Houses Without Spouses: Buying a Home in Coachella Valley

Imagine stepping into the realm of Houses Without Spouses. This trend is completely changing the game when it comes to owning your dream home. Once, buying a house was a milestone typically reserved for married couples. But times are changing. Fast.

Today, friends are pooling resources to get keys in hand. Why? Because solo buyers face skyrocketing housing prices and daunting down payments. The solution? Joint home purchases without the old-school romance angle.

But it’s not just about affording more square footage or a nicer neighborhood. This change really shows us what we value these days when it comes to investing, connecting with our community, and the personal relationships we hold dear in 2023.

The financial perks are clear: split costs mean less burden on individual wallets. But wait, there's a whole lot more going on than just the numbers game.

We're witnessing an evolution in real estate arrangements—and perhaps even our definitions of family and commitment—right before our eyes.


MortgageWorks offers financing for new home purchases, refinance, home equity, investment property, construction, and a wide variety of loan program options to fit your every need. Servicing California and the entire Coachella Valley, including Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella. Call Art today @ (760) 883-5700

Understanding "Houses Without Spouses"

Buying a home with a friend instead of a spouse is reshaping the concept of home ownership. This trend, dubbed "houses without spouses," is gaining traction as an innovative way to combat the rising housing costs and make real estate investments more accessible.

In fact, according to a recent survey, 1 in 4 millennials would consider buying a home with a friend to make homeownership more affordable. And it's not just millennials - 2 in 5 Americans overall are open to the idea of co-buying with a friend.

The Rise of Joint Home Ownership

Joint home ownership is emerging as a creative solution to the affordability challenges plaguing the real estate market. By pooling resources, friends can overcome the hurdles of high housing prices and make their dream of owning a home a reality.

This setup not only makes snagging a house more doable money-wise, but it also means friends get to split the duties and fun that come with owning a home. It's a win-win situation that's redefining the traditional notion of "houses without spouses."

The Financial Mechanics of Buying Together

When buddies team up to snag a property, they've got to wrap their heads around the cash-related ups and downs that come with it. From down payments to mortgage applications, there are several key factors to consider.

One crucial aspect is each co-buyer's credit score. A higher credit score can lead to better mortgage rates and terms. Additionally, lenders assess each applicant's debt-to-income ratio to determine their ability to make monthly payments.

Multi-Unit Properties as an Investment

For friends looking to maximize their investment potential, multi-unit properties like duplexes and fourplexes can be a smart choice. These properties offer the opportunity to live in one unit while renting out the others, generating passive income and offsetting mortgage costs.

In fact, three out of four real estate investors prefer multi-unit properties over single-family homes. With the rise of real estate investment trusts (REITs), it's easier than ever for co-buyers to invest in multi-unit properties and reap the benefits.

The Importance of Credit Scores in Joint Purchases

When applying for a mortgage together, each co-buyer's credit score plays a crucial role. A great credit score can unlock favorable interest rates and loan terms, saving thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

According to a recent study, 6 in 10 Americans believe that having a good credit score is essential for securing a mortgage. So, friends considering a joint purchase should prioritize building and maintaining their credit scores to ensure the best possible outcome.

Legal Considerations and Agreements

Teaming up with a buddy to snag your dream house involves way more than just sorting out the finances. Tackling the legal side of owning something together is a smart move to keep everyone happy and avoid any squabbles down the road.

One key consideration is whether the property will be considered community property or held as separate ownership. This decision can have significant implications for how the property is managed and what happens if one co-owner wants to sell their share.

Preventing Future Title Disputes

To avoid potential title disputes down the road, friends should work with a real estate attorney to draft a clear and comprehensive co-ownership agreement. This agreement should outline each party's rights, responsibilities, and exit strategies.

One tool that can be used to clarify ownership is a quitclaim deed. This handy piece of paper lets one owner pass their slice of the property pie to someone else, sidestepping any future squabbles over who owns what. Tackling these legal matters head-on means friends can enjoy a smooth ride into their joint home-buying adventure.

Key Takeaway: 

Buying a home with a friend, known as "houses without spouses," is reshaping real estate by making ownership more accessible and affordable. This trend allows friends to pool resources, tackle high housing costs together, and even turn multi-unit properties into investment opportunities. It's crucial for co-buyers to consider their credit scores and set up legal agreements to protect both parties' interests.

Managing Home Ownership Together

When friends buy a home together, it's crucial to have a clear plan for managing the property. This includes splitting costs and responsibilities fairly to avoid any potential conflicts down the road.

