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Buying a house is one of the most exciting milestones in a couple’s life. But it’s also unquestionably, one of the most stressful. Disclosing credit scores? Committing to mortgage payments? Paying for hidden electrical issues? Not exactly the stuff of romance novels. We checked in with acclaimed money coach Ashley Feinstein Gerstley (aka The Fiscal Femme) to learn eight essential things every couple should discuss before taking the plunge.

Related: 4 Things You Should Do for Your Partner Every Single Day

1. What are we willing to sacrifice to make this happen? 

Unless you’re absolutely loaded (in which case, cheers!), you’ll likely need to make some sacrifices to make your property-owning dreams a reality. Does this mean skipping monthly date nights? Settling for a neighborhood that wasn’t in your initial search? Eating rice and beans every night for the next three years? Get on the same page about the lifestyle concessions you’re willing to make, so nobody gets bitter later.

2. What are our non-negotiables? 

To avoid fights and meltdowns during your search, get to work establishing what you simply can’t live without: At least three bedrooms? At least two baths? A quiet road or great school district? Decide what you won’t compromise on, as well as anything that will be a major red flag. This is the fun part, folks — you’re making your literal dream home wish list!

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