28 Feb The pros and cons of co-buying a property with friends
Many young people are finding getting on the property ladder problematic, but there is a possible solution: buy with friends. It’s not such a far stretch from the rented house-sharing that takes place. What are the pros and cons?
The obvious one is that you get a foot on the property ladder at a reduced cost, and you are paying towards your own home for the future rather than paying rent. If you are all going into it with the same deposit and agree on the same share of repayments every month, it is much easier to manage. Nowadays, mortgage companies provide mortgages specifically for this type of arrangement, although you still need to ensure you fully understand all the terms. Your home is at risk if you don’t keep up repayments. You can also split the other costs involved. If you are buying as a group, you will no doubt be looking for cheap conveyancing, so look around for companies that do this.
Friends do fall out and circumstances change, so get your exit strategy sorted out right from the start. Agree how you will split the proceeds when you sell and agree how you will split the repayments. If one party wants to sell before the others, you may be responsible for buying them out and all the costs that go with that.
You may find that you just can’t live with the people with whom you buy; it’s very different living with someone. Depending on your agreement, you might be able to rent your part out so you can live elsewhere. Don’t fall into the trap that doing everything on the cheap is the best way, even if your co-buyers want to. Make sure you use reputable conveyancers. No one wants to get caught out, so check out websites such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/conveyancing-for-99-the-scam-of-cheap-conveyancing-289 for details of the difference between quotes and estimates.
You should make sure that everything is legally drawn up and keep accurate records of who has paid for what and when. Sort out the house rules early on, including house guests, partners and so on. Be open and honest with each other about what you want and how long you intend to own the property and plan for the future.