Joint Homeownership Tips

by Lili Patch 04/07/2021

Image by Iakov Filimonov from Shutterstock

You may be looking for ways to make the transition into homeownership a little more affordable or perhaps you dream of owning a vacation home. In these cases, combining resources with a close friend or relative may be a good option. Working together can provide you with more buying power and lower monthly payments but be sure you’re prepared to share this major financial investment before you make a final decision. 

Consider these points before moving forward with a joint homeownership arrangement:

Mortgage application: One of the toughest parts of co-buying a house is determining how to handle financing. Before you begin your property search, discuss who will apply for the mortgage. If you opt to apply jointly, understand that all applicants will have to provide credit history as part of the process.

Property ownership agreement: It’s a good practice to hire a lawyer to work with you on a property ownership agreement. The agreement should outline details like ownership percentages, how the mortgage payments and maintenance tasks will be divided and what happens if you want to refinance or sell the property. Establishing a property ownership agreement at the outset prepares you to more easily resolve issues or make important decisions about your property as time passes.

Form of ownership: The form of ownership you chose will have a significant impact on your legal right to the property. It is advisable that you choose a type of ownership that fits your relationship. Some of the options that you can consider are:

  • Joint tenancy with right survivorship: This option is perfect for longtime partners. If one partner passes away, their share is awarded to the other partner.

  • Tenancy in common: This option allows a party to inherit the ownership of a property from another individual. In this case, when a partner passes away, their share will go to their heir while their co-tenant retains their percentage of the property. A challenge with this option is that the heir may not want to share a property with the original partner and could force a sale.

Co-buying a home can be an excellent opportunity and a great arrangement. However, it is essential that you consider the pros and cons of the agreement before making a final decision. Consult with your real estate agent for information about co-ownership and your local housing market.

About the Author
Author

Lili Patch

Radio Personality turned Realtor; I welcome the opportunity to turn house selling and house hunting into a fun and educated experience. House buying should feel like you're shopping with a friend, and I will keep you in the loop the entire time so you will not be wondering what you just signed or what happens next. It's that seamless, and we may even have lunch or dinner. I do this because when I started my real estate journey on the east coast, buying my first condo at the age of 18, I was clueless. I wished I had someone who had made that a stress free transaction- but it wasn't, and thats how I got the Real Estate bug. Let's take a step back first though to my first "job", I studied communications and entered the broadcasting industry. Through the years I purchased some more properties, and felt there was a gap that needed to be filled in the Real Estate profession. I set the bar very high on skill set & customer service. I have Real Estate Licenses in 4 states, which means I have more education, and training than most agents. My level of knowledge, strategy and experience is what sets me apart. I know how important being an astute negotiator is, being relentless, and answering the phone when it rings. I have earned certifications as a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), a Certified Home Marketing specialist (CHMS), and a Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA).

Meeting with people and traveling both east coast and west coast has given me a broad appreciation of the different laws, protections, and scenario's you encounter in real estate. Having the benefit of my communication background coupled with the vast knowledge of multi-state experience has been the backbone of my success.