Buying a property with your partner can be exciting and daunting all at once.

As a result it’s important to know how to set yourself up for success.

Property Consultant and passionate women’s advocate Tamara Henry believes young women need to enter into any property purchase feeling confident and educated about their decision.

“Buying a property with your partner is an exciting time in any relationship,” Tamara said.

“But investing your money and taking on debt is a big financial decision.”

“So it’s important to do your homework first.”

“Going through the process of buying a property with their partner will often be the first time a young women has experienced setting up a mortgage and purchasing a property.”

“Without previous experience to help you navigate, your first time in the property game can feel pretty overwhelming.”

Tamara believes a good way to build confidence is get educated on your options and set things up well from the beginning.

Joint tenants vs. tenants in common

One of the first things you’ll need to decide on is how to structure your home loan and the ownership of the property.

In Australia there are two common scenarios and it’s important to understand the ins-and-outs of both.

“You need to decide if you’d like to be ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’,” Tamara said.

“Joint tenants have an equal interest in the property regardless of who pays the deposit.”

“This 50/50 principles applies to both ownership and any costs or income incurred by the property later down the track.”

“The alternative ‘tenants in common’ scenario is where parties have different levels of interest in the property.”

“This split is usually based on the contribution each party has made to the home loan deposit.”

“So say you contributed 65% of the deposit, you would have a 65% interest in the property.”

“Your 65% interest therefore also applies to future costs or income as well.”

Choosing the right scenario for you

It’s important to carefully consider which option suits you best. 

Choosing the right one is a very personal decision and you should spend some time weighing things up.

Some things you might consider:

  • How much will you contribute to the initial deposit and the future repayments of the home loan?
  • Are you planning to take time off work to raise children? Is this likely to impact how much you can contribute in the future?
  • Do you have the ability to restructure the loan in the future if your circumstances change?

What happens if the relationship breaks down?

Despite our best intentions relationship breakdown is a real and often unforeseen risk in any property purchase.

Tamara believes that although it may seem unlikely, you should plan for a relationship breakdown ‘just in case’. 

“Buying property is exciting but can unfortunately be fraught with danger when relationships break down,” Tamara said.

“It’s important to have a conversation about what will happen if you and your partner go separate ways in the future.”

“I recommend that young women discuss their exit strategy with their partner right from the get go.”

Bringing in the experts

Tamara recommends getting support from experts who can help young women explore what their exit strategies might look like.

“There are plenty of professionals who can help like a family lawyer, real estate agent or a property consultant like me,” Tamara said.

“As a Senior Property Strategist at DPN, I help women navigate these types of decisions all the time.” 

“Exploring their options and building more certainty really boosts their confidence.”

“And increased confidence can help you feel more secure in your decision to invest.”

All in all buying a property with your partner is an exciting and rewarding experience.

The key to success is making sure you are educated and confident about the decisions you are making.

If you feel uncertain about what to do or what a particular option may offer, seek out professionals who can help you understand your options.

The final step is the most fun. Once its all done and dusted, make sure you crack a bottle of bubbly and celebrate with your mates!

We’ve had a tonne of requests for more property-related posts and would love to hear about what you’d like to see next. Drop us a line or comment below with the topics you’d like to hear about most.

For more money-related reads, check out Why women have less superannuation and 3 key ways to manage money in your twenties.