Advice on Purchasing a Property

Tempted to buy a home with friends in Chelmsford? Six things you need to consider.

The property market has been challenging over the last few months, but over the last couple of years we have seen a growing trend of people looking to buy with friends. We can certainly understand why this is a tempting prospect with the mortgage rates, property prices and cost of living, but it is important that you understand the risks. Therefore, if you are thinking of buying a home with friends in Chelmsford, here are six things you need to consider.

Have you talked credit scores?

It may be an uncomfortable place to start, but you need to get to grips with the money situation before you start to make any steps forward. You are going to be speaking to mortgage lenders and you don’t want any surprises, so it is essential that you both talk about your credit scores, and you may need discussions on should one or both need approving. There is no point viewing a property until you know how much you can afford to borrow.

Are you compatible?

Like any relationship and commitment, you need to consider whether you are compatible when it comes to living together. You may have always been there for each other, have a blast on a night out, and continuously giggle, but living together is a whole new game.  You are not only committing together financially, but you also need to know how you would handle certain situations.  Outside the friendship, do you know if your chosen friend is stable and trustworthy and able to pay their portion of the mortgage? Do you know their friends and family? They will be spending time in your home too!

We would always recommend that you take some legal advice to make sure you are both in agreement on how the mortgage will be paid, repairs, maintenance and what happens if things don’t work out.

What are you looking for?

Do your property preferences align? You may love a period home and seek lots of delicious original features, but this could be your friend’s worst nightmare.  How much space do you realistically need, should one or both of you work from home? You, ideally, need studies that are separate to your bedrooms. This means you have clear division between work, relaxation and joint living areas.  Think also about practicalities such as location, outside space, parking, condition of the property. Are you both up to undertaking work?


How will you share the expenses?

Also in your co-ownership agreement should be how you are going to split the bills. You may decide to split the costs right down the middle, or you may have another plan. Not getting the small details ironed out at the start can lead to bigger issues further down the line.  This may not just include the utility bills but there are other things to also consider, such as subscriptions, food, and decorative items. If there is confusion, frustration can follow, which can lead to the niggles which no one wants.

What is your style?

This will be your home, and as such you will both wish to put your own stamp on it, but have you considered if your décor styles fuse or repel?  Your personal space, such as your bedroom, will be where you can let your personal flair come alive, but when it comes to joint areas such as the living room and kitchen, there may need to be compromises. You both need to feel like this is your home, and it needs to be a place where you can relax and not be distracted. Therefore, it could be useful to create some mood boards before you move in, bringing together all your ideas and agreeing on a style so you both know you are on the same décor page.


What if life changes?

Life has a way of sneaking up on us, and you may enjoy many years living together, but there could be a point where something changes. One of you may need to relocate for work, love could be pulling you to start a new chapter, and when this happens you need to have a plan. We can’t stress enough that this is something that has to be in your co-ownership agreement. Will the remaining owner have the chance to buy the property? What if they cannot afford to: what will happen then?

When it comes to any profits how will they be divided?  Think about any costs involved in preparing the property for sale, and also the legal and other costs involved in changing your co-ownership status. When it comes to change and money, stress can be high and having a clear plan that you have both pre-agreed on can make the move smoother for all involved.


We have some great properties for those who are looking to buy a home with a friend. Come and chat to our sales team today to discuss any concerns you may have about buying a property in Chelmsford are here to answer all your questions. Call our team today on 01245 835859.

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