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Buying property with a family member

chocolateYou may be happy to share some chocolate (maybe!) or a facebook post, but have you thought about sharing property ownership?

By buying a property with a family member, you will only need to save half a deposit, pay half the mortgage and cover only half of the bills. It can sound like a good idea, right?

Property co-ownership can be a great way to get a foot in the door at a reduced cost, but it can bring added complications.

Should you wish to go down this path, here are things to consider.

Decide on the bigger picture

Make sure you understand each other’s reasons for buying, the goals you have for owning a property and any timeframes around selling. It’s obviously going to be a lot easier if you have similar objectives in mind.

Write it down!

Have a legal ‘co-ownership’ agreement prepared that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each person. It should also describe how co-owners can exit the investment and include a formula to calculate the ‘buy-out’ price upon exit.

You should consider:

  • How do we determine fair market value if one person wants to sell?
  • What is the process for buying out your partner?
  • What if one person decides they want to use their share of the property as an investment?
  • How do we agree when the time is right to refinance?

Whilst you enter the agreement not expecting any disagreements, it’s important to agree how they will be handled before they arise. A mediation clause is also a good idea to help you work through any issues.

Understand your finance options and how the purchase will affect your future borrowing (as an individual)

You want to consider how your loan(s) should be structured. Co-ownership of property is more complex than a typical individual owner-occupier or investor purchase, so you need to ensure that you choose a solution that is right for everyone.

You also need to be aware of what will happen if one person makes late loan repayments, or stops making repayments altogether – the responsibility may fall to you.

Seek advice

Structure your lending to be as flexible as possible to consider future changes in personal or financial circumstances.


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