The current housing market and lending restrictions can make it very difficult to purchase a house on your own, particularly if you’re not a high income earner. A more affordable option can be to purchase as a couple or even with friends or family. If this is an option for you, there are some key points you need to consider beforehand.
Most commonly people buy as a couple, and this is usually straight forward, though we recommend seeking legal advice before you buy. There are different types of legal agreements for home ownership and a lawyer will advise on what best suits your situation. You may each be contributing different amounts to the purchase, or have children from a previous relationship.
A lawyer can advise you on the different types of title you can have on the property and whether you should have a contracting out/prenuptial agreement. You should also ensure your wills are up to date and that you consider life and mortgage protection insurance, so that if something happens to one of you, the other isn’t put under financial pressure.
Another option is to consider purchasing with friends or family members. This can be a little more complex, and there is a lot to consider:
- Will you be buying a property to live in, or rent out?
- Will you all be living in the property together?
- What happens if one of you loses your income?
- What arrangements will you put in place to cover the mortgage payments in different situations?
- What happens if one you decides to exit the arrangement?
We recommend you get clear on your goals and expectations first, so you can account for different scenarios and you know where each of you stands legally. Write your agreements down before you purchase together so there are no misunderstandings that could impact on your friendships or family relationships.
We recommend seeking legal advice early on to ensure that you have the appropriate status on the house title. There are options to consider such as a tenants-in-common agreement, where each person has separately transferable interests.
Discuss all the costs involved in home ownership, such as rates and maintenance, and plan your budget. Make sure that you all have appropriate insurance in place to cover your individual shares of the mortgage payments should something happen.
There is a lot to think about, but we can help you step-by-step through the process and advise you on your mortgage options so that you can achieve the best outcome for your scenario. Call us now to discuss your options.