Buying a property with a friend - The Adult Bible

Buying a house with a friend – what to know

Buying a property is a hugely expensive ordeal, one that is likely to take years and years to save for. Buying together, however, means that friends who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to purchase a home by themselves can team up and pool their money together to invest into a property.

It can be so much fun living with a friend, but it’s also a huge decision and one not to be taken lightly. Here are the benefits and drawbacks to buying a property with a friend…

Benefits

  • Monthly expenses are halved, as it would be if you were renting – much cheaper than living alone
  • It means you can afford something slightly bigger and/or more expensive if you’re pooling both your finances together
  • It’s an investment, and a way to get onto the property ladder that may otherwise have taken you longer
  • Endless movie nights, and an on-site chef (unless that’s you)

Drawbacks

  • Both your credit scores will be needed to get the mortgage, so buy with someone that won’t bring down your score in the future – so someone trustworthy that you can rely on
  • Buying is a lot more serious than renting together, there’s not really a get out clause – or at least it’s not easy, nor cheap as both names will be on the mortgage (which means either selling the house, or re-mortgaging)
  • It’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself and your friendship. Research shows those considering buying a home with a friend expect to know them for between 3-5 years before joining forces to purchase a property. Interestingly those same participants only felt they would need to know a partner for 2-3 years before buying together
  • It’s a long-term decision, because in order to get a decent return on your money for the property it may mean keeping the house for more than a couple of years, which is a big commitment for friends

 

It’s worth remembering…

  • Legal responsibilities aren’t any different because you’re friends. Each person will be jointly liable for the property, the mortgage and any other finances incurred in the deal
  • As with anyone buying a property together, if one person defaults on the mortgage payments, the other is liable
  • Mutually agree and record everything in detail, from deposits to insurance, beforehand. This should include exactly who is going to do what, and what each person is going to be responsible for organising as well as house rules – for example, smoking areas if either person smokes
  • Have a plan before you purchase if either one of you wants out after the purchase, or if one of you can no longer afford to pay your share
  • You must be prepared to be open; this includes discussing salaries, bonuses, other financial commitments etc. However uncomfortable it may make you feel, it’s always better to be honest


For more information head to Really Moving.