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7 things to consider before moving with your partner

What we'll cover

  • Questions to discuss with your partner

  • Life goals to factor into your choice

  • Different costs to consider

When you and your partner choose to move in together, picking the location you’ll call home is a major part of this next step in your relationship. Will you live in the city or suburbs ? Close to family or across the country?

You don’t have to map out the rest of your life, but before you decide where to live together, you should sketch out your major goals for the future. Whether you rent or buy , here are seven things to consider when deciding where you’ll both live.

1. Family and friends

You and your partner may have other people in your lives you enjoy living close to. How much time do you spend with your family and friends, and how important is it that you can drop in at a moment’s notice? How close is too close? Are you willing to compromise proximity to them in exchange for other housing wants and needs?

2. Kids

If you and your partner have (or plan to have) kids, it could also be a good time to think about how they may factor in. Do you plan on lots of sleepovers with grandma and grandpa? Will you rely on family members for childcare?

If children are in the picture, you might consider school zones and the type of environment where you want them to grow up. Maybe you want them to have easy access to culture like the arts and museums, or perhaps you foresee weekends exploring the great outdoors together as a family.

The associated costs of raising children should come into play, too. For example, can you afford to live in your chosen school district or do you need to budget for private school? You may also want to look into local daycare rates.

3. Career

Depending on your line of work, your flexibility on location might differ from your partner’s. Consider commute times, whether you’ll need a home office and how your earnings might impact where you can afford to live.

4. Community

Maybe you can’t imagine living far from a body of water, or you thrive on the buzz of a busy urban center. When weighing a city, suburbs or rural setting, think about transportation preferences and access to amenities, including entertainment, dining and shopping. The community feel and neighborhood vibe could have a big impact on your happiness with the location.

When you search for a home, scope out the surrounding area to see if it'll support your lifestyle.

5. Hobbies

Your hobbies and favorite pastimes can have an influence, too. Will you have a backyard for entertaining friends? Are there affordable local gyms? When you search for a home , scope out the surrounding area to see if it'll support your lifestyle.

6. Weather

Don’t downplay the weather. Are you okay with shoveling snow or do you need more days of sunshine? Think about how climate may affect your wallet. Insurance requirements (such as flood insurance), maintenance and utilities can all vary based on the climate where you live.

7. Affordability

Of course, your budget and financial goals can have a major impact on where you decide to live. If you buy a home, you’ll want to get the best mortgage rate and term possible. Ally Home offers several loan types and term lengths to suit your needs.

In addition to average rents and home prices in the area, make sure you factor in other costs of living including your day-to-day expenses, like groceries, restaurants and entertainment. If you’re going to buy a home, along with your monthly mortgage payment, you’ll also be paying for property taxes, homeowners’ insurance and for maintenance and repairs. Our affordability calculator can help you get started on your homebuying budget.

Find your happy place

Remember, where you decide to live doesn’t have to be set in stone. As they say, life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans, so the location you choose may change down the line. Wherever you decide to call home, you’ll do so together.

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