Moving in together can cause a lot of disagreement. When it comes to sharing your life with someone new, no matter how involved you are with one another (whether this is just a roommate or your significant other), you must learn to compromise.
List What You Both Want
When you decide that you’re going to be moving in together, you need to have an open discussion about what both of you are looking for in an apartment. Understand that you’re going to be compromising in the end, but at this beginning stage, you should both be honest about what you’d ideally have in an apartment.
Both of you should sit down at a table and write down all of the apartment amenities and features you would like to have. Once you’ve written your list, write it out one more time in order of importance to you. For example, if you’d love an apartment with a great view of the beach but it’s more important that you have an in-unit laundry (or vice versa), rank the in-unit laundry higher.
Decide What You Can Both Pay
Next, both of you need to take a close look at your finances. If you’re going to be moving in together, you need to be sure that you can both afford it. You should both calculate your income for a month as well as personal expenses, a certain amount set aside for savings/emergencies, a little to spend on entertainment, and possible household contributions, such as groceries and utilities (although some apartments will include utilities).
What you’re left with is how much you’re able to contribute to rent and when you combine both totals, you’ll know what range of apartment monthly rates you should be looking for.
The two of you need not have equal amounts to contribute to rent if the person who is paying less isn’t paying an unreasonable amount less and is willing to compromise in some way, such as having a smaller bedroom or if you’re a couple who plans on sharing a bedroom, a willingness to take on more household duties.
Compromise on Amenities
Once you’ve both listed what you’d like in an apartment and you’ve agreed on your monthly price range, you should compare lists. Any amenity that ranks high on both of your lists is something you should include on your “must-have” list when moving in together, as long as it fits into your price range. For amenities that are high on one of your lists and low on the other’s, include those as secondary features that you’d like to find in an apartment but are not essential to your decision. For amenities that are on one person’s list and not at all on the other, you should both be willing to give up one to two of your own in exchange for putting one of your high-ranked amenities that the other person ranks more lowly on the “must have” list.
Two people are unlikely to agree completely on what they want in an apartment. Going into the discussion with a willingness to compromise will make moving in together a much easier and more pleasant experience.