NerdWallet: Can you co-buy a house with friends? Yes, and it can pay off.

by | Dec 20, 2022 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  Seven years ago, Phil Levin and his girlfriend, Kristen Berman, pondered a common question: Should we move in together? Levin assumed they’d take a predictable path and find a more affordable apartment outside of pricey San Francisco. But Berman, a behavioral scientist, shared her reservations about leaving their friend network – and some facts to back it up.

“All the behavioral science research shows that that’s one of the worst things you can do for your happiness,” Levin says.  Instead, the couple rented a Victorian-era mansion in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood and invited nine friends to move in. Today, they co-own a multiunit property in Oakland, California, called Radish, which houses 17 adults and two infants. It took some effort to find the right property and figure out finances. But the now-married couple couldn’t imagine designing their life — or raising their daughter — any other way. “Being able to have this extended family of ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ close by has been wonderful,” Levin says. Many co-buyers operate on a smaller scale. But no matter the size of your group, co-buying requires extra planning and paperwork. If you’re willing to get vulnerable about your finances and long-term goals, the payoff of companionship can be worth it. Read: ‘Good news for the housing market’: Mortgage rates edge downwards, providing relief to potential buyersKeep an open mind In the National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, a record-high 5% of first-time home buyers were “other household compositions” — that is, something different than single, married or coupled.  “It can be a great situation, and a way to enter the market that they wouldn’t be able to enter otherwise,” says Don Koonce, a real estate agent in Seattle who has helped dozens of co-buyers during his eight years in real estate.  Many co-buyers Koonce has worked with ar …

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