With the romance of Valentine’s Day still in the air, many may be feeling the romantic urge to take the plunge and shack up with a loved one, but property co-ownership is a serious business and getting it wrong can have long-lasting repercussions. Certainly, romantic reasons aside, co-purchasing a property can be a great way to improve your buying power and reduce the burden of debt repayments. It also enables you to split other costs such as rates, water and utilities.
Whether it’s young love or simply your first transaction together, when it comes to purchasing with a partner, it pays to proceed with caution and avoid letting your heart play tricks with your head! With that in mind, we’ve compiled a range of tips for successful co-ownership, that won’t leave you heartbroken – or broke.
You might prefer to avoid tough conversations but successful relationships and successful property transactions are built on communication and honesty. Before diving into anything, discuss your wants, needs, fears and budgets and try to keep emotions at bay.
Put it in writing
It might seem hard to believe now, but relationships can suffer and circumstances can change. No matter how much you love or trust your purchasing partner, preparing a formal property co-ownership agreement and correct legal documentation is essential. A co-ownership agreement should include each owner’s rights, obligations and contributions as well as a plan should one or both of the co-owners wish to exit the investment.
Structure your property co-ownership correctly
There are two main options for joint ownership. As ‘Tenants in Common’, each party owns an agreed share of the property and should one party die, they can bestow their interest to beneficiaries of their choosing. This differs to ‘Joint Tenants’, where if one party dies, their share is transmitted automatically to the remaining owner.
Seek professional advice
To make sure you set about your property co-ownership agreement correctly and select the best loan arrangements to suit and protect your best interests, be sure to engage the assistance of professionals, including legal advice – and a mortgage broker, of course.