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Why You & Your Spouse Must TALK Before You Begin the House Hunt

Real Estate Agent with Fridrich & Clark Realty LLC

He Wants a Weight Room; She Wants a Home Office


The Scene: Sunday PM in the basement of the 13th prospective house.

The Players: A couple (formerly charming) and their Realtor (long suffering.)




WIFE A weight room? Are you serious?

HUSBAND Yes, I’ve always wanted one.

WIFE  We don’t own any fitness equipment.

HUSBAND Yes we do, the treadmill in the basement.

WIFE The one from college? When was the last time you got near it?

HUSBAND If I had a comfortable room, I would use it.

WIFE Well, this basement is  barely big enough for my home office.  A weight room is out of the question!


Husband stomps off. Realtor studies the ceiling. Two children begin to cry.


 Needless to say, the house does not make the cut.


Could this sad scenario have been avoided?


Yes.  Ideally, buyers complete a questionnaire (mine is 5 pages)and/or have a substantial conversation  about their wants and needs with their Realtor before hoping in the car.  


 But in addition, I suggest that buyers complete the following exercise on their own. Silly? Perhaps.  But really, how drama can you tolerate ?


AN EXERCISE FOR BUYING A HOUSE TOGETHER (Full disclosure: I did not originate this exercise.  I would give credit to the author or instructor, but I can’t remember where I heard it!)

Individually, prepare three lists—do not look at your partner’s list until the exercise is completed!


My home must have the following features (include neighborhood requirements). This list should be short, 2-6 items.

It would be nice if my home had the following features. This list can be a bit longer.

In a perfect world, the following features would be ideal. Blue-sky thinking.


Get together with your partner and compare lists. Hmmm. Shocking isn’t it?


Prepare one list that includes your agreed upon wants and needs. This is the list you give to your Realtor.


Now go forth and purchase a home!













Virginia Cheezum
F. C. Tucker Company - Indianapolis, IN

Excellent, Elizabeth!  I can't tell you how many times this becomes a problem along the way!

Aug 13, 2012 02:43 AM
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com

Great idea a questionnaire.  You have hit on a hot button, in most cases you are selling a home to a couple (2 people) who do not always see the world through the same pair of glasses.

Aug 13, 2012 02:50 AM
Larry O'Sullivan
Sandy, UT

Elizabeth - some overheard discussions lead me to believe that some relationships are on shaky ground. My latest: room for pool table v. nursery playroom. I think it makes our job description in on-call shrink.

Aug 13, 2012 05:13 AM