10 min read

The first-time homebuyer harmony test

Take our quiz to find out if the person you’re considering making a joint property purchase with is a good match.

There are no right or wrong answers in our joint property purchase quiz. If you’re not entirely sure of this person’s outlooks and preferences, simply base your responses on what your gut tells you about them.


Are you a good financial fit?

1. How similar are you in terms of discussing personal finances?

(A) We’re either both open about them, or equally private
(B) Generally have similar tendencies
(C) One of us tends to be more open than the other
(D) One is significantly more private about finances

2. Is one of you wealthier than the other?

(A) No, our incomes are pretty well-matched
(B) One of us is slightly better off, but not by much
(C) Our bank balances probably look a bit different
(D) Yes, one has much more money than the other


Do you share property principles?

3. Are you buying a place to live in long-term (five years plus), or is this short-term an investment (less than five years)?

(A) We’re of one mind on this
(B) We’re pretty much of the same opinion
(C) One may view it as more of an investment than the other
(D) Our objectives differ a lot

4. How long do you plan on keeping a property?

(A) We seem agreeably well-aligned on timescales
(B) May differ a little, but not too much
(C) Could have fairly different views about this
(D) One sees this as much longer-term than the other

5. What will happen if your property needs repairs or improvements?

(A) We’re united on how we’ll approach this
(B) We broadly want the same things
(C) One may take a somewhat more relaxed approach to this
(D) One of us could expect much more to be done than the other

6. What is your likely approach to household organisation, such as paying bills or getting the best deal?

(A) We’re in agreement on how we’ll handle this
(B) We’re relatively similar in how we’d like to approach this
(C) One of us will probably be less bothered about this
(D) One is definitely more controlling compared to the other


Will you be comfortable cohabiting?

7. How do you compare on cleanly-tidy vs. messily-relaxed?

(A) Our lifestyles are very similar, to be honest
(B) On the whole, we’re not that different
(C) One of us may be rather more laid back in this department
(D) Oops, one is definitely a clean freak compared to the other

8. Will you be throwing parties in your new shared home?

(A) Our appetites for partying (or not) are very much alike
(B) One of us is slightly more party-loving, but not much
(C) Suspect one of us is a bit less sociable than the other
(D) Hmm, one loves parties, but the other dislikes them

9. Do you plan to share your new home with furry friends?

(A) Happily our opinions about pets are in sync
(B) Our views differ slightly, but shouldn’t be a problem
(C) One of us is more of an animal-lover than the other
(D) Tricky – one adores them, the other can’t stand them

10. Will your joint home be a silent retreat or a tsunami of sound?

(A) We have very similar tolerances for noise levels
(B) One of us generally prefers a slightly quieter environment
(C) One of us makes a bit more noise than the other
(D) We differ greatly – one is definitely much more of a noise-maker

11. Will you be joined at the hip, or semi-detached housemates?

(A) Our interaction expectations seem well aligned
(B) It’s OK if one of us wants to be slightly less pally
(C) Suspect one of us may be more reserved
(D) One may expect much more connection than the other

12. Is one of you a lark, the other an owl?

(A) No, we have remarkably similar waking/sleeping routines
(B) May differ slightly, but shouldn’t be a problem
(C) Hmm, one isn’t really a morning person, but the other is
(D) Actually, we keep totally different hours

13. How do you compare on habits like smoking and drinking?

(A) Well-matched, or highly accommodating of differences
(B) Slight disparities won’t be an issue
(C) Might not totally see eye to eye
(D) Possibly at opposite ends of the spectrum

14. What’s your view on having friends over for an evening or overnight?

(A) Both of us are totally relaxed about this
(B) We discussed and agreed it, and although we think differently, we are confident it will be fine
(C) It’s not something that has come up
(D) I expect us to take different views but it’s both our houses so we will have to meet in the middle


How to score your compatibility

Count the number of A, B, C and D answers that you’ve given:

Mostly As: Perfect Purchasers

Congratulations. On the face of it, you’re a terrific match. You seem to be well-suited to purchase together because you appear to be compatible in most respects. You share many of the same views about financial matters and it looks as though you want the same things from a property. On top of this, your lifestyles seem a good match, which bodes well for living under the same roof. When you share such a big commitment with someone, open communication is key.

Your similarities suggest that this shouldn’t be too much hard work, but bear in mind it can be easy to ignore the need to talk when you’re living with someone you have so much in common with. Just make sure any small niggles get aired long before they turn into bigger issues – talking through the areas raised by this compatibility test can help.

Mostly Bs: Acceptable Associates

In terms of co-purchasing compatibility, things seem better than average for you two. People are rarely 100% matched but you certainly appear to have enough in common to warrant considering a joint property purchase. Despite minor differences, you seem well-matched in a lot of important areas; you share many of the same approaches to financial matters, you’re pretty much in tune when it comes to what you want from a jointly purchased property, and you’re fairly similar in terms of lifestyles.

It would definitely be advisable to talk through any minor differences before you go much further, though. You need to both go into this arrangement with your eyes open – it may help to discuss the themes included in this questionnaire.

Mostly Cs: Buyers Beware

Your answers appear to ring gentle alarm bells. Although you may not be complete opposites, you could have sufficient differences to recommend a degree of caution before leaping into a joint property purchase. For an arrangement such as this to flourish, it’s important to be well-matched in three critical dimensions; to approach financial matters in similar ways, to wish for the same kinds of things from a property, and have lifestyles that are in sync.

However, since you appear to be less suited in one or more of these areas, you might want to think again before you leap. If you really are both dead set on ploughing ahead together use the themes raised in this quiz to air out any potential grievances.

Mostly Ds: Careless sharers

Your answers suggest that you should show a high degree of caution before you enter into any joint property purchase. In many ways you appear to be like chalk and cheese, with differences in three key areas; you appear to have conflicting approaches when it comes to financial matters, you may expect different things from a jointly-acquired property. And your lifestyles could be uncomfortably conflicting.

Unless there is a very compelling reason for you to buy together, you might both be happier finding other co-purchasers, to be honest. It’s better to know this now than further down the line when it might be that much harder to uncouple. If you’re willing to discuss them, try talking through some of the themes raised in the test.

Dr. Glenn D. Wilson, with Jon M. Cousins, 2018


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Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decision. The opinions expressed within this blog are those of the author and not necessarily of OneFamily.