There’s lots of talk about co-ownership in Canada these days – it’s one way of resolving the challenges of affordable housing and getting more people into a position of owning a home (or at least a portion of a home).
Here’s what you need to know about co-ownership and how it might affect you.
Co-ownership In A Nutshell
Co-ownership housing is a shared living arrangement where two or more people own and live in a home together. Co-owners may share living spaces like kitchens and living rooms, or the home may be divided into separate units. The co-owners are responsible for the home’s care and upkeep as well as some amenities and services. From a legal and practical perspective, the co-owners must confirm how the arrangement works and functions through a written agreement.
Advantages of Co-ownership
Co-ownership housing expands the options available to individuals and families and provides a range of benefits, including:
- Affordability: you can pool resources to buy a house, making homeownership more affordable. It also provides a way to build equity and the security that comes with owning your home
- Access to more neighbourhoods: you have more housing location options within your budget (for example, residential communities with predominantly single detached homes)
- More efficient use of housing stock: smaller households can maximize the space available in larger houses and heritage properties by co-owning them with others
- Community: enables groups of people to voluntarily create a community environment with facilities, indoor and outdoor common spaces and services that meet their needs
Is Co-Ownership for You?
While co-ownership is in the early stages here in Canada, it’s growing in popularity because of many challenges in accessing home ownership. One of the biggest challenges potential homeowners face is a lack of affordability. Sharing the cost with other income earners may be the best way to afford a home.
Also, consider this: you could purchase a ¼ share of a house in Toronto or Vancouver or Montreal and live there with three others, OR you could buy that ¼ share in an urban center and an additional percentage of a house in another location and spend your time living in different places throughout the year.
Many families could take advantage of co-ownership by continuing to have a primary housing destination but living in one or more locations throughout the year.
Co-ownership is not for everyone – it can be a significant lifestyle change that not everyone is ready for, and finding the right people to purchase a home with can be challenging. For many others, however, co-ownership is an excellent option for buyers with lower budgets to get some equity, even if it’s shared with others.
If you are thinking about co-ownership, contact me today, and we can start the conversation! I’m always happy to help.
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