The pros and cons of co-owning a property

Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:16

The price range for property in various areas in Australia could be painting a grim image for people who are looking to own a home, but this is in no way stopping Aussies from finding alternative ways to fund their dreams of owning property. Co-owning property could be the next big thing. These are the pros and cons that you need to keep in mind before taking on this venture.

What does it mean to co-own property?

Simply put, co-owning property is when you partner up with two or more people to pool together finances to purchase a home. This could be an affordable way in which people can get a deposit for a home, increase their borrowing power, and pay off their mortgage sooner. This does come with some upfront benefits as listed, but it is also a financial decision that needs to be carefully considered. People who are considering co-owning property need to weigh the pros and cons of this option.

Pros

One of the main upfront advantages of co-owning is that you will be able to split the cost of owning a home, which means less financial strain for each person involved. It also means that you have more finances to create a budget that can act as a buffer against major house expenses such as stamp duty, renovations, legal fees, and more. The additional benefits of co-owning are:

  • The cost of owning a home is decreased. With more than one income contributing to a mortgage this means that you will borrow less than what you would have if you ventured on your own.
  • You can reduce the mortgage term. Depending on the number of people involved you can reduce the number of years you will be owing on your mortgage.
  • Increase your borrowing power. You will be able to borrower a higher amount compared to doing it alone.
  • It can get you on the property market. This could be an entry point on the property ladder without straining your finances.

Cons

As much as co-owning property can give you a boost on getting a foot on the property ladder it does come with its own risks. Since this is a financial agreement that will be entered by more than one person, it is vital that you partner with someone who has a good credit report and is responsible when it comes to paying off loans. A few risks that you need to consider is:

  • You could be responsible for paying the loan in full. Should your partner not pay their share of the monthly repayments of your mortgage, or if they pass on you will full responsibility for the loan.
  • Your credit rating could be affected. If one of the party's defaults on the mortgage repayments it could affect everyone's credit rating.
  • Disputes could arise. There could be disputes on when to sell the house, splitting property expenses, someone wants to move out the property and managing mortgage repayments to list a few.

Other considerations

Co-owning a property is a huge financial responsibility that anyone can take on. Therefore, it helps to have a legal contract in place known as a co-ownership agreement that can ensure that everything pertaining to the property is taken care of. Such agreements can also set out each person's rights and obligations when it comes to the property. It is vital that you consider all the costs that come with owning a property before venturing into it.

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