Should we move into my place or find a new place together?

Should we move into my place or find a new place together?

My boyfriend and I are talking about moving in together. I’ve scrimped and saved to buy an apartment and he has no savings. Should we move into my place or should we go somewhere new to create a life together? It’s more practical and it’ll be cheaper if we stay in my place but would it be better for the relationship if we move to a new place? Kitty

The romantic option, of course, is to say, bugger the risks, we’re in love, let’s just jump in and hope for the best. So, you’d move him into your place, tell him the rent costs X per month and put it in writing. You can always discuss sharing the mortgage down the track if and when things become more serious and with any luck, things will work out and you’ll live happily ever after.
Then there’s the smarter, warier option – protecting yourself and your assets. How do discussions about a long-term future with each other pan out? Do you agree that you’re both in it for the long haul and want the same things? Or do these chats pan out in a vague ‘maybe-someday’ way? If it’s the latter but you’re both still keen to test the waters and live together, find a new place together and rent yours out. I know it’s a hassle, but it’ll allow the relationship to breathe and progress without the pressure of whether he should pay rent, or instantly get dibs on a mortgage that by rights, you probably feel a little territorial about. After all, you worked your butt off for what you have and under Australia’s defacto laws, if you cohabited for two years under your roof then broke up, he’d be entitled to half of it. Of course, this is the last thing you want to be contemplating when you’re madly in love with someone and cocooned in dreamy thoughts about making way for his toothbrush in the bathroom and waking up in the same bed each day. But any hard-nosed lawyer would advise you to consider it.
I’m also going to open this one up to the floor and ask readers to comment with their advice. If you’ve been in this position, what did you do? Let’s help Kitty out, RC readers.
Love, reality chick

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  1. Dawn 8 years ago

    It’s not only the money/ownership issue that might come up if you move into your place. There’s also the familiarity factor. You probably have the place set up the way you like, and it might be hard to adjust to change if he wants something different. I made that mistake and it was hard to go from it being “my” place to “our” place.

    Moving into a new place together lets you both start out on equal footing.

  2. Kitty 10 years ago

    Thanks for all your advice girls – really gives me something to think about. We clearly need to have a few more big talks covering the difficult issues before we take a huge leap like this.

  3. Lee 10 years ago

    I’ve been in this situation – I was the one with a flat, and he moved in without a bean. Originally it started off with him paying rent, and a few years into our relationship we sat down and had one of those talks about the ‘future’. We looked at the mortgage and decided to split it and bills equally. We’re now married with kids and what’s mine is his anyway. It worked out for us and didn’t seem to cause any problems or I don’t think he ever felt emasculated by the fact that the flat was mine first. Just my experience. I know other women who have made it very clear to their partners that they will take from a relationship what they brought into it – getting legal docs etc – seems unromantic but I guess when you have worked hard for something you don’t want to have to start over if the shit hits the fan and they walk away with half of your property.

  4. JMW 10 years ago

    I agree with Lola, better to move out and start on an equal footing. Moving the boyfriend into your place when he doesn’t have assets of his own – he may be cool with it on the surface but I think it sets up an inequality right off the bat and that conversation about him paying rent would be so awkward… ick.
    Lola I don’t think they’re going to buy together but more to rent together. As you say way too premature to buy yet!
    Good luck Kitty.

  5. Author
    reality chick 10 years ago

    Fantastic advice Lola, thanks very much X

  6. Lola 10 years ago

    Hehehehe, money matters end up being part of how you relate…

    A bit about my own history, in another country (Argentina) with different laws, but the philosophy behind the situation is the same: I bought a flat using my own funds, and money I inherited from my father. When the time came to sign the title of ownership, the conveyancer (a smart and capable lady who was entirely on MY side), insisted that WHO supplied the funds to buy the flat and HOW those funds were used be spelled out in full in the title of ownership. Result: husband was cool with that, but marriage headed for Splitville seven months after (and not only because of the financial arrangements to buy the flat; there was heaps more that doesn’t really apply here).

    Australian reality: this is a far more egalitarian society than Argentinean society, and de facto laws seem to reflect that very fact. Of course, people get taken to the cleaner’s by their soon-to-be exes on a regular basis, but what happens when you break up with your de facto is exactly what RC said.

    We know the problems, let’s discuss solutions:
    a) Staying in the current arrangement may become a source of anxiety for you, Kitty, and a dent in your boyfriend’s pride (perhaps not, but men tend to feel that they need to HAVE MORE FINANCIAL RESOURCES THAN WOMEN);
    b) Buying property the two of you RIGHT NOW strikes me as a totally off-the-wall idea… Kitty, you need to find out how your beloved manages money (if he’s a big spender, if he’s too thrifty, whatever). Not to mention how you get on when it comes to other aspects of the relationship (eg. my above mentioned ex didn’t want to have kids, and that was a deal breaker, together his manipulative ways).
    c) RC’s solution: renting a place between the two of you is just the way to go. Once you feel in your heart and soul that your beloved and you are together for the long haul, buy your nest. My caveat here would be: never sell your property unless there’s a very good reason for it. Borrow against it if you want, or just continue renting it out (I know tenants can be a hassle, but get yourself a property manager to deal with them).

    When you’re sure of your feelings, as well as of his, and you find out how well you get on, you can even start saving for a deposit, and that would free up your property entirely. I’m no finance expert, but I know how finances operate at a deep emotional level. Get some counselling if need be (financial and psychological), but if I were in your shoes, I would never go in for the “let’s share my flat” kind of arrangement. You’ll have to tell your beau to give you x dollars for the rent (which can be a bit embarrassing), whereas if you become renters together, you’ll be 50/50. Successful relationships usually start on an equal footing.

    Sorry if I rewrote the Bible, but I know what a hassle finances can be in a relationship.
    Wishing you all the best, Lola


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