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Shacking Up Is Hard To Do

This week, I’m repeating some pool-related blogs from the past, like this one from December 2007:


I thought it would be hard to surprise me in this--or any-- real estate market, but a phone call yesterday taught me otherwise.


My caller was the daughter of a client, in her mid-20’s, whose parents told her to call me for advice (I’m guessing they wanted me to talk her out of her scheme, though she never said so).


Seems my caller and two friends decided that they were all paying too much in rent and now would be a good time to pool their money and buy a house together, and it just so happened that one of the friend’s parents was selling a house!


The deal, my caller said, would be simple:  though the house was appraising for “about $465,000” the parents owed $517,000 on the house.  So the trio of friends would assume the trio of mortgages on the property and not give the parents/sellers any cash.


Mindful that the trio would be overpaying by at least $52,000 (and not taking into account all the other variables experienced attorneys and knowledgeable blog readers immediately conjure up) the parents/sellers are offering some value-enhancing perks:  they will do the laundry each week, deliver dinners three times per week, clean the pool and mow the lawn in-season, and give each buyer a $50 gas card per month.


My caller wanted to know two things:  1)  What did I think, “overall”, of the deal?  and 2) Would she have to sue if the pool wasn’t chlorinated or the parents broke one of the other promises?

The conversation continued for almost one half hour from that point, with me explaining all the pitfalls and plain insanity of over-paying for a house she’d co-own jointly with others while trying to hammer out the details of an agreement as to what constituted a “dinner” and what the penalty would be for a missed laundry session.





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