Buying a home can be stressful on couples. Sixty-percent of millennial and Gen X couples say they disagreed occasionally, frequently, or “a lot” when buying a house with their partner or spouse, according to a new survey released by LendingHome. They surveyed 514 adults ages 25 to 45 who were in a relationship (engaged, married, or domestic partnerships) and purchasing a home within the past year.
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Couples who have been together a longer time tend to be more harmonious in the home-buying process, according to the survey. Those who had been together five or more years disagreed frequently only 14 percent of the time when searching for a home. On the other hand, couples who have been together for four years or less disagreed twice as much, with nearly 30 percent disagreeing frequently or more often.
So, what are couples disagreeing about? Their top disagreements were the level of debt to take on (49 percent); the style of home to purchase (46 percent); size of house (45 percent); and whether or not to buy a house in need of renovation (43 percent), according to the survey.
Some couples’ disagreements may be based on gender. For example, the survey showed that women tend to prefer traditional, cozy homes in the suburbs. Men, however, tend to prefer more modern homes in urban settings.
“Buying a home together is more than playing house and making Pinterest boards of dream kitchens; it’s a serious commitment with enormous financial implications,” says Samantha Burns, The Millennial Love Expert, a licensed couples therapist and dating coach in Boston. “So you need to feel secure and confident in your relationship before taking this step together. In searching for your dream home, get clear on your wants versus needs, firm deal breakers, and ability to analyze the pros and cons. By getting on the same page at the beginning, you’ll be able to minimize conflict throughout your home search.”
Regardless, most couples say they’re able to leave their homebuying disagreements behind after the transaction is complete. Sixty percent of couples surveyed said their disagreements when buying a home didn’t matter in the end. In fact, more than 50 percent of couples said they felt more committed to the relationship after purchasing the house.