Getting on the Property Ladder: Would You House Share?

Would You Buy a House With a Stranger to Get on the Property Ladder?

In light of the ever-increasing struggle for first time home buyers, many young Brits now say they’re open to buying a property with a complete stranger just to get their foot on the property ladder.

A combination of growing house prices and slow salary growth means young people in the UK are finding it difficult to purchase their first home. Furthermore, the majority of millennials (aged between 21 and 36) believe they will need to work harder than their parents to own a house, according to survey Beyond the Bricks: The value of home.

A recent study by HSBC of 2,000 people aged between 18 and 40 highlighted the true extent of the fading property dream for the younger generation, whereby 83% claimed they may never be able to afford to buy their own home. It’s therefore not surprising that many are prepared to take less traditional steps to house ownership, perhaps the more radical of which being to buy with a stranger.

According to the report, 80% would co-own a home with someone who isn’t their partner and a further staggering 59% said they’re open to the idea of buying with a stranger. Even more shockingly, 4% said they would be prepared to move in with someone they just met in the pub – desperate times sure call for desperate measures! 

The study continues to ask youngsters to share their top tick box necessities the ideal buying partner must have, both personally and financially. Fancy the idea of co-habiting with strangers? Here are some of the top scoring categories on what makes the truly perfect house mate:

Being clean and tidy (70%), 

Handy with DIY around the house (39%), 

A keen pet lover (37%), 

Keeps their music volume down (35%), 

A fan of TV drama shows (19%) 

Ability to cook a good roast dinner (18%)

Whilst arguably the more important financial criteria for the optimal buying partner includes paying the bills on time (80%) and having savings in the bank (38%).

HSBC mortgages expert Chris Pearson commented “Buying a home is a life-changing financial commitment, and there’s no doubt this is an unorthodox way of doing it.

“People who are considering this step need to not only find someone responsible and compatible – they also need to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ to avoid a difficult situation in the future, especially when it comes to selling.

“It’s important to have a clear agreement in place from day one, so you both know what’s expected of you.”

Although a seemingly quick and attractive financial solution to buying your first home, co-ownership comes with its own pitfalls to consider, as with any relationship, and should not be taken lightly. Buying a house is often the most important financial transaction a person will make in their lifetime, so it’s important to make the right decisions.

Our top tip if this is something you’re really considering? Do your own due diligence as finding the right kind of person to buy will be key – good luck!

And if living with a stranger isn’t for you (we don’t blame you), there are other paths you can take to getting your first foot on the property ladder. Despite the many hurdles, the dream of home ownership is still alive and well for the younger generation. Careful planning, patience and an open mind will make it much more achievable. 

If you would like independent advice on buying your first property, get in touch with us by emailing or by phoning on 0141 212 3983.

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