The Case for Co-ownership

July 9th, 2019

We have been getting a lot of questions about the benefits of co-owning a home, so we decided to break down the case for co-ownership into four main benefits: Community, Affordability, Sustainability, and Equity. 

  • Community

    People crave community. It is embedded in our DNA to support, and seek support from one another. Our current housing model of single-family detached houses and condominiums are not conducive to building or embracing a communal way of living. It seems that people have only just started to question whether our independent and isolated lifestyles are working for us. (Hint: It’s not working.) Research has shown that lacking community and social fulfillment can be as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
    Loneliness and social isolation have reached crisis levels, and yet the conversation still hasn’t shifted towards the most fundamental aspect of people’s lives; their homes. Co-ownership provides an opportunity to form a community within the place that you live, and reap the rewards of living with other people.

  • Affordability

    This one is fairly self explanatory. If you split the cost of owning property with someone else, or a group of people, it will be less expensive. The average detached home in Toronto costs $1.3 million. Split between 2 people, the cost drops to $650,000 each. Split between two couples, with each person on title, the cost is down to $325,000 each. At that price point, retrofitting the house into a multi-unit dwelling becomes a much more viable option. In addition to the down payment, and mortgage payments, these four hypothetical people would also be able to split utilities, property taxes, and maybe even, dare I say it...share a vehicle?!

  • Sustainability

    Urban centers are is desperate need of more multi-unit houses. Not everyone wants to be cooped up in a condo, and not everyone can afford a detached home; there is a missing middle level of housing that needs to be offered as another option for homebuyers. An amazing article published by Sightline Institute showed that simply having a duplex, a triplex, and a fourplex can cut a block’s carbon emissions by twenty percent. In Toronto, restrictive zoning laws are a part of the reason that more of this housing stock doesn’t exist, but that’s a rant for another time.

    Urban density is one of the keys to preventing suburban sprawl, and multi-unit housing is definitely a part of the solution. Again, at weOwn we believe that this can be taken even another step further; through co-ownership, space is used more efficiently, but so are resources like barbecues, snowblowers, lawnmowers and vehicles. Sustainable urban living will require us to drastically rethink the way we view housing, and sharing space is one part of the solution. 

  • Equity

    At last, we reach the most compelling part of the case for co-ownership; building wealth through ownership. Let’s do a quick breakdown using the $1.3 million home example above:
    Two couples (who met using weOwn, obviously) decide to buy a detached home in Bloor West Village, and renovate it into two units. Each unit has 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, a study, and the group shares outdoor space and a vestibule. Renovations cost $100,000 dollars, which brings the total group cost up to $1,400,000. 
    If the group puts down 20% as a down payment ($280,000 or $70,000 each), each individual is covering $280,000 of the $1,120,000 mortgage. 
    Amortized over 25 years at a 5-year fixed rate of 2.97%, the cost per person is $1,314 in monthly payments.
    Yes, $1,314. That’s less than you would be paying in rent for a hole-in-the-wall in Bloor West, AND you’re building equity rather than paying off your landlord’s mortgage! 
    Seem like a no-brainer? We think so too. 


  • If you have any questions about co-ownership, please don’t hesitate to reach out to .ac.nwoew%40tcatnoc If you are looking for the right partner(s), Sign Up for our service.

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