Buying a home together.
- Define all the practicalities of the partnership and each partner’s commitment before making an offer.
- Discuss all the different scenarios of what might happen, from on partner getting married to someone else, to the unfortunate possibility of death and agree on the outcomes.
- Get a lawyer to draw up the contract between the parties, so there is no doubt about what is agreed to.
- Both parties must disclose any financial issues that could affect the partnership, as they will both have to go through the same financial assessments as individual buyers.
- When the property is found it is recommended that both parties split the cost of purchase and maintenance equally. If this is not possible, then they must keep careful track of their individual expenses.
- It is a good idea to get prequalified before house hunting. A prequalification service will give you an idea of your joint affordability and whether you have any financial issues on either of your credit records that need addressing before buying together.
If something happens and the co-buying comes to an end:
Remember that although buying a home with two salaries by way of a joint bond is sometimes the only viable way into the property market, ending a joint ownership from a bank’s perspective means that all parties to the agreement are liable for the full debt (jointly and severally). This is regardless of who actually pays the loan or what portion of the monthly installment each partner is paying or not paying.If the relationship ends, or if circumstances mean that only one person is paying the bond, the person paying will have to apply for a substitution to the bond from their bank. This means that the person will have to accept sole responsibility for the outstanding balance of the bond and be able to afford the bond in their own capacity.