Owning a beachside mansion or country cottage in your dream vacation spot just became a lot easier.
If you've ever been on holiday and fantastised about owning a home in that idyllic destination, Australian company Kohab has a radical idea: split the bill with someone else.
Kohab is the new online service connecting like-minded house hunters with dream homes they can purchase together. While the opportunity is there for everyone, co-ownership is ideal for those looking for a holiday residence, where a successful timeshare is more likely.
The website aims to cover all the bases in one location, from displaying the property listings, to offering standardised or customisable legal agreements, and mortgage and insurance advice.
While it's daunting to imagine trusting other people - let alone complete strangers - with your little slice of paradise, Kohab Co-Founder, David Dawson, believes other pioneers of the shared economy prepared us for the jump. Thanks to the phenomenal success of companies like Uber and Airbnb, people's ideas of buying, selling and sharing have shifted.
"The shared economy relies on people doing the right thing by each other, and of course there are occasions that doesn’t happen, but I think ultimately it encourages people to behave properly and do the right thing," David suggests. "And it’s so much more fun if you’re doing it with other people than on your own, right?"
If you're a still a little concerned, David says a co-ownership agreement is designed to ease your worries.
"I think setting the ground rules - the ground rules being a co-ownership agreement - is the most important thing to do first," David emphasises. "It's also obviously [about] picking the right people to buy with, [but] once you’ve got that organised and you’ve got your team lined up, then the co-ownership agreement is critical."
Co-ownership agreements aim to legally protect all buyers in the event someone dies, goes bankrupt or wants to sell the property. It also establishes the agreed-upon ways the house will be used.
For instance, consider who is buying the home and when will they want to stay there? Will you live there together? If it's a holiday home, and you're all buyers with young families, will you share the space for the school holidays or take it in shifts?
You would also want to figure out if you're happy to leave the house empty, or if the parties are happy leasing or lending it to others.
While this can and should take a while to consider, once the co-ownership agreement is locked in, the rest comes down to decency.
"I think people in the shared economy need to be more flexible and more willing to compromise and do the right thing by other people. I think it’s a sign of maturity," David confirms.