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There was a time when every Englishman’s home, however modest, was his castle. Since the banking crisis, with its knock-on effect of mortgage drought and demands for huge first-time buyer deposits, those days are rapidly becoming a distant memory.

According to a recent survey by the Halifax, nearly half of those who described themselves as having a realistic plan to buy within the next three to five years said they were unable to put aside enough for a down payment.

So for the foreseeable future, many are resigned to renting.

“A generation of young people and young families are being locked out of the housing market without a hope of ever sharing in the asset wealth of the generation before.”
Adam Sampson, CEO, Shelter

But there is an alternative way to access the housing market, by buying with a friend. Buying with friends goes under a variety of names, co-buying, joint ownership or shared mortgage.

For first-time buyers, joint ownership can make financial sense, as long as it’s treated as a business deal with a pre-agreed exit strategy.

At a time when a lack of mortgages is stopping first-time buyers entering the market; joining forces can be a sensible way to ‘break the renting chain’. By buying with one or more friends, one can multiply borrowing power and multiply total budget (for anything from legal fees to decorating and renovating). However, for anyone considering co-buying, the importance of a transparent, open relationship is vital.

It goes without saying, that before entering a joint ownership agreement you need to be confident that you’ve found the right joint owner.

Start by chatting through the pros and cons of sharing a mortgage. Draw up a list of ‘what ifs’ and what you would if those circumstances arose. Be sure to discuss what happens when one, both or all of you want to move on. Once you’ve reached an agreement amongst yourselves, find a reliable solicitor like Fidler & Pepper to draw up a legally binding co-ownership contract (Deed of Trust).

What next? – So the financial opportunity is available. All you have to do is find your co-buyer.
But not everyone has friends who are able to join a group mortgage, so a site where like-minded people share their goals and aspirations is ideal. This is where Propertymates.co.uk comes in. Our aim is to help match co-buyers and property investors online.
Propertymates has guides to , co-renting (make sure that you can live together before you buy), deed of trust and much more to help you climb the property ladder with confidence.

There’s never been a time when it has been more obvious that co-buying is the answer.

Tips for co-buyers
Shop around for a mortgage look for deals specifically designed for joint ownership
Keep paperwork in order and make sure contracts are seen and signed by all.
Set up a joint bank account for mortgage and joint payments.
To avoid confusion, draw up an inventory of who owns what in the house.

Guest Blog by Propertymates – For more information see Propertymates.co.uk ‘Turning dreams of ownership into reality’

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