You could try and co-own with a friend or two (or three). Between you, you may be able to raise a sufficient deposit and borrow enough under a mortgage to purchase a property between you. Property can be legally held in the names of up to four people - if a group of four friends or colleagues pooled their savings together they may find that they could obtain a mortgage and afford a reasonable start on the housing ladder. Based on the premise that property prices generally will go up over time, after a few years, everyone has built up more equity in the property and has a larger deposit with which to go off and fund a purchase in their own name if they want to.
However, what happens if we fall out or someone wants to move on but others don’t want to sell the property? All the property owners can enter into an agreement known as a Declaration of Trust. This agreement sits alongside the ownership and sets out who put how much in, how any sale proceeds are to be divided in the event of a sale and you can set down how matters are to be dealt with if one party wants out of the arrangement but others want to retain ownership of the property. This agreement should be set up as part of the house buying process and terms can be agreed before the exchange.
Can’t stand the thought of living with others? Then consider the humble houseboat, not the most spacious - but an imaginative alternative. This is a seemingly more affordable option. In the five years to 2015 official figures suggest London waterways alone have seen a 50% increase in boat numbers. There are static or roving houseboats. Static houseboats having a permanent mooring site and roving houseboats which move from site to site but can remain in almost any location for up to two weeks.
Running a houseboat is not without costs or disadvantages. You would need to consider mooring fees, insurance, boating waterway licences, safety certificates and fuel & maintenance costs. This is in addition to the cost of either purchasing the boat outright or monthly renting. Don’t forget the day to day jobs also such as emptying the lavatory. It is not a lifestyle for everyone.
Another alternative is flat pack housing, for the flat pack generation. This can be a relatively cheap alternative. Renato Vidal, from Italy, has created an affordable flat pack folding home which could be yours for just £24,800 and takes less than a day to install once on site. Providers will often offer a delivery only service where you construct the property yourself, a bare-bones option where they will deliver and make weather-proof but it is up to you to finish off or a full build where the property is built, fitted and connected by the provider. You can then build according to your budget. The main issue here for most will be locating and acquiring the site on which to build along with the associated costs of connecting the property to services and utilities. That alone may put the price of a flat pack property out of reach. Mortgages are also harder to come by on such properties.
It’s common knowledge these days that the average age at which people buy their first property is rising. Average house prices are increasing, and have been doing so steadily for years. Many renters find that they could afford mortgage payments but struggle to save the money required for a deposit, putting the day at which they can buy property distinctly out of reach.
The newspapers are full of “the Bank of Mum and Dad” helping kids out with their property buying - but no one talks openly about the other side. The parents who cannot afford to help their children out during their lifetime for a variety of reasons. They are likely to own property which was bought for tens of thousands of pounds (as opposed to the hundreds of thousands it costs now). It seemed like a fortune when they initially bought, but now they are sitting on property worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. They may be cash-poor but property-rich in that respect. It also means that, upon their death, their children can sell the property and walk away with a sizeable deposit.
There are other options. Most people expect to buy property solely on their own or to buy property with their spouse or partner as somewhere to live together. What is not often considered is the possibility of buying a property with a friend or colleague. Property can be legally held in the names of up to four people. If a group of four friends or colleagues pooled their savings together, they may find that they could obtain a mortgage that bit more easily and afford a reasonable start on the housing ladder. Based on the premise that property prices generally will go up over time, after a couple of years, everyone has built up more equity in the property and has a larger deposit with which to go off and fund a purchase in their own name if they want to.
What happens if they fall out or someone wants to move on but others don’t want to sell the property? All the property owners can enter into an agreement known as a Declaration of Trust. This agreement sets out who put how much in, how any sale proceeds are to be divided in the event of a sale as well as potentially set out the basis upon which one party can “buy out” the other party’s interest. This agreement is often prepared as part of the house buying process.
There are many who have only been able to get on the property ladder due to receiving an inheritance and can see no way they could have achieved property ownership without it. There are many who cannot see the point in struggling to save an unrealistic amount for a deposit when they know that in the fullness of time the issue will resolve itself in the form of an inheritance. Granted, the anticipated figure might be somewhat reduced if the parents have had to fund nursing or care home placements, but a significant number of purchases will be inheritance funded.