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What to Consider When Purchasing Real Estate with a Friend Tag: co-ownership

In this day and age, owning property can feel like an impossible goal. On top of the down payment for your new home, you’ll have to consider the cost of the mortgage, maintenance, repairs, and more mundane things like decorating and finding the furniture you love.

When you ask the questions, the answers might lead you to consider making your real-estate purchase with a friend, relative, or someone else who’s in the same situation as you.

But how do you go about buying a property with someone else? As a co-owner, how do you protect your investment? What do you need to consider when drawing up a co-ownership arrangement?

Read on to learn the answers to these questions and why you may want to consider an arrangement like this.

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Tips For First Time Home Buyers in BC Tag: co-ownership

An agent going over documents with a young woman

Buying a home can be stressful even for seasoned property owners. Purchasing your first home can be downright anxiety-inducing when you don't know where to start. I've met plenty of first-time buyers who were full of questions: Who do I contact first? What do I need to have ready? Can I even do this?

Trust a couple of real estate agents when we say: You can do it. Buying a home is a big deal, but like any other large project, it can be broken down into manageable chunks. Even if it turns out you can't purchase just yet — maybe you need to save up a bit more than you thought, or pay off some debt — you can put yourself in a position to be ready to go as soon as you have what you need.

I've taken the most common advice and answers we've given to first time home buyers in Victoria, and put them together into this series of tips. Whether you just need an idea of how the home buying process works, or want to get started right away, this should be a good springboard to get you going. If you have more detailed questions, feel free to contact us, and David and I will be happy to answer them.

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Suite-ing A Home In Victoria Tag: co-ownership

Often known as "in-law suites" or "granny suites", secondary suites have long been used to house family members in an independent space that's still close at hand. A simple one-bedroom suite can be comfortable and private accommodation for teenagers, university students, or seniors. Aside from benefiting family, secondary suites can provide additional income in the form of rentals, or be converted into a home office or business.

So how do you know if adding a suite to your property is the right move, and how do you get started?

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Renting To Your Kids Tag: co-ownership

A photo of a finished laneway house next to several more under development in Vancouver. Photo by Matthew Blackett, feat. by Spacing Magazine on Flickr.

A couple of months ago I posted an entry addressing the benefits and complications of co-owning a home with a friend. While most of those tips also apply to family members entering co-ownership, they don't address the particular nuances of renting to family, especially when sharing the same home.

Renting to relatives can be a great way to help provide for them if you have the space and the funds. You know them personally and have an idea of how they'll take care of your property. But there are rules to be aware of when you take on the role of landlord, even if it's to your kids or a parent.

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Co-Ownership: Home Buying With A Friend Tag: co-ownership

Two young hands with chipped nail polish locked in a pinky swear in front of a brick wall.

In today's competitive west coast real estate market, many solo young adults and students are having difficulty getting the funds for a down payment on a home, forcing them to rent or otherwise settle for less. Sometimes parents won't or can't assist their children with co-signs or payments. Sometimes those in casual relationships don't like the idea of sharing property value with someone they might not be together with in a few years.

Whatever the reason, more and more people are considering co-buying with good friends or family members. Unlike co-operatives, where buyers purchase shares in a corporation that owns the building, co-ownership lets buyers purchase a percentage of the property title and become "owners in common" of the same home.

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