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Want to Share A House? (and other ideas about co-ownership)

Posted by Sherry Rioux on September 12, 2017

duplex (2)In Canada, the most common language we hear in residential zoning bylaws refers to “single family” homes but times are changing and new forms of ownership are emerging.

Canadians on average, moves every 5 years or so whereas in Europe, people move about 4 times in their lifetime. Homes may be owned for generations and, generations may reside in one home. It makes good sense and we that is the first trend we’re seeing here – families co-habitating in one home. The idea of an “in-law” suite is popular and in recent years, we’ve heard more about granny flats and other means of multi-generational living.

As a result of soaring real estate prices, another concept is gaining in popularity in places like Vancouver and Toronto where shared ownership or co-owning is gaining momentum. Two or more couple, families or buyer units get together to buy and live together in a house.  In some cases they may be divided units but not always.

A group of four women got together in Port Perry to establish another living arrangement that I just love.  They co-own a house that they renovated to accommodate shared living spaces and private sleeping quarters.  Kind of like the Golden girls.

Another emerging concept is co-housing neighbourhoods which originated in Denmark in the 1960’s and are gaining traction in North America.   They are neighbourhoods that combine the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared resources and community living. There are now 5 such communities in Ontario.

One lender in BC, Vancity, has recognized these new trends and even offer a mortgage product called a Mixer Mortgage.

If you’ve been thinking about such an arrangement, there are lots of examples of co-ownership agreements online and other resources to get you started.  If you are involved in any type of co-housing or co-ownership arrangement, please share your stories here.

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