More Canadian millennials are buying homes with friends to cut costs

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Many young Canadians looking to break into the housing market are facing affordability challenges, and some are buying homes with their friends to get their foot in the door.

Riley Louie is one of them. He recently bought a two bedroom condo with his friend near Commercial Drive for $538,000.

“I just started my PhD program, so I went from working full time to a much more limited income, so I figured while I can still get approved for a mortgage, I should go in on a place,” he tells Vancity Buzz. “And then given Vancouver’s real estate market, splitting a two bedroom is more suitable than getting a one bedroom on my own.”

Vancouver / Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Migrating Albertans are also driving up Vancouver real estate prices: report

Indeed, a new poll from Ipsos Reid suggests 24% of young Canadians are considering buying a home with a friend. Another 24% say they’d consider buying with a family member who isn’t their spouse.

And while the idea of buying with a friend might seem scary, certain measures can be taken to insure a smooth transaction. Louie says he and his co-buyer are very close – more like brothers than friends – and they drafted up a contract between the two of them just in case.

“We did draft up a contract saying that if one of us wants to sell then the other person can either choose to buy the other half or they can find someone else to purchase it,” he says. “We just drafted up our own little contract to make sure one of us doesn’t screw the other person over – not that either of us feel that way – it’s just in case.”

In addition, the Ipsos Reid poll suggests a majority of Canadians (87%) feel like property is a solid investment, and nearly 30% of Canadians say they plan to buy a home within the next two years.

For Louie, the decision to buy with a friend was a no-brainer.

“A one bedroom for half the price of what we paid for our current place would get me a one bedroom in, like, New West, or a really old apartment.”

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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