Thumbing through the pages of a property listing magazine or scrolling through the Instagram feed of a realtor, you find options of luxury homes in prime locations featuring just the right type of services an individual or family would want to enjoy. Right beside them, you would find the jaw-dropping prices.
Let’s face it, the cost of property acquisition right now can be rather daunting for medium and low-income earners. You find yourself inundated with questions such as, ‘’How on earth can I afford this? Why is it so pricey? Are these developers kidding me?’’
The average age of first time home buyers in 2020 is way higher than it was in the 80s or 90s. Back then, people could own houses in their 20s on an average income. These days, the age of ownership which is directly proportional to wage/income has resulted in a lot of delayed starts. The age range for many first time homeowners among the middle to low-income earners now starts from late thirties to not at all.
In Nigeria, becoming a landlord is a status symbol but most importantly it brings about wealth creation. It is expected that at a certain age you should consider owning your own home in order to: stop paying rent, stop being subject to annual rent increase, stop empowering your landlord to pay his mortgage, ensure your parents are living in their own home, and increase your net worth.
The question is, how do you manage your income realities with the cost of homeownership and societal expectations? One of the emerging solutions is CO-OWNERSHIP.
What is Co-Ownership?
Co-ownership is when an individual or group comes together to share ownership of a property with another individual or group. Each co-owner owns a percentage of the property, although the amount may vary according to the ownership agreement.
The rights of each owner are typically defined in accordance with a contract or written agreement, which often includes the treatment of revenue and tax obligations.
Benefits of Co-Ownership
• Low cost of entry.
• Minimal supervision required.
• Lower maintenance cost.
• Good Return on Investment
• Great way to build up an investment portfolio.
• Ease of transfer & right of first refusal.
• Sell at any time to recover your investments and profit
Who Can Co-Own a Property?
Anyone. But this is well suited to middle and low income earners who cannot afford to pay a huge sum upfront for a property.
How to Co-Own a Property
There are three ways to co-own a property;
1. Buy into existing co-ownership property opportunities. Everything required in this scenario is already put together.
2. Put together a network of friends, find a property you are interested in co-owning and contribute money to acquire it. You will need a good lawyer to create and execute the agreement and a property manager to manage the property and ensure ROI.
3. Locate your desired property and approach a good realtor to find potential co-owners willing to acquire it. You will need a good lawyer and a property manager to handle the property post acquisition to guarantee good ROI.
Without a solid agreement in place, downsides will range from disagreements on best ways to manage the property, to arguments on buy-outs and even transfer issues upon demise of a co-owner. It is important that you get a great lawyer and property management specialist in the event you decide to co-own the property using options two and three listed above.
In conclusion, if you’re considering co-ownership living, it’s important to consult with legal and financial professionals who can guide you through the process and ensure that your interests are protected. With the right approach and proper due diligence, co-ownership living can be a smart and rewarding way to enter the real estate market in Nigeria.