Thinking of sharing a home? It's like dating!

In so many ways, vetting someone concerning the possibility of sharing a home with them is very like dating.

Now we must stress at the outset, you may not, of course, be choosing either to a) share a home with someone who is your partner or b) share a home with a complete stranger. Like many, you may well be choosing to share buying a home with a friend, a family member or pehaps a work colleague. 

But we've chosen dating as a comparison not least because, according to some forecasts, more than 50% of couples will meet online by 2031. And the kind of details potential online daters sift through when considering a partner are not dissimilar to those which potential mortgage buddies can add to their profiles on Share a Mortgage's platform!

At the beginning of the process, whether joint home buying or dating, it can be a highly emotionally charged experience with the possibility of great highs and lows and you'll have various matters to think over.

Do you have things in common?

This is the most basic - and essential - condition. If you're a lover of quiet and indoor pursuits, you'll be less likely to want to hook up with someone who likes extreme sports and BASE jumping, for example, as a partner! Similarly if you're a 24 hour party person with a love of hard techno, you're normally better off not looking to share buying a home with someone who likes to be tucked up in bed by 8pm!

Do you feel positive when you think of the other person?

Pretty obviously if you don't and you're dating, you should reconsider, things can only get hellish...! It's the same with buying a home with someone. You'll need to feel positive about each other so you're resilient for when the challenges come, which you can expect in a normal life. A larger-than-expected landline phone bill is something to be discussed without falling out, ideally.

Is the other person financially sound?

Incredibly important, this one. Although danger is exciting in theory, instability saps the morale. So whether you're dating or thinking of buying a home together, you'll want to find out if the other person is neither a compulsive gambler nor a blue riband spendthrift. Although when it comes to buying a home with someone, if you're using a mortgage, lenders' checks these days are likely to detect financial instability well in advance of granting any mortgage. It serves all potential joint home buyers well, with this in mind, to keep a careful on your credit reports and make efforts to improve your credit rating if this is needed...

Is the other person (an active) criminal?!

This one's once again highly important for obvious reasons and, like the previous paragraph, there are more checks and balances when it comes to planning to share a home. If you're going to use a joint mortgage, lenders are likely to check for criminal records and, if these are found, they're unlikely to lend. Unfortunately when it comes to dating, some people are highly skilled at concealment and lying...

Do you jointly have a plan?

With dating, this might be anything from 'let's date lightly for a while' to 'let's get hitched for life and bring up children. Whatever it turns out to be, you're better off if you have a joint plan from the outset, regardless of how things pan out.

When it comes to sharing the buying of a home, it's important to realise that you don't have to see the plan as 'forever'. It's perfectly reasonable, for example, to have a joint plan such as to buy a home together and agree to live in it long enough not to have to pay an early repayment charge if you choose to sell up. You may plan on selling up should property prices rise in your favour. The main point is to have a plan to start with.

We recommend you go further and draw up a robust Deed of Trust to start with. That way you both agree how things are going to be conducted on paper and in a legally binding way which protects all individual parties if the unexpected happens. And this 'setting in concrete' of your intentions can provide further impetus to your plans.

You'll learn more as you continue the process...!

As you continue to date someone, hopefully you'll get to know them more deeply, helping you with all the above. The great news is: you cannot avoid this when it comes to going through the process towards buying a home together!

Given that you'll be going to visit many properties together (at the present time, most people will perhaps visit 20 or more properties before having an offer accepted) and doing things like applying to mortgage lenders, the chances are that if there is an immovable obstacle, it will come to the fore. Hopefully, however, if you've picked your mortgage buddy well, you'll find yourselves jointly increasingly relishing your plan and committing to it.

Join Share a Mortgage today and start your journey towards joint home ownership. Call 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply) if you wish to find out more.