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.