When you imagined yourself buying a home, did you think you would do it the most common way – on your own, or getting married and purchasing it with your spouse? If you have something entirely different in mind and plan on buying a house with a sibling, your parents, extended family or a group of your friends, you’re joining a rapidly growing group willing to embark on a significant financial obligation that involves sharing the financial and maintenance responsibilities of owning a home. If this is something that you’re considering, an attorney can help guide you through all the elements that a co-buyer agreement for a property includes.

There’s no doubt that purchasing a home with multiple buyers makes the process much more affordable for each of the parties involved. But there is more to consider when buying a property than the financial aspects, and an experienced attorney can walk you through the most concerning aspects. Here are just a few:

  • Taking title in the deed – When you purchase a home, you need to know how the title is to be prepared. Deeds describe who the owners of a property are, what the property is, how much it was sold for and whether there are any warranties or special conditions involved in the purchase. Married couples are the only type of buyers who are able to take title as a tenant by the entirety. For all other co-buyers, the only options are being tenants in common (which can have unequal shares) or joint tenants with rights of survivorship (in which co-owners have an equal interest and if one dies, the ownership gets split equally between all other surviving co-owners).  It’s important to know that tenants in common can have unequal shares and each have their own legal title, which means that each owner is also able to dissolve the tenancy in common and sell their share.
  • Responsibilities – Multiple owners may each have differing levels of interest in a property’s maintenance or level of responsibility to one another. A co-buyer agreement should include specific language regarding mortgage, tax and insurance payments, property maintenance expenses, and the process of pursuing potential sales.

There is no doubt that becoming a co-buyer has many potential advantages, but that does not mean that you should rush into it without the guidance of an experienced attorney. At Legalty, we provide an affordable way to get legal help with your housing issues. Contact us today to learn more.