Vacation Home Co-ownership - Proper Documentation Can Help Avoid Some Headaches

October 2, 2006

When Michael and his wife, Alice, began looking at weekend homes on Cape Cod, it quickly became apparent they could not undertake the financial burden alone. Fortunately, they had friends in a similar position. Eight years ago, the two couples purchased a four bedroom cottage on the Cape

The first few years of co-ownership were uneventful. However, in year five, a series of unanticipated costly repairs surfaced, the families grew, causing cramped quarters, and Michael and Alice started contemplating selling their share and getting a place of their own. The only document between the parties was their four names on a mortgage, and they believed that through general reasonableness things would work out. However, they understood that the handling of these delicate issues may have plagued their friendship.

The fictitious scenario above illustrates some potential problems that may arise in co-ownership. Generally, each of the co-owners owns a percentage of the property, is on the title and deed as an owner, and is a co-borrower on a mortgage.

The advantage of co-ownership...

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by: Todd C. Ratner, Esquire

BusinessWest
August 21, 2006

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