If you are a single person who is thinking of buying a home, but you don't want to live alone, you might be considering buying a home with a friend. Together, the two of you can probably afford to buy a nicer home than either of you could buy alone. Plus, you will have someone to share the yard work and other obligations! But co-buying a home with a friend is not for everyone. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask yourself these questions to ensure it's the right choice for you.
Will you both be staying in the area for at least a few years?
If one of you wants to sell and move on before the other, you might run into problems. You might have to buy your friend out, and you may struggle to hold the whole mortgage on your own. So, before you buy together, it's a good idea to ensure both of you plan on staying in the house for several years. You should both have stable jobs and be pretty confident your situation won't change anytime soon. The area you choose to live in will also affect the homes for sale.
Is your friend financially responsible?
If one of you does not pay, the other one will be responsible for the rest of the mortgage payment. The bank won't just take your half, and then go after your friend for non-payment. So, carefully consider your friend's financial history, before you agree to buy a home with them. If they are someone who makes late payments, constantly borrows money, or often complains about being broke, buying a home with them may lead to your financial ruin. On the other hand, if they always pay their bills on time and make sure they pay for needs before wants, they may be a good person to share a house with.
Do you live well together?
Ideally, you should live with this person in an apartment setting, before you buy a home together. You can get out of an apartment lease much more easily than you can get out of a mortgage, if you realize the two of you just are not compatible living together. If living together pre-purchase is not an option, then make sure you and your friend agree on basic living terms, such as how often guests are allowed to spend the night, who is going to do the cleaning, and whether or not food will be shared.
Buying a house with a friend can be a blessing or a terrible decision. It's all what you make of it -- and who you choose to move in with.