It’s All in the Family … Or Is It? Things to Consider

Business Law, Estate Planning and Litigation

What to Consider Before Buying Property with Relatives and Spouses

May 2021

Buying real estate is never a small undertaking, and particularly so in Vancouver’s real estate market, where even a small bungalow in East Vancouver can go for well over a million dollars. For many people, buying a home is the largest financial decision they make in their lives. That is why it is important not to take it lightly, and to thoroughly consider all the legal and financial im­plications before purchasing property.

Many people’s first-time home buying experience is with a spouse. Other people buy with their relatives – their parents or siblings, for example – and some even buy with friends or business partners. Oftentimes this is because two people or a group of people can pool their financial re­sources and acquire a bigger and more valuable piece of property. Alternatively, a person might receive a loan or a gift of cash from their parents or other relatives to help them purchase a prop­erty. However, owning a property with another person or receiving a gift or loan from another person to purchase property can have many implications that most people do not think about. For example, what happens if:

  • One of the owners dies?
  • The owners stop getting along and one wishes to sell but the other doesn’t?
  • One owner ends up paying all the mortgage payments and other maintenance payments and the other owner doesn’t contribute at all?
  • The person who lent the money to buy the property needs to collect on their loan?
  • A parent helps their child buy property and then that child marries or enters into a common law relationship – what happens to the equity the parent contributed?

In our upcoming blog series, Lindsay Kenney LLP lawyers will guide readers through the potential pearls and pitfalls of purchasing a property. Stay tuned for articles on:

  1. Real estate considerations: Co-owning a property with a friend, relative, or business partner
  2. Real estate and family law considerations:Parents loaning or gifting money to children, and children owning property in a marriage or common law relationship
  3. Estate planning considerations:Parents gifting their children money to help purchase real estate or gifting their children a property

Depending on your specific needs, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer about how to best address your situation. This could save you significant time and expense down the road.

For further information, contact one of our lawyers in our Real Estate Group, Family Law Group, or Estate Planning and Litigation Group.

Real Estate

Joel Hagyard
Partner – Practice Group Leader
778 289 9506
[email protected]
Pamela Lindsay
604 484 3058
[email protected]

Family Law

Cassandra Drake
Partner – Practice Group Leader
604 484 3097
[email protected]
Fanda Wu
604 235 3950
[email protected]

Estate Planning and Litigation

Timothy Grier
778 289 9505
[email protected]

This article is intended to be an overview of the law and is for informational purposes only. Readers are cautioned that this article does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied on as such. Rather, readers should obtain specific legal advice in relation to the issues they are facing.