“Two families have come up with an unconventional solution to the high cost of real estate in Vancouver, which makes buying a home impossible for many young families,” the CBC reported in late January. “The Morey family and the Thrift family have co-purchased a home using the mixer mortgage option from Vancity.”
The proposition may seem outrageous to some, but it’s a unique way of purchasing a house and, for the two families, it was the only option.
“You have to take risks and sometimes you have to do things that are uncomfortable, but the payoff is huge," Brandon More -- one of the family's patriarchs told the CBC. "It's the affordability that kind of pushes you in this direction."
The two families share a 3,000 square-foot, $800,000 home in Vancouver. They share dining room, kitchen and living room; the Moreys occupy the basement and the Thrifts live on the top floor.
Vancity, the Credit Union who provided the mortgage, touts the “mixer mortgage” as a feasible option for first-time buyers who otherwise could not afford to own.
It's a concept many brokers have firsthand knowledge of, primarily with friends or siblings sharing responsibilities.
“If you’re a first-time homebuyer who wants to share the cost of buying a home with one or more friends, roommates, co-workers, or family members, take a closer look at our Mixer mortgage,” the CU states on its website. “Sharing property costs and home ownership among two or more individuals gives you more options for purchasing the home you want in the neighbourhood you want.”
And while it may currently be a niche product, could mortgage brokers start seeing an increased desire for this sort of ownership option? It’s certainly plausible if house prices keep rising.
Two Vancouver families have found an unorthodox path to homeownership: Co-ownership.