After spending almost 27 years at my safe haven - aka home - I decided it was time to leave the nest and move in with my boyfriend of 1,5 years. A logical step, but still a big one. Sure, we spent all of our free moments together and yes, we went on that much feared first holiday -- because you know, "that's when you really get to know each other". Even though you are indeed together 24/7, moving in a house or apartment is slightly different than going to the beach and sipping cocktails for a week. My boyfriend and I moved in last weekend, and here are the top 5 things I think you need to know.
1. Where are you going to live?
My boyfriend used to live 20 minutes from here, so the first big question was: will I move to him or will he come this way? Since I already bought a house before we met and it would spare him 20 minutes to get to work , our decision was easily made and he moved to my hometown.
If you both live and work in the same place, you'll probably know the answer to this question immediately. But if one, or both, of you work somewhere else, it might be more practical to move somewhere in between. On the other hand: some people find it difficult to be away from family and friends. Have a thorough, deep conversation on this subject before you move on to anything else. Be clear and tell each other what you want (and especially what you don't want).2. Do you want to live in a house or in an apartment?
This might seem like a trivial thing, but it's not. Are you comfortable with strangers living above, beside and beneath you? With probably having to deal with their noise, fights and other things you wished you hadn't seen or heard. The same goes for them about you, by the way. Do you want a garden or do you settle for a balcony as well? Living in a house or in an apartment usually comes with a price difference as well.
3. Are you going to rent a place first or it right away?
Buying a house or an apartment is amazing for sure, since you'll completely own the place and can do whatever you want with it. Renting a place comes with more limits and restrictions. Plus, renting is often seen as 'lost money': you're paying off someone else's loan with your hard earned money. However, renting will give you the chance to see how things work out between you and your partner living under the same roof 24/7, without too many financial catastrophes afterwards.
I already owned a place before I met my boyfriend, as I bought my grandparents' house after they both passed away. After meeting my boyfriend and coming to the realization that he is 'the One', we initially wanted to remodel the entire place before moving in together. In the end, we thought it would be a better idea to move in first, see how everything goes between us, and remodel it afterwards. Everything - from furniture to cutlery - was still there, so we only had to move our clothes and personal belongings. Nor is it mine or his style when it comes to the interior, but it will do just fine for now. So, for now, it will seem as if we are renting the place, giving us the time to get to know each other before throwing in lots of cash.
4. Who is going to pay for what?
Are you going to split all the bills (loan, gas, water, electricity, groceries ...)? Or will you decide which bill is for you and which one's for your partner beforehand? Will you open a joint bank account or will you keep your own? Or both? This is a major deal, so be sure to set everything straight before moving in. Financial issues can cause big issues in someone's household, so it's extremely important to be as clear as possible about this subject before anything else. The best thing to do is to sit together, see how much each of you makes a month, and calculate the amount of money you can miss (but still can live comfortably).
My boyfriend and I opened a joint bank account, but we will also keep our own personal accounts as well. Independent woman and stuff, you know? We will deposit a fixed amount of money (which we agreed on before) into the account and use it for groceries, bills, emergencies ... Since my boyfriend makes significantly more money than I do - he's a police detective, I'm a sales assistant -, he will deposit more into the account. Everything that's left is for us to save for our own or to buy ourselves something we want.
5. Do you want the same things interior wise?
In the future - aka: when we know we support each other under one roof 24/7 for a longer period of time - my boyfriend and I are going to remodel the house completely. Luckily, we both like the same style: modern, tight and not too many unnecessary things (as in: framed life quotes all over the house, figurines, kitschy souvenirs ...). Even though I like to see it at other people's home (sometimes), I just can't imagine living myself in it permanently. Luckily, the boyfriend feels the same.
It could happen that your partner and you don't see eye to eye on this matter. Talk about it and work out a compromise. Mixing different interior styles could work out perfectly -- just do your homework. Browse the Internet, go through interior magazines, visit interior stores and fairs ... Who knows, maybe you'll grow to like each other's preference as well.
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