Some prