House-hunting with a new partner


Dear David,

My new partner and I are looking for a house together. I’ve been divorced for 10 years and she lost her spouse almost five years ago. We’ve seen a ton of homes, but haven’t been able to find one we agree on. Are we doing something wrong? – OUT OF SYNCH

DEAR SYNCH: Getting on the same page can be challenging, especially when you’ve both had major upheaval in your lives. Unlike a couple who’s had decades to explore and fine-tune their housing plans, you and your partner are coming at this from different places and with different experiences. On some level, you may still be getting to know each other.

You share the common goal of finding a home, but may be on different emotional timelines. My guess is that while you’re ready to move right away, your partner might still be grieving the loss of her spouse. Because you’re traveling at varying emotional speeds, your house-hunting journey may be playing out like a trip to the coast when one of you is flying and the other is traveling by car. You’ll both get there eventually, but not necessarily at the same time.

It’s important to allow each other a bit of emotional space and respect each others’ journeys. Sometimes one partner is focused on things that aren’t necessarily on the other’s radar: if your partner is mourning a loss, they may not be one-hundred-percent ready to embrace this new chapter, even if you find a house that would work well for you as a couple.

As with any good partnership, you can overcome these bumps by supporting each other and doing your best to understand each other’s wants and needs. In this case, the pace and timing of the prospective move may be more of an issue than the actual house. My advice is to be patient and keep the lines of communication open. This will help you to gauge where each of you is on your journey, and take things at a comfortable speed. It may even reveal some options you hadn’t considered.

When shopping for homes, I typically ask buyers what they like about each house, and more importantly, what they don’t like. This open dialogue shines a light on each person’s priorities, and gives their partner a chance to hear important revelations they might not have picked up on when walking through the house together. Sellers hate to hear this, but I often tell my buyers that we’re trying to rule out every house we see. When a buyer can’t rule a house out, they’re probably home.

PRO TIP: The path to finding a home is smoother and more successful when you work collaboratively. It can be frustrating to feel like you’re missing the mark, but it’s never a waste of time to look at a house that fits your criteria. Every house provides an education, whether you buy it or not. Reflecting on homes you’ve seen and tracking their selling prices will help build your understanding of the market. When the right property pops up at the right time, you’ll be ready to make an offer. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.