Buying a property with a friend might not be a popular practice in Nigeria but it's definitely one of the easiest ways to own a house depending on the condition under which the property is being bought.
The housing or property culture in Nigeria encourages people who want to buy or build to do so individually. Apart from couples, it's hard to see non-romantic partners come together to jointly buy a property.
Unequal ownership, power imbalance over the property and partner's shaky finances maybe some of the reasons why many Nigerians don't seem to consider this home-ownership practice.
However, joint ownership of a property isn't completely a bad idea. According to the CEO of Farr Properties, Faruk Oyebanjo, buying a property together with a friend has its positive sides, it only depends on the conditions under which the property is being bought.
''The best way to buy a house with a friend is to buy it on outright payment and ensure the house is for commercial purpose. So an agreement is drawn up and you both collect rent and share. It is also easy because even if anything happens to either of you, the next of kin will continue enjoying it.
''If it is an outright payment, that’s better as it means it will be cheaper for you both to buy but the downside of this is if it is residential, it becomes a problem as there will be things to fix in the house and responsibilities which one of you can falter,'' he told Pulse.
He however advised that ''If you can avoid it, don’t do it at all because the other party can wake up tomorrow and insist on selling the property.''
We also asked Nigerians what they think about buying a house with their friends, and here's what they say.
I think it's a bad idea. Too many uncertainties and uncontrollable factors. You can't predict the person's future plans and you might not be able to influence them. The only way this can work is if you both agree ahead to value the house and determine who owns what stakes in it and under what circumstances you'd be able to sell/buy each other's stakes. It's always better to buy a house with a spouse where you are covered by marriage laws.
Friend? Nope, Wife/Partner, Yes. It's a long time decision and a lot can happen between you and your friend within that period making it a risk too high to take. The only situation where I can consider it is if we are buying the house now and selling if almost immediately splitting the money in percentages.
It is fine as long as the legal documents are intact.
I wouldn't do it, except the house is good enough to house two families. Why? Space and human differences will kick in when both families get bigger. While it's reasonable to get off rent, buying for yourself, even if it takes a while is more sustainable. Sooner rather than later, you'd want to move out and that means selling your part of the house and all the stress that comes with it.
It's a very wise financial decision but for the sake of privacy and investment purpose, I won't go for it. A lot of things might and will certainly go wrong in the long run. A typical example is that of P square who bought a house together when fame hit them but when they started having families couldn't continue living in the same building.
I think it's a bad idea. Renting is a different thing but buying a house with anyone other than a spouse which also even comes with its own baggage is not a good idea.
Absolutely not. It is too much of a long-term commitment especially if you guys are at the point in your lives when you may be getting married and looking to start families of your own.
However, if you consider the fact that combining your resources and that of your friend makes it easier to buy and manage a house, you may be tempted to consider this home-ownership practice. But no matter how well you know your friend, it’s still very important you protect your interest in the deal. Just make sure there are legal documents that spell out the ownership agreement between you and your friend in details.