Married couples often have the upper hand when it comes to buying property. Thanks to combined incomes and higher spending power, coupling up can take you one step closer to purchasing your dream home.

However, there are some important differences in the home-buying process for couples and singles. With this in mind, global property portal Lamudi has provided a cheat sheet for newlyweds and other couples looking to enter the real estate market for the first time.

Open an investment account

Although properties are primarily quoted in cedis, the reality is that they have dollar valuations. Foreign exchange fluctuations make it all the more important to open investment accounts instead of keeping all your funds in a savings account. Investment instruments are great hedging tools against depreciation and a good way to save more towards buying your first home.

Look at both your finances

Combining your total household income is a great way to qualify for a mortgage. By pooling your combined income, you will be able to afford a larger down payment and get a better deal on your mortgage. Other private properties owned by you or your spouse could be included to increase your net worth.

Investigate a partnership agreement

For unmarried couples who are nevertheless looking to purchase a home together, a home buying partnership agreement could be worth your while. This serves as a kind of prenuptial agreement for your home and protects both parties if the relationship does not work out. The legally binding agreement will outline the ownership terms, who pays for expenses such as mortgage repayments and taxes, and how the property will be divided in the event of a break-up.

Track your finances

Once you have qualified for a mortgage, developing a good system for monitoring your combined finances is essential. The first step is to create a shared budget that you will both adhere to. Simple measures like applying for a joint bank account can simplify the process of tracking your finances. You might also consider using a budgeting app to stay organised. Above all, set a regular time to sit down together and review your goals and your financial position, and make sure you stay on track.