Splitting Costs and Responsibilities Fairly

One of the first things co-buyers should do is sit down and have an honest discussion about their financial situations and expectations. This will help determine how to equitably split expenses like the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.

Putting pen to paper and hashing out who's on the hook for what is always a smart move. For example, if one person is handy and enjoys DIY projects, they might take on more of the home maintenance duties in exchange for paying a smaller portion of the monthly expenses.

In addition to the mortgage, co-buyers need to consider other costs associated with home ownership - things like utilities, HOA fees, and any renovations or upgrades that need to be made. Staying clear about your budget and catching up regularly can dodge those pesky misunderstandings and keep you both steering the financial ship together smoothly.

According to a 2022 study by the National Association of Realtors, 14% of younger millennials and 10% of older millennials purchased a multi-generational home, with roommates or friends listed as one of the reasons for this trend.

If the property is part of a homeowners association or condo board, co-buyers need to understand the rules and regulations they must abide by. This includes any restrictions on renting out the property, noise levels, or pet ownership.

Owning a home together is a big responsibility. Still, with clear communication and a solid plan in place, friends can successfully navigate the challenges and enjoy the benefits of their shared investment.

Exit Strategies for Co-Owned Properties

Even with the best intentions, sometimes circumstances change, and one or both parties may want to exit the joint home ownership arrangement. Having a clear exit strategy in place from the beginning can make this process much smoother.

Refinancing Challenges and Solutions

One common scenario is when one co-buyer wants to keep the property while the other wants to sell their share. In this case, the remaining owner would need to refinance the mortgage in their name alone.

However, refinancing can present some challenges. The remaining owner needs to qualify for the mortgage independently, which means having a strong credit score, stable income, and low debt-to-income ratio. They'll also need to have enough cash on hand to buy out their co-owner's equity in the property.

If refinancing isn't an option, another solution is for the co-buyer who wants to stay in the home to find a new partner to buy out the other owner's share. This could be a family member, friend, or even a new investor.

According to a 2021 report by ATTOM Data Solutions, 34.4% of residential properties in the U.S. were considered equity-rich in the second quarter, meaning the combined estimated amount of loan balances secured by those properties was no more than 50% of their estimated market value.

If neither refinancing nor finding a new partner is possible, the last resort is to sell the property outright. While this may not be the ideal outcome, it allows both parties to walk away with their share of the equity and move on.

No matter which exit strategy co-buyers choose, it's important to have open and honest communication throughout the process. Working with a skilled real estate agent and an attorney can also help ensure a fair and legal outcome for all parties involved.

Enhancing Affordability Through Temporary Buy-Downs

For co-buyers who are stretching their budgets to afford a home together, temporary buy-downs can be a helpful tool. A buy-down is when the seller or lender agrees to temporarily reduce the interest rate on the mortgage, typically for the first few years of the loan.

For example, a 3-2-1 buy-down would lower the interest rate by 3% in the first year, 2% in the second year, and 1% in the third year before returning to the original rate for the remainder of the loan term. This can significantly reduce the monthly mortgage payments in those initial years, making the home more affordable for co-buyers.

A 2022 analysis by the Urban Institute found that temporary buy-downs are becoming more common, with 3-2-1 buy-downs being the most popular structure. However, they caution that borrowers need to be prepared for the payment shock when the interest rate adjusts upward.

While buy-downs can be a helpful affordability tool, co-buyers need to make sure they understand the terms and have a plan for when the interest rate increases. They should also consider whether they'll still be able to afford the home if one person's income changes or they decide to part ways.

Like with any money move, you've got to weigh the good against the bad and think about how this will play out in the long run. Consulting with a trusted mortgage lender or financial advisor can help co-buyers determine if a buy-down makes sense for their situation.

Key Takeaway: 

When buying a home together, friends need to plan how they'll split costs and responsibilities. This helps avoid conflicts later on. A written agreement can detail who pays for what, including any DIY work, in exchange for lower payments. It's also smart to have an exit strategy if someone wants out.

Planning for Your Financial Future with Non-Spousal Home Buying

Deciding to buy a house with your buddy is huge and can seriously shape your financial future. It's not just about splitting the mortgage and utility bills - it's about building substantial assets together.

When you buy a home with a spouse, you're usually planning for a shared future. But when you buy with a friend, you need to think about what happens if one of you wants to sell or move out down the road.

This is why chatting openly and honestly about your dreams and what you expect in the long run really matters. Do you both plan to live in the home for the next five years? Ten years? What happens if one of you gets married or needs to relocate for work?

Getting a good co-ownership agreement sorted isn't just about protecting your investment; it's also about keeping your friendship from hitting rocky waters. You might consider things like a buyout clause or a right of first refusal if one of you decides to sell.

It's also smart to think about how you'll handle any major repairs or renovations that come up. Will you split the costs 50/50? Create a joint savings account for home expenses? Figuring out these details now can save a lot of headaches later.

Buying a home with a friend can be a great way to build wealth and achieve your financial goals faster. But it takes careful planning and communication to make sure you're on the same page every step of the way.

Overcoming the Unromantic Aspects of Joint Home Buying

Let's be real—buying a home with a platonic friend isn't exactly the stuff of rom-coms. There's no grand gesture or dramatic airport chase scene. But that doesn't mean it can't be a rewarding experience.

Sure, it might feel a little unromantic to sit down and hash out the nitty-gritty details of a co-ownership agreement. Consider it like building the groundwork for a winning team effort.

Just like any relationship, communication is key. You and your buddy need to sit down, maybe grab a coffee or two, and really hash out the nitty-gritty of your finances, how you both live day-to-day, and what you're honestly hoping for in a home. It might not be hearts and flowers, but it's necessary groundwork.

And let's not forget the practical benefits of buying with a friend. You can afford a nicer home in a better location than you could on your own. You have someone to split the chores and maintenance tasks with. And you have a built-in support system during the stressful process of house hunting and moving.

So embrace the unromantic side of joint home buying. Lean into the camaraderie, aim for that common goal together, and get pumped about all the great things coming your way. You can make this unconventional path to homeownership work for you with a solid plan and a good sense of humor.

Applying for a mortgage with a friend can be a bit different than applying with a spouse. For one thing, lenders may view your application differently if you're not married.

Some lenders may be hesitant to approve a joint mortgage for unrelated co-buyers. They may see it as a riskier investment since there's no legal obligation for you to stay together like there is in a marriage.

That's why it's important to shop around and find a lender who is willing to work with your unique situation. Look for lenders who have experience with non-traditional borrowers like friends or multigenerational households.

When you apply, be prepared to provide extra documentation to prove your creditworthiness and financial stability. This might include things like proof of stable income, a strong credit score, and a sizable down payment.

Keep in mind that your incomes, assets, and debts will be considered when determining your eligibility and interest rate. So, if one of you has a lower credit score or higher debt-to-income ratio, it could affect your application.

One potential workaround is for only one person to apply for the mortgage and have the other person co-sign or be added to the deed later. This can help you qualify for better terms if one buyer is in a stronger financial position.

Ultimately, navigating the mortgage process as co-buyers requires extra research, planning, and creativity. But with the right lender and a solid application, you can make your shared homeownership dreams a reality.

Key Takeaway: 

Buying a home with a friend? Make sure to plan and talk details early. It's about more than just sharing bills—it's building assets together. A solid co-ownership agreement can save friendships and money down the line.

Sure, joint home buying lacks rom-com drama, but it brings real benefits like better homes and built-in support. Embrace the practical side; lay a strong foundation for your partnership through clear communication.

Applying for a mortgage with a buddy? Find lenders open to non-traditional buyers. Your financial health as an individual matters—a lot. Creative solutions might be needed, but achieving homeownership together is totally doable.


So, we've danced through the idea of Houses Without Spouses, a trend flipping traditional home buying on its head. We're not just talking about picking up a piece of property here; we're looking at a whole new way to think about investing, building community, and really diving into commitments in 2023.

The journey has shown us that splitting bills doesn’t just lighten the load—it redefines how we view ownership. It's not just about pinching pennies; it’s a whole new way of looking at what family can be and pushing against the old rules that don’t fit us anymore.

We dug into every detail, from tackling credit scores side by side to smoothly working our way through all that legal stuff. And let's not forget those exit strategies for when life throws curveballs.

This evolution in buying homes is more than economic savvy; it’s crafting a future where friendship can be as binding as romance once was. So yes, while Hollywood might have you thinking AI or robots are our biggest shake-up, maybe it’s actually something as simple—and profound—as who we choose to buy houses with.

Together, we’ve unpacked this game-changer from all angles. It’s clear: Houses Without Spouses isn't just happening; it's reshaping landscapes and lives—one shared mortgage at a time.
Welcome to the forefront of modern home ownership.

* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with your mortgage advisor for more information.