WHAT ARE Shared Equity Finance Agreements

A shared equity finance agreement is a specific type of real estate agreement in which a shared equity partnership of two parties purchases a residence together.

BREAKING DOWN Shared Equity Finance Agreements

A shared equity finance agreement is a financial agreement entered into by two parties who would like to purchase a piece of real estate together. Two parties typically choose to enter into a shared equity finance agreement and purchase a primary residence together because one party cannot purchase the residence on its own. It is a fairly uncommon mortgage type. In a shared equity finance agreement, the two parties fulfill different roles. The financially stronger party acts as the investing owner, while the other party is the occupying owner. These agreements tend to be charitable in nature, and state that the latter party must pay a proportional share of the mortgage payment as well as expenses, such as insurance and property taxes. In some shared equity finance agreements, in return for providing at least a portion of the downpayment, the investing party also receives a portion of the profits when the occupying party chooses to sell the home.

The most common situation in which one sees a shared equity finance agreement is when parents want to help a child purchase a home. In some shared equity finance agreements, the occupant partner must pay the investor partner a monthly rental payment above and beyond the proportional share of expenses. The investing party is usually then able to deduct its share of expenses paid, including the depreciation of the property.

Shared Equity Finance Agreement in the Real World

Say an individual wants to purchase a home, but they cannot afford to do it on their own. If a parent is willing to help the individual purchase the home, they may choose to help the individual by entering into a shared equity finance agreement. In the agreement, the two parties reach terms that vary from situation to situation.  For example, the parents may choose to enter into an agreement where, in addition to paying the down payment, they sign a mortgage as well. This means they will be fiscally obligated to pay half the mortgage until the entirety of the loan is paid. The child in this situation then pays their half of the mortgage to the bank, and then pays their parent’s half the house's market rate as rent. If the home rents for $1,000 a month, they would pay their parents an additional $500 after splitting the costs of the mortgage and other home costs.