Faced with high (and still climbing) interest rates and a housing market that just won’t quit, Canadians are getting creative in their pursuit of the homeownership dream. Some are simply scaling down, setting their sights on a smaller home, while others, who are able and willing, are uprooting their lives and moving to a different city or even province to get into the market. Those unwilling to compromise on location or size are choosing to rent out part of their home. But there’s another creative solution that seems to be gaining in popularity and that is purchasing a home as a group, either made up of friends, family, or business partners, all with the goal of breaking into the ever-competitive Canadian housing market.
While purchasing a home with a friend, family member, or partner can certainly help make homeownership more attainable, there are several potential concerns that should be carefully considered before making such a decision. The most important? Where do you find a potential co-owner?
Consider friends and family members: One of the best places to start when looking for a trustworthy co-owner is with your own network of friends and family members. These are people who you already know and trust, and who may be interested in a co-ownership arrangement with you.
Get to know potential co-owners: Before entering a co-ownership arrangement with someone, it’s important to get to know them well. This can involve spending time together, discussing your goals and plans, and getting a sense of their financial situation and reliability.
Check references: If you’re considering a co-ownership arrangement with someone you don’t know well, it’s a good idea to check their references. This can involve speaking with people who have worked with them in the past, or who know them well, to get a sense of their trustworthiness and reliability.
Have open and honest communication: Open and honest communication is key when it comes to finding a trustworthy co-owner. Make sure to discuss your concerns and expectations openly, and to listen carefully to what the other person has to say.
It is important to have a clear understanding of each party’s financial situation and their ability to contribute to the mortgage and expenses that are associated with homeownership. This includes not just short-term costs, but what their long-term financial goals are. These can have a significant impact on the success of the venture. For example, what will the course of action be if one party wants to sell early?
It’s not just the financial situation that can cause issues, how conflicts will be resolved, how maintenance on the property will be carried out, or even how common spaces will be used need to be clearly outlined and agreed to. Each party’s rights and responsibilities are all crucial to this form of co-ownership and these should be worked out in a legal document called a co-ownership agreement.
In the reality of today’s tough real estate market, co-ownership can be a great way in, whether purchasing a home or even starting or adding to a real-estate portfolio. However, it is important to carefully consider all the potential concerns and challenges associated with this arrangement and to take steps to address these concerns prior to making such a decision. If this is something you want to explore, let’s have a conversation to make sure there aren’t any surprises, and you know how to navigate this kind of arrangement.