Buying with friends or family? Here's what you need to know


As a first or second home buyer, you probably want a property that leaves your family room to grow, in a neighbourhood that you'd like to live in - with good schools, cool cafes and friendly neighbours. High house prices mean it can be tough to find that perfect place. 

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More and more Kiwis are solving that problem by buying together with friends or family and splitting all the costs. To help make sure buying together goes as smoothly as possible, check out our quick list of everything you need to know before you make a move. 

1. Set a solid foundation for the future

Buying and owning a home can be stressful. For that reason, before you look at a single property together you and your friend or family member need to make sure you're starting on the right foot. 

Discuss what you want in a home and make sure your relationship is on good footing so that there aren't disagreements later. If possible, rent a home together before you buy to make sure living together is going to work. 

2. Sign a co-ownership agreement

If all expectations and responsibilities are set out before you buy, there will be less confusion and cause for disagreement down the track. To do this, it's a great idea to have a conveyancer or a solicitor prepare a co-ownership agreement for you both to sign. 

This should include:

  • The amount you are each contributing to the deposit. 
  • How you're splitting mortgage and property costs going forward.
  • Who is responsible for maintenance and upkeep. 
  • What happens if one party can't make mortgage repayments. 
  • How you will resolve disputes. 
  • A framework for making decisions together around key issues like renovations. 
  • If the property is sold how any gains and losses will be divided. 

While it may seem overly serious, setting out the basics before you dive head first will make the process far less stressful. 

Outline your responsibilities at home

Most arguments between flatmates are over simple stuff - like the dishes, mowing the lawn or a mess left in common areas. Iron these problems out before you buy a property by discussing each other's responsibilities in full before you move in. 

Decide on whether you'll split all the work 50/50, or if each house member will be responsible for certain jobs. 

Know where you're at legally

When you together you're generally both responsible for the entire home and mortgage commitment. That means if one owner can't make repayments then you could be required to step up and cover them yourself. 

No matter how much you trust whoever you're buying with you should speak to a conveyancer or solicitor before you sign on the dotted line to discuss how you can limit your legal exposure. 

Prepare for the unexpected

To make sure you and your investment are safe you need to plan for everything together when buying with another person.

That means agreeing on what to do should you fall out and when one person may want to sell. It may also pay to have life insurance so that even if the worst happens you'll still be able to afford your home. Consider as many possible outcomes as you can and put measures in place to protect you, your relationship, and your property. 

If you're considering buying with a friend or family member it doesn't have to be stressful. Reach out to a Professionals Real Estate agent in your local area and we can help you put together a plan that works. 

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Topics: Buying
Appraisal - Block

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