Owning a home is a tricky business. It requires time and effort in searching for the right house, and then lots of money to make sure that you get one that is going to be a good investment down the line, instead of a money pit that is going to cause your more heartache than gain in the short and long term. For those looking in the Vancouver area, you know that the price of real estate as been moving up steadily, making owning a home a far away “someday” dream for many people hunting on every street for a “for sale” sign that falls within their price category. Since this is now a lot further away than they previously though, people are being forced to look into the idea of co-owning homes with families or friends, something that has definitely been done before, but not as often as you would think.
Co-owning a home is when you sign a lease or mortgage plan along with family or friends so that both of you are paying for the home, making it a more affordable for both parties. The catch is that cosigning on a home means that both parties can live in the home. While this is great for everyone involved in the sense that it means a roof over their head at a survivable price, it also means that there can often be strain on the relationship because of the fact that people are living in close quarters and have a hard time getting the time alone that they need.
Some split the time in the house by allowing Party A to live there full time for a while, and then switch so that Party B lives there for a while, too. This is a tricky situation, however, because one Part is looking for a place to stay when they are not allowed in the home. Often times, there are walls put up in the home or modifications done to ensure that everyone has their own space and time to themselves. If you are co-owning a home that is in the cheaper end of the market, making room for everyone can be hard and trying at times.
Typically, co-owning a home is done as a last resort, due to all of the potential problems that it causes, but as the market continues to climb and jump at an alarming rate, many families that need to live in the area are having no choice but to do so. The rest of the country is enjoying low rates for homes, meaning that more people are able to realize their life-long dream of owning a home. The only places in the country with high rates are Vancouver and Toronto.
As the world watches to see when the real estates prices in busy Vancouver finally start to fall, many who are stuck into looking for a place to live in the city are turning to rentals or apartments or condos, a thing that, while better than nothing, tends to be a money hole for those looking to stay in the city for several years. Owning a home is the best way to use your money when it comes to property, but rentals are the only option for those who are house hunting on a budget, unless co-owning is an option for everyone searching.
While neat, co-owning has it’s only array of problems that have been previously mentioned, but it also is something that isn’t totally orthodox. While it’s been done for years, it’s not something that is well known or recommended due to all of the potential problems that could come up when investing on something as big and life-long as a home together. That being said, it is looking like the only option for many families, which provides a good – but tricky – option for those who are hunting for a house.
Written by Eddie Yan.