Whether you're looking to buy your first home or help a loved one onto the property ladder, the prospect of getting the keys to a new home is an exciting one. However, with the cost of the average house rising to £231,185 in January 2020 and the number of first time buyers dropping over time, it can also seem daunting and difficult to know where to start.

Setting aside time to talk about your home-buying ambitions or how you may be able to help a family member is important, but it can be a tricky conversation to start. That's why we’ve partnered with Relate to provide you with valuable tips to help make those conversations easier to have. Whether you’d like to understand key jargon, to calculate a mortgage estimate or discuss being a guarantor, we’ve also provided you with the information and tools you’ll need to ensure you’re well equipped to have better conversations. 

Starting the conversation

Below you'll find some valuable tips from Relate, the leading relationship support charity, to help make M-word conversations easier for you to have.

6 tips to help you start conversations

1. Be honest and realistic about the sacrifices you can make.

If you’re buying as a couple, it might be that you’re both happy to give up holidays for a year a two, but resentment could build if one if you is still living a more frivolous lifestyle. Make a pact together, and stick to it.

2. Deal with the awkward issues early on.

As a couple, have a conversation about what you both earn and what percentage of the mortgage you are comfortable paying for. Discussing this kind of topic can be difficult but you can always acknowledge this by saying something like: “I know this is a bit awkward but…”

3. Don’t forget your finances in all the excitement!

Remember in the excitement of buying your first home that this will be a time of adjustment financially. Sit down as a couple, or with a trusted family member or friend, and create a budget which takes in all the costs.

4. Talk about your thoughts on furnishing or renovating your new home.

One person may want to buy everything brand new and straight away, whereas the other may be happy saving up and furnishing the house gradually or buying things second-hand. Having these discussions now will avoid arguments in the future and will help you to have a beautiful home you can both equally love!

5. Have a plan in mind before talking to parents.

If you’re considering asking parents for money or to be a guarantor and this hasn’t been broached before, draw up a plan for what money you need and in what form. For example, you may want to ask for a loan or a long-term investment that means they own part of the house. Showing you have a clear plan will help to reassure them that you have thought this through.

6. Give parents some time.

When you make the request to your parents, let them know that you realise this is a big decision and that you understand they may need time to think it over. This will avoid them feeling put on the spot.