Purchasing a home by pairing up with a stranger could be considered a “safer” property ownership option than opting in with a partner, family member or friend just to jump on the ladder, it’s been suggested.
Smart Property Investment recently reported on a new platform that is aiming to address Australia’s housing affordability issues by matching compatible strangers who are wanting to make a property investment and helping them go on to co-purchase a home.
For Mortgage Mates co-founder Jess Vesely, there are a number of benefits that come about when an individual enters a property purchase with a stranger that aren’t always top of mind when someone does venture on such a large investment decision with a friend, family member or partner.
When buying with a stranger, you are able to remove some of the emotional checks and balances that form part of a family discussion on home ownership, she said.
“If you are buying with a friend, partner or sibling, for example, you may feel unsure about requesting bank statements to confirm financial capability,” Ms Vesely offered.
“We find that almost every time, no legal arrangement is put in place that outlines what happens if one person wants to sell, is unable to repay or the relationship breaks down.”
According to Ms Vesely, often properties bought in these situations “will have been bought in a positive emotional space”.
“But, with this brings emotional ties,” she has warned.
Relationships do break down, and “without any agreement in place, it can get extremely messy”.
Instead, when embarking on a co-purchase agreement with a stranger, “these conversations commence at the beginning of the relationship”.
“You will go into the relationship knowing that legal agreements, bank details and credit scores are all normal, healthy steps on the way to co-owning a home together,” Ms Vesely said.
From her perspective, Mortgage Mates’ “unique” matching platform – and its reliance on pairing strangers who have similar wants and needs from property ownership – is able to “promote confidence and clarity in seeking independent legal advice due to the unique nature of your relationship with each other”.
She also highlighted the opportunities it can provide for individuals to speak freely about their housing needs and aspirations before purchasing together, and “without feeling like you need to compromise”.
According to the co-founder, some of the advantages of co-ownership include more flexibility in linking with a like-minded individual to enter the property market in less time and the taking on of less financial risk due to a more manageable mortgage size.
She also touted the benefits of co-ownership as putting less pressure on housing infrastructure and enabling younger Australians to have a better shot at buying property in areas they wish to live in without being pushed to the fringes of cities or regional locations.