Can I buy a Shared Ownership home with a friend?  A relationship expert advises.

With research by Shelter revealing it can take a single buyer up to 13 years to save for a deposit for a home*, one of the UK’s leading housing associations, L&Q, reports that a growing number of Shared Ownership purchasers are opting to buy their first home with a friend.

Olivia Scrimshaw, Marketing Director for L&Q, comments: “As living costs continue to rise in the capital, buying a Shared Ownership home with a friend can be a great way of helping buyers to keep their monthly costs down – allowing them to enjoy London living at its best – but still with the assurance that they have their feet firmly on the property ladder.”

In response to this growing trend, the forward thinking organisation has launched its PricedIn Living campaign, which offers potential purchasers a detailed insight into what buying with a friend might involve.

As part of the campaign, L&Q has enlisted the help of well-known Harley Street Psychologist, Dr Rebecca Spelman*, to offer her professional advice on the processes to go through when buying a home with a friend – protecting both finances and friendship.

Dr Rebecca Spelman suggests buyers treat choosing the person you opt to buy a home with in a similar way as you might select a partner; writing a list of all the qualities you are looking for can be a good place to start.

The second step, is taking a business-like approach to the process, as Dr Spelman explains, “Once you’ve chosen a friend to buy a home with, the next step is to set up a business meeting.  This is different to how you would normally communicate with a friend, which would usually be quite informal and unstructured.  Set an agenda – discussing the finances first, and then you can move onto the more fun stuff – like how to decorate your home.”

The third step, according to Dr Spelman, is to prepare for the worst – so you are ready to deal with every possible scenario in the future.  For example, what would happen if one of you lost your job, and could no longer afford the mortgage payments?

“Always have an exit strategy” continues Dr Spelman, “Having these difficult conversations now will help keep your friendship intact in the future.”     

For more information on buying a Shared Ownership home with a friend, or to view L&Q’s Shared Ownership schemes, visit www.lqpricedin.co.uk/living