitment?
Moving in together is a big step in any relationship. Make sure you’re both ready for the commitment before taking the plunge. Ask yourselves if you’re prepared to sign a lease or take on a mortgage, share living expenses, and deal with each other’s quirks daily. Living together can be rewarding and fulfilling, but it’s not for everyone.
6. What’s the arrangement regarding your property going to be like?
If you’re going to buy a property together rather than just renting, you need to consider what sort of commitment you’re both prepared to make. There are two types of home ownership – Joint Tenants – where you both have equal rights to the property – and Tenants in Common, where each person owns a separate share. The latter may suit you if you’re putting in a higher deposit than the other person. It’s important to seek advice from a good solicitor about which option best suits your situation.
If you’re feeling excited (and maybe a little nervous) about taking this step, that’s totally normal. Just make sure you take some time to consider all of the important details before making any major decisions. By considering things like financial compatibility, cleaning expectations and sleep schedules, you’ll set yourself up for success in your new home.