Buying a home and moving in together is an exciting time in your life. The process of home buying and moving in together can be stressful and can cause tension in your relationship. The following tips on home buying and the big gay merge can help you reach your goal while enjoying yourself along the way.

Couple1. Work out your finances. Have a discussion about your income, debts and credit history. A review of your finances can help you decide how much you can afford to pay for a home.

2. Work out a budget that includes your anticipated mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities and other household expenses. You should then decide how much each of you will contribute to the household each month. You should also decide how much each of you will contribute each month to a slush fund to be used for emergencies.

3. Set up joint checking and savings accounts. The checking account should be funded with each of your agreed upon contributions each month and used for paying household expenses. Your slush fund contributions should be deposited into the savings  account and used for emergency household repairs and for saving to meet your future goals. Note that you can have the account set up as “and” if you want both of you to sign the checks, or “or” if you want either one of you to be able to sign the checks or withdraw funds. For example, John Doe and Jim Doe, or John Doe or Jim Doe.

4. Put it all in writing. During this exciting time, you may not feel that you need to put anything in writing because you are confident in your relationship. The reason that you need to do that is to make you both feel more comfortable with your decisions. It’s mainly for dispute resolution. It will not be legally binding unless, according to law, unless there is an offer from one party to provide money, goods or perform a service and an acceptance where the second party is agreeing to provide money, goods or perform services in return. For example, one party offers money in return for a service, such as remodeling your home. Your agreement will eliminate any arguments over who was supposed to do what.

Draft a domestic partnership agreement that includes each partner’s responsibilities and what will happen to the house and joint property if your relationship does not work out. You can add to the agreement as additional issues and decisions are made.

5. Hire a real estate agent to help you with finding and purchasing your new home. An agent who specializes in working with LGBT couples will have a better idea of what your needs are and will make you feel more comfortable being yourself. In addition, hiring an LGBT agent that you trust can help relieve much of the stress involved in purchasing a new home together. He will discuss the steps involved and assist you throughout the entire process. For more information, see our article Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Gay Realtor for your Home Purchase.

The steps listed above are designed to help you get started with your goal of home buying and the big gay merge. An experienced local LGBT gay real estate agent can discuss all aspects of purchasing your new home with you.