Apr 10, 2024 - Real Estate

Why more Raleigh renters might start buying homes with their BFF

Illustration of a best friend necklace with a charm in the shape of a house.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

More people see "co-buying" as a way to go from renters to homeowners in this pricey market.

Why it matters: Purchasing a home with a friend or other relation makes homeownership slightly more attainable in a competitive market like the Triangle, where inventory is low and prices are climbing.

The big picture: Roughly half of Americans are willing to split the bill on buying a home in less traditional ways, Axios' Shauneen Miranda writes.

What they're saying: The trend isn't sweeping across the Triangle just yet, April Blackwell, owner of Raleigh-based Blackwell Mortgage, tells Axios. But she expects that to change in the next five years.

  • "I believe the seeds are planted and it is something a lot of people are thinking about," Blackwell says.

Between the lines: The initial draws for co-owning are often financial, but the emotional bonds and support that come with co-living can keep people in these arrangements.

  • Living within a mile of a happy friend increases the likelihood that you'll be happy by 25%, according to a multi-generational study.
  • If you ask Phil Levin — founding team member of the car-free neighborhood Culdesac in Tempe, Arizona, and founder of co-living space Radish in Oakland, California — he'll tell you that living among close friends is "a cheat code for a happy life."

Yes, but: Co-buying can be a risky move. One co-owner's bad credit score can tank the other's chance of getting a good mortgage rate. Same goes for one's missed mortgage payments affecting all owners' credit scores.

What's next: More Raleigh young adults are purchasing homes for their aging parents, Blackwell says.

  • "What is cool about that is they can get a primary residence loan in their name and their parents do not need to be on the loan or title. This is advantageous to the parent from an estate planning perspective."

Go deeper: How people are making ends meet

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