There's No "I" In Property: Co-Ownership And You

By Dominic Hefferan on Apr 03 2018

It used to be that the only time you'd buy a home with someone else was when the two of you were married. But it's becoming more and more common to see friends and family coming together to pool resources and make a purchase. It's a novel approach, but there's upsides and downsides to everything, so is it right for you?

The Upside

For first home buyers, buying a property together has several advantages: you could purchase a larger property than alone, the deposit should be easier to save, and bills and costs will naturally be easier to handle when split several ways. It also allows buyers to make their first step into the world of homeowners, which tends to make any following purchases easier.

The Downside

Any purchase is a big commitment, not just for money, but also time. With the right agent the process can be relatively stress-free, but there are still several big decisions to be made, such as location, possible renovations, and who gets what in the house. Also, while couples tend to have a shared bank account for joint purchases, this usually isn't true for friends and family, which can add another layer of complexity to the situation.

What Should You Do?

First and foremost, communicate. If you're thinking about co-ownership, sit down with everyone involved and talk about what everyone wants, and what they can offer. It might seem silly, but try to get the final agreement in writing. It might not be legally binding, but it can help to have a record of what people said, rather than just relying on memory. You should also have a plan should one or more person pull out halfway through, and what to do when it comes time to sell.

At the end of the day, if you're comfortable with co-ownership, and you trust the people you're with, it can be a great way to enter the property market, or to move into an area you might not otherwise reach. No matter what you're thinking of, you can always talk to us to see what's possible.

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