Buying Property with a Relative or Friend: Why is it Becoming More Common and is Right for You?

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At a time when people’s finances are more stretched than ever, fewer and fewer people are able to buy property by themselves. Those wanting to free themselves from the rental market and get on the property ladder are now faced with tougher choices if they want to do so.

Many are finding their only option is to buy with someone else. More and more people are therefore purchasing property with friends and family members. If you don’t have enough money to put down for a deposit, banding together with someone else allows you to both own a share of a property and raise capital for future investments.

According to a recent survey by Furniture Choice, 38% of people would consider buying a property with a friend.

We’ll take you through the benefits and drawbacks of buying a property with a friend or relative, to help you decide whether this is something that could work for you.

Tips for buying with friends or family 

Advantages 

Joint ownership enables you to take advantage of co-ownership mortgage products. Having a higher combined income, you’ll be viewed more favourably by lenders and may be able to put down a larger deposit or buy a more valuable property. You’ll also be able to share the cost of the mortgage repayments.

Energy bills, council tax, insurance, repair fees and maintenance costs can also be split, potentially allowing for money saved to be spent elsewhere, such as in renovating the property and increasing its capital value.

If you are buying a home with a friend or family member, then chances are that you like them quite a lot! This therefore allows you to enjoy their company on a regular basis and helps avoid lonliness.

Drawbacks 

Although you may be sure of your life of your own situation and life goals, you cannot be certain of someone else’s. Buying a property with your partner allows for a greater level of stability as you will have similar plans going forward and will hopefully want to stay together. This is not always the case with a friend or family member. Plans may change or they meet someone and want to move in with their partner instead. You should therefore have a conversation with whoever you plan to buy a property with and be open and frank about your circumstances and where you’d like to be in the next 5 or so years and have a plan in place should circumstances change.

The process can also be more bureaucratic than buying alone. You will have to agree who owns what share of the property, how much each person will be financing the purchase and a process for resolving any disputes that might arise.

Problems can occur when it comes to selling/moving out. If one person wants to move and sell the house and the other doesn’t, the situation can become tricky. A potential solution is for one person to buy out the other through a remortgage.

Mortgage liability also means that you are both liable to pay the full mortgage. If your friend/family member cannot pay their share of the mortgage, you’ll be liable to pay their part. You should therefore only buy with someone you know will be reliable and you trust.

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