Homeownership trend - buying with a friend
April 11, 2019 | Posted by: Tricia Graham
An interesting new homebuying trend emerging among millennials is home purchases that are completed with a friend. It’s a creative solution to the housing market given tough qualifying rules and high prices. Pooling your resources is a great way to take you from the fringes of homeownership to landing what you really want and getting a start on wealth building.
Here are a few of the things you’ll want to talk about before you get started:
- Detached, condo or something else? How many bedrooms/bathrooms and what amenities do you both want? Are you the fixer-upper types or do you want move-in ready?
- What can you both afford? Remember to factor in closing costs including lawyer’s fees. Put a budget together that includes property taxes, any condo fees, heat and hydro, internet, cable, anticipated maintenance costs, and household expenses.
Next, talk about how co-ownership will work, and consider getting legal advice and a legal agreement outlining roles and responsibilities, including:
- whether ownership is divided equally among the buyers, or by some other percentage based on what you bring to the purchase and ongoing costs;
- how you plan to divide and use the space within the home, and any mechanism for dealing with conflicts;
- how you are going to divide ongoing and one-off expenses;
- how you want to handle household chores, repairs and maintenance;
- what happens if one co-owner wants to sell their share for any reason? Will the other owner(s) have first right of refusal to buy their share? And how will you establish a fair market value for that share?
- what if one person is unable to afford to continue to pay his/her share of the mortgage for any reason?
Today many young millennials get their money working for them early through property partnerships with friends. A little pre-planning and you could be hosting your joint housewarming party!
Co-signing a mortgage: things to consider
It’s quite common for parents to co-sign loans for their children who have yet to build a strong enough income or credit history to buy a home. Grandparents and other close relatives are also helping when they can. This can certainly provide a critical helping hand, but it is an emotional decision so it’s very important to weigh all aspects of this request and the effect it could have on your own financial situation. Be sure you can afford to pay off the debt if the borrower defaults, and remember that this loan will appear on your credit report. If you yourself need to take out a loan in the near future, you may not want to cosign if it could affect your chance of approval. Additionally, review the mortgage paperwork and be sure you understand the terms fully before agreeing. If you have confidence in the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, co-signing can be a generous way for you to help that will be appreciated for years to come.