This co-ownership guest post and images have been kindly provided by Peter Smith and

A lot of people today can’t afford to buy a house on their own. For many, the market is rather inaccessible, unpredictable and unworthy. Considering all these factors, the smartest thing you can do is go for co-ownership or joint ownership. This form of owning real estate offers equal rights of use to both (or more) proprietors.

Benefits of co-ownership

Joint ownership conveys tax benefits for both the wife and the husband. So if a wife and husband own a house with equal shares, the deductions available can be claimed by both of them. Make sure that when you buy the property, the paperwork is signed in joint names; proof of co-ownership should also be kept safe. If the property is bought with a loan, once again the loan must be made with the names of all parties involved.

Paying the loan should be done separately. Co-owners are advised to repay the loan individually, or at least using a joint account. Considering that co-owners usually have independent sources of income, the tax benefits usually depend on the joint ownership shares.

Settle on a beneficial co-owner’s agreement

The purpose of a co-owner’s agreement is to reflect the rights, contributions and obligations of each party involved. Because you never know what might go wrong, there has to be a dispute and mediation section included as well. A well-crafted agreement should also include a formula for co-owners in case they decide to exit the investment, share the profit and cash out on their contributions. Additional considerations might also consist of the right of a proprietor to live in that house.

All terms and conditions must be properly laid out. All parties involved must decide on how the property is shared, who will manage it, who is responsible for limits and management authority, as well as incurring costs that might arise along the way.

Get to know your co-owner before committing

Coownership blog_3Before taking the plunge and sharing a house with someone, you need to know your co-owner really well. Both sides must be willing to compromise to avoid arguments over the most trivial and insignificant things. Spend time with a potential co-owner, get to know them and establish a friendship. It is important to choose someone in whom you can trust. Find someone who understands what owning a house really entails.

Tenancy in common

Also known as TIC, tenancy in common is probably one of the most common types of concurrent property ownership. Tenants in common are called co-tenants, and each of the parties involved have an equal share of the property, whether we’re talking about an apartment building, house of loft. Co-tenants have all equal rights of use and possession, so whatever you choose to do with the property the other parties must agree. Even though proprietors have undivided rights – meaning that each can live in whichever part of the house without being restricted to a certain room of the house – a lot of people make choices before signing the contract. Some might want an upper floor, whereas others would rather keep the ground floor.

Consult a professional realtor before signing anything

It is important to consult with a professional realtor before signing a co-ownership agreement. Also, all the parties involved should bring their own lawyer to make sure everything is in order. This will help you steer clear or hidden costs and restrictions. A good relationship with your co-owner is equally important. Make sure the agreement adheres to all your requirements; this will keep you away from unexpected arguments and misunderstandings along the way.

Coownership blog_2There’s another benefit of co-ownership that only some people can understand. Since today’s real estate market is shaky and rather unpredictable, some people buy homes together to actually enjoy them alone. Have you ever dreamed of living in the countryside? Do you want to do it but not forever? Now you can co-buy a house where you can live in for six months per year, rather than 12. Make the switch after your period has come to an end. Rent the place during blank periods of time and share the profit. This way you can enjoy the perks of owning a property in an area you can’t afford to buy on your own.