Have you thought about buying your first or second home but just can’t seem to afford it? Maybe you should consider co-buying it instead. It’s just as easy as sharing your Lincoln Logs was in kindergarten.

The biggest factor in co-buying is setting up the title properly. You can have a TIC (tenants in common) or a JTWROS (joint tenants with right of survivorship). If two married couples are buying together, then use “tenants by the entirety” or “community property.”

With a TIC, you and your co-buyer are allowed to own unequal interests (also called shares) in the property. Also, if one co-owner dies, that co-owner’s share is transferred to his or her beneficiaries. Tenancy in common (TIC) is by far the most common way for unrelated co-buyers to take title.

With a JTWROS, by contrast, you and your co-buyer have (in almost all U.S. states) no choice but to own equal interests in the property, 50/50. Upon the death of one joint tenant, the remaining owners gain the deceased owner’s interest in the property.

Don’t forget to address certain issues ahead of time and agree to terms in writing.

Who will pay ongoing expenses?

What percentage with each person own?

What is one co-owner later wants out?

  • How will you fairly assess the property’s value?
  • Does the selling co-owner have to accept the buyout offer?
  • What if the remaining co-owner can’t come up with sufficient funds to buy out the selling co-owner?

Co-buying a home is thinking outside of the box to reach your homeowner needs and wants. In today’s market, people are being as unconventional as ever and it is working.

Did you know winter is full of bargains for homebuyers? Savvy homebuyers and real estate investors who have long known that a deal made in winter is often hard to match in spring or summer.

Winter tends to dull (mostly unconsciously) a seller’s expectation of getting a top price. Clearly, it is seen to be the wrong time of year to sell. And it’s easy to understand why. All the freshness and color of spring and summer, and even fall, are absent. Gardens and greenery look dead, with no new growth. And surrounding the home prospective buyers can’t help noticing withered leaves, patchy and lifeless grass, damp and grubby pathways, and few, if any, flowers. The mood is dour; the situation has many negatives — or that’s how it can seem!

The winter season has fewer units on the market, and sellers tend to need to move from their property. You can use that to your advantage to get a favorable deal. Winter has fewer buyers in the market. Looking for a home in the winter can be inconvenient, and people are less likely to move. Families also tend to be on a September to June cycle because they are unwilling to move their children to a new town in the middle of the school year. Fewer buyers means less competition.

Lenders also usually have fewer loans to process and less paperwork to deal with (though this can change quickly if rates fluctuate). With lenders less hassled, you can expect a smoother process to get approved for a mortgage.

So, don’t let winter blues keep you from find a home. Get outside and catch a bargain!