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Interest rates are the lowest they have ever been, however, many people are still finding it challenging to purchase a property on their own, especially the younger generation. If you have a family member or friend looking to enter the property market or eager to climb up the property ladder, the solution could lie in buying property with family and friends or utilising current equity in the family home or investment.

While there is always the chance of unforeseen issues with those close to you, there are also many benefits from teaming up with your loved ones to acquire a new property.


There is a better chance of home loan approval – Having two or more people on the home loan application can facilitate the process and increase the chances of being approved as two incomes are generally better than one.

Split expenses – Buying a property with someone else means you’re splitting all the costs, making it easier and more affordable.


Unpredictable circumstances – A fall out with a family or friend is not uncommon, so it is important to remember to separate business from pleasure and not let personal issues get in the way of your property ties.

Selling – Unforeseen events can have you or the other party/s wanting to sell up. As the process of selling can often be complicated or a lengthy one, you need to make sure that you have a strong relationship with the person you are buying with.

When entering into any type of financial agreement with family or friends, it’s wise to get a co-ownership agreement drafted by your solicitor to avoid any disputes. This agreement will outline any obstacles you may face such as who chooses tenants, property managers or what happens when one of you decides to sell. [Refer to our Mar – Apr issue]

If you have a family member or friend that is looking to purchase a property we are here to assist and offer advice.                          

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This is not a happy topic to write about, but one that is reality.

If you or someone you know has recently divorced or are going through the separation process (and you own property) then you are going to have to determine how to administer or divide your shared property investments, which more often than not will involve lawyers.

We understand that this process can be overwhelming and stressful.

During these times it is also important to note (from previous experience) that for any changes to occur to rental payment bank account details we must have written and signed instructions from all parties, which is part of our standard agency process.

If you are reading this article and you are the two who are still married, or if you are considering getting married we would encourage you to seek legal advice on a co-purchase or ownership agreement when buying a property with a partner as it can serve to protect both parties. It outlines who pays the bills, who is liable in the event of a relationship breakdown, and how one of the parties can sell their share of the property (if you even want that to be a possibility).

If you invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, even millions, you may want to make sure that you are protected no matter what. You don’t want to find out that you don’t have any claim to the property after the relationship has broken down and then lose all of the money you put into the investment.

When you decide to purchase property with someone else, be it a significant other, family member or a group of friends, you have the choice between a ‘Joint Tenancy’ or a ‘Tenancy in Common’. In a Joint Tenancy, each investor in the property has equal shares and equal responsibilities, regardless of how much they put towards the home deposit or how much they pay off the mortgage.

In the event of a separation that requires you to sell your investment, both parties receive an equal share of the profits (or are liable for an equal share of the losses). If you are married, this might be the best choice based on your shared finances.

If you have purchased a property through a Tenancy in Common, you may have uneven shares in the home. If you paid 70% of the deposit, you will be paying for 70% of the mortgage and the bills, and you will receive 70% of the profits. Your partner, on the other hand, will only receive 30% of the profits.

If you need to sell or if you find yourself in this situation, our team of experts are here to offer confidential value-added advice on the sale process as well as a free ‘no obligation’ appraisal (if required) to assist in listing the property for sale to achieve the best possible price.

We also recommend that you seek professional advice from your lawyer and accountant.

10 rental mistakes first time property investors make

The biggest mistake first time property investors make is not conducting a thorough background check on tenants. But that is not the only mistake. Here are nine others.

  1. Price          Rents are inflated, thereby reducing the number of potential tenants. By lowering the rental price by a small amount, a landlord can substantially increase the pool of potential tenants from which to select a reliable person to lease the property.
  2. Contract errors

The necessary contracts are incorrectly completed, names are spelt wrongly and the contract is not correctly witnessed. These errors can make the contract invalid.

  1. Verbal agreements

Landlords make verbal agreements on matters such as rental payments which are invalid if they are subsequently challenged by the tenant.

  1. Bonds

A common mistake is failing to properly lodge the bond money or failing to collect the right amount of bond money. Bond money is critical if the tenant breaks the lease or causes damage in the property.

  1. Friendships

The landlord develops a friendship with the tenants, which makes it difficult for them to take action if the tenant breaks the contract. Leasing a property is a commercial arrangement and landlords should take a professional approach to it.

  1. Maintenance problems

Maintenance problems have to be addressed quickly to ensure good tenants remain happy. Landlords who argue with tenants over maintenance problems may find it difficult to retain good tenants or maintain regular rental payments from their tenants.

  1. Termination

Landlords follow the wrong procedures when terminating the lease. Generally, not enough notice is given or the notice given is not in writing. There are set procedures that must take place if the landlord wishes to evict a tenant.

  1. Insurance

Not taking out the necessary insurance cover to protect the landlord if there are problems with the tenancy.

  1. Tax

Not fully claiming tax depreciation benefits which can be equivalent to 60 per cent of the total purchase price of the property.

Less time to save a deposit

Home buyers are taking less time to save a deposit for their first property as prices stagnate and incomes rise.

Owning that precious first home won’t be quite so easy if you live in Sydney or Melbourne, where it will take five years and eight months and five years respectively to save for a deposit.

“It’s no surprise that Sydney takes the longest,” she said.

“That’s really driven by property prices.”

But if you happen to live in Queensland or Tasmania, it will only take three years and seven months to lay down a deposit on a home in both states’ capitals, Brisbane and Hobart.

The study found first home buyers needed to save a $77,600 in the 2011/2012 financial year for a 20 per cent deposit on the median national house price of $423,000.

That was almost $3,000 less than the $80,500 needed the year before.

Almost 15,000 more buyers secured their first home in the 2011/2012 financial year than the previous year, a rise of 17 per cent.

“People are starting to think that it’s a good time to buy and feeling more comfortable about buying,” Ms Shortt said.

Those who live in the more expensive cities should look at buying in outer suburbs, she added.

“Every state has places where you can find cheaper property and that’s the most important factor for anyone thinking of buying a first home,” she said.

The Bankwest study used Australian Bureau of Statistics Census income data for couples aged 25 to 34 and median house prices to determine average times to save a 20 per cent deposit.

This information is courtesy of Nine News Finance