The original story can be found here (https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/119399997/four-couples-buying-together-share-their-complex-coownership-contract-online) and highlights the benefits of co-owning with Mates in an unaffordable housing market:
‘In cities the world over communal living is undergoing a resurgence, and is being interpreted as both a return to past human forms of co-habitation, as well as a reaction to grossly mismanaged housing markets.
While house co-ownership in New Zealand usually involves a moneyed parent taking a stake in a place so their adult children can get on the property ladder, or people clubbing together to buy a rental, or own a bach, these four couples plan on co-ownership as co-inhabitants.
Multi-family households however are not common. Most couples who can afford to, do no live with others. Just 3 per cent or so of households in 2013 were two, three or more family households.
Buying together means an affordable home with insurance and maintenance bills shared, but the more people involved, the more scope there is for individual circumstances to disrupt ownership.
This is why a co-ownership agreement is needed.
The four couple’s agreement is a contract of love and realism.
All agree to act “reasonably”, and as the house is purchased with debt, and life is fraught with mishaps, they have agreed to establish a hardship fund into which each couple will put an equal amount of money to help pay the mortgage should any hit financial trouble.
There are clauses in the contract about who the couples can sell, or transfer, their share to, should they need to cash up.
The other couples must be offered the chance to buy them out first, and can veto any external buyer they don’t want.
Failure to come to an agreement can trigger a sale of the house, and everyone cashing out…’
This particular set up is focused on couples and makes some of the clauses in their co-ownership agreement more complex than if you are buying with one other person, however it also highlights just how specific it can be to your needs when owning a home.
As the piece states, the draft of the co-ownership is so important, and by going to our ‘What’s Next Page‘ to locate legal advice you can find various options to support you in defining your contract.
The benefit of living together, however, is that you get to share the opportunity to enjoy a community in your own home. It also means you can enjoy the benefits of you co-owners, such as celebrating the best cook in the house, or gardening together to grow your own vegetables.
The friends in New Zealand highlight the following as their golden rules and these are fully endorsed by Mortgage Mates:
* Enter all deals with your eyes open
* Keep your eyes on the long-term picture
* Develop a ‘plan B’ if it all falls apart
If you are interested in co-living, either as co-owners though Mortgage Mates, or as renters to begin with, there are some great websites and support options available to begin the process. An example of this is ‘The Community Facilitation Handbook‘ by Conscious Coliving which provides guidance on how to build a community within the home (https://www.consciouscoliving.com/the-community-facilitation-handbook/), using this alongside our co-ownership manual can help you take the next step to living with others and eventually owning a home.
Go to http://www.mortgagemates.com.au to find out more!