Co-Owners and the new way to buy property and help your kids


Co-Owners and the new way to buy property and help your kids

Buying a property with others — Co-Owners & Limited Equity Guarantees

With increasing housing prices, changes in our spending and saving patterns, the ongoing uncertainty from the GFC and uncertain government economic policy, many people are now looking to Co-Ownership as a way to enter the property market with lower cost and lower risk. Simply put, Co-Ownership is now mainstream.

Jump Ahead

What is Co-Ownership?

Co-Ownership is a way of sharing the ownership of a property between two or more people – friends, family members or partners (also called tenants-in-common).

It involves:

  • Pooling your savings with others to use as a deposit on a property
  • Combining your borrowing power to get a good home loan
  • Perhaps using a limited equity guarantee from a family member to further reduce bank fees
  • Paying off the mortgage on the property as a form of forced savings for the future, and
  • Having the flexibility to sell out your share of the property if you want to

Some of the Advantages

Becoming a Co-Owner of a property has many advantages.

  • You can split the cost of purchasing and running a property (legal fees, stamp duty, rates & repairs), which means you can get into the property market at a fraction of the cost you would pay if you were buying on your own.
  • You can also dramatically reduce the length of the mortgage and own a property sooner. For many people owning a property with another is a form of forced saving and an opportunity to capitalise on any increased valuation if the property market rises.

For many people owning a property with another is a form of forced saving and an opportunity to capitalise on any increased valuation if the property market rises.

What are the tools available?

Co-Ownership agreements – and managing risks

As with all investments, there is a variety of risks to be identified and managed; and this is true when purchasing property with others. The best way to reduce all the potential issues is to simply get a Co-Ownership agreement in place before you buy property as tenants-in-common. (or, if you’re already a Co-Owner, you can get a retrospective agreement).

  • A solicitor can help you with the legal issues, an accountant with the tax implications (if you’re buying a property as an investment) and a financial adviser can bring it all together for you with the appropriate lending structure.
  • A Co-Ownership agreement can list the agreed time for holding the property, the responsibilities of each party to meet their half of the mortgage repayments and can list what should happen if later on, one party wants to buy the other out.

Most importantly, the agreement should include income protection insurance so that if one or both of the co-owners were unable to work due to sickness or injury, they would still have an income and could still meet their respective repayment obligations to the other.

Income Protection Insurance

Most people don’t know that you can insure up to 75% of your income if, through sickness or injury, you are no longer able to continue to work. This professional insurance cover provides worldwide 24 hour a day protection. It can also be paid for from your superannuation fund once a year, rather than your personal cash flow. There really is no excuse not to have Income Protection Insurance in place and it is particularly important when you are a Co-Owner of a property with mortgage responsibilities.

Specialised limited guarantee mortgages

New types of mortgages are now available for Co-Owners to essentially take out two separate loans so their finances remain separate and they can pay back their share at their own pace (with each liable for the other on defaults).

A family member can use the equity in their own home as additional security for a co-owners mortgage. This reduces the loan to value ratio (LVR) and can save a significant amount of money. It also reduces the size of the deposit required to purchase a property.

  • By reducing or even removing the need to pay the banks lender's mortgage insurance (LMI), this can represent easily $20,000 in savings and reduces the total mortgage debt you have to pay back
  • A guarantor can nominate a specific amount to limit the guarantee they provide, subject to the Bank's approval at the time of the request.

Case Study

Half a deposit

John wishes to buy a $400,000 property. He has a strong income and 10% deposit, but if he can find an equity deposit guarantee from a family member for an additional 10% of the loan, he can save thousands by not having to pay the banks lenders mortgage insurance.

Great income, average savings

Terry and Susan are siblings with separate and independent lives. They enjoy the freedom of renting in the inner city with their partners but don’t have sufficient deposit for a property. As part of a 5 year strategy to start a forced savings plan, they decide to purchase an investment property together as Co-Owners. They work out their expectations and time frame, and then have a solicitor draw up a Co-Ownership agreement. They now have a new investment property, a healthy set of tax deductions, and a savings plan quietly working in the background to help them start saving for their own property in the future when they are ready to start a family.

Family fixed amount guarantee

Louise has two adult children living at home; one has just finished law at University, the other carpentry at TAFE. Both are starting out in different careers and have decided to remain living in the family home for the next 5 years as they both want to put some money aside and make up for their lower incomes during their time studying. Their parents have agreed to offer a limited amount guarantee, in the form of home equity, so that together they can purchase an investment property by capitalising upon the low cost of living at home.

5 Reasons to consider Co-Ownership

  1. Sheer affordability – 2 people paying down the mortgage is better than one
  2. You may be happy renting and enjoying that lifestyle, but you also want to maximise your tax deductions and get some bricks and mortar assets behind you at the same time
  3. You have great income, a strong job, just not the level of savings for a deposit on that inner-city penthouse that you have always wanted
  4. You are happy for the kids to continue to live at the family home but you want them to put some of their funds towards getting ahead
  5. If you are not a natural born saver, but your great at keeping on top of your bills, having a regular mortgage to meet can be a great forced saving machine.

The next step

Build your team of experts to help you see if this option is right for your personal circumstances and how you can protect yourself form the key risks.

Contact us today here to see if we're the type of people you'd like to work with.
Drew Browne

Drew specialises in helping people protect and provide for what matters most in their lives. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His company Sapience Financial and Investment Services is committed to using business solutions for good in the community, and in 2015 certified as a B Corp. In 2017 Drew was recognised in the inaugural Australian Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow national awards. Drew writes for successful Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs at Smallville, his blogs can be read on and you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Any advice provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

drew browne pic

Drew Browne

Sapience Founder & Director.
Simplifying Financial Complexity

Be the first to know!
Get our monthly 

If you like it share it

Download our Free eGuide # 31 Good Money Habits

Download our latest Free eGuide

Download our Free eGuide # 7 Financial Decisions for Same-sex Newlyweds

Download our latest Free eGuide

Download our Free eGuide # 31 Families Lose a Parent Every Day

Download our Free eGuide # 31 Families Lose a Parent Every Day

Find us in The Better Business Book on Kindle

The Better Business Book Vol 3

Learn about Our Process

Every good decision follows a deliberate process and framework. This is how we approach our thinking.

Proress and strategy help make great fianncial decisions

11 Key risks every Australian should know

Know Your Risk

Know Your Risks

So what are the chances of...
Click to

Want an easy way to upgrade your financial confidence, one month at a time?

Get our Not-a-Newsletter

Get our Not-A-Newsletter
Make your financial life a little easier
Get our Not-a-Newsletter

Our Connections

We're connected to every Life Insurance company in Australia

That means we really can give you the best available option

Why this should matter to you

  • AMP
  • AIA
  • BT
  • TAL
  • CommInsure
  • MLC
  • Zurich
  • One Path
  • Macquarie
  • Asteron
  • Clear View
  • NEOS

About Us

Wherever you are on your financial journey, whether it’s your business, your family or just you; it’s about good information, good connections and good financial advice — and the ability to recognise the difference.

UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate

Mobile Service

Work with us Online: over email, phone or video conference after hours.

Work with us Face to Face: let's meet at your office, your favourite cafe, or your home (or gelato bar).

Work with us any way that works best for you.


1300 137 403
George St Sydney, NSW 2000


Proud Winners Businesses of Tomorrow Awards



Proudly supporting:
The Pinnacle Foundation