Things to consider if you're thinking about getting a joint mortgage

With rising interest rates and the ongoing cost of living crisis, getting onto the property ladder has never been more challenging. As such, growing numbers of first-time buyers will look to joint mortgages in order to be able to afford to buy. Yasin Kayhan, Head of Mortgage at Sambla, looks at the steps you should consider before buying as a couple.

Related topics:  Finance,  mortgages,  FTB
Property | Reporter
28th March 2023
FTB 77
"Not everyone is going to be in a position to be accepted for a mortgage and sometimes it just comes down to being realistic. Don’t feel as if you have to get a mortgage just because your friends are getting one."

Rent first

Joint ownership is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. If you don’t already live with your partner, then we recommend renting together first to test the waters. Getting a mortgage of any sort is a long-term commitment, with many first-time buyers spreading the repayment cost over a minimum of 25 years.

Consider your reasons for joint ownership

Many people look at joint ownership as a realistic way to get onto the property ladder however it’s important not to rush into it. Buying a house is a big commitment so make time to sit down and discuss all possible outcomes, such as your monthly outgoings, life plans and what would happen if one of you wanted to sell and move out. This prevents a potentially sticky situation further down the line.

Speak to a mortgage adviser

It sounds simple but a lot of people forget that mortgage advisers are out there for them to talk to. They can offer you advice as well as inform you of the different mortgage rates available to you and your circumstance. Speaking to a mortgage advisor will also allow you to plan your budget accordingly, so you know exactly how much you have to play with each month.

There are several ways you can go about finding a mortgage advisor. The most obvious is by searching online for local brokers and reading their reviews, but you can also ask your friends and family for their recommendations.

Social media groups and forums are also great for advice; ask questions about specific businesses and see if anyone else has gotten advice from them before. This will give you an excellent idea of who to choose.

Check your own financial situation

Not everyone is going to be in a position to be accepted for a mortgage and sometimes it just comes down to being realistic. Don’t feel as if you have to get a mortgage just because your friends are getting one. You need to make sure that it’s the right financial decision for you. Knowing when it is the right financial decision for you depends on the person.

Take into account your savings and how much you’d need for a deposit, whilst sparing some for a rainy day. You should also consider your financial responsibilities, like children, pets or future plans that may require a hefty deposit.

Buy as tenants in common

Tenants in common allow each owner to have their share of the property. That person then has control of that share, meaning they can sell their share if they want to, as well as leaving it for someone in their will.

Sign a legal agreement before you buy

Usually, when you’re looking to jointly purchase a property, you’d do it with someone you trust like a partner, friend or family member. However, even if you are doing it with them it is important to sign a legal agreement. A legal agreement would make sure that both parties own their share of the property, and can also separate funds such as a deposit, giving you added piece of mind.

Set up a joint bank account

When paying your monthly mortgage payments and other household bills, it’s a good idea to set up a joint bank account. Not only will this keep each of you accountable for your share, but it can also help you to budget by seeing clearly what you have left over in your own account each month.

Work out your joint house purchase budget for extra costs

Buying a house isn’t always plain sailing and there’s a chance that you could be hit with some unexpected costs. These may include repairs, or more commonly with new builds, delays, resulting in you having to stay in a rented property or hotel in the meantime.

Make a will

No one likes to think about death, but if the unexpected were to happen then it’s important to think about who you want your portion of the property to be handed over to. Not having a will may mean that it ends up in the hands of someone that you don’t want to have it. So get that written as soon as possible after or before the property purchase.

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