You've reached the two year milestone, been on your first 'couples' holiday and have a Pinterest board full of decor ideas. If the next logical step in your relationship is to move in together, there is more to living under one roof as this online quiz suggests.
From a financial and practical point of view, No 6 in this article : 'Can I afford to live by myself?' strikes us as being the most pertinent, especially with our estate agent's hat on. It's also worth discussing the following before you undertake viewings and put down a deposit:-
If you're buying a property together, be clear on the matter of tenants in common or joint tenants: this relates to how you own the property and who inherits the property should a partner die.
Joint tenants: must obtain equal shares of the property with the same deed, at the same time. This is a common choice among married couples and avoids probate. Should one spouse die, the remaining spouse automatically inherits the whole property.
Tenants in common: can own unequal shares of a property (75% v 25%, for example), and is useful if one partner is putting down a substantially larger deposit or will be paying a greater share of the mortgage. If a partner listed as a tenant in common dies, whoever is specified in their will inherits the share detailed (this can be a different person to the partner).
How will bills be divided up? This can be a prickly issue if one partner earns significantly more/less than the other. Set out all the running costs of owning/renting a property and discuss how each bill will be paid.
Be clear on references: When renting a property, your employment, tenant and credit history will be checked. If you're obtaining a mortgage, expect your credit history and outgoings to be analysed. This is the time to declare any skeletons in the closet, as sometimes even a missed credit card payment is enough to scupper a joint application.
If you're looking to move into your first home together and would like clear, sensible advice about co-habitation, talk to North West London estate agents London Residential.
Research revealed relationships can last eight years longer if you cohabit before walking down the aisle, but experts say there's still some important questions you need to ask before committing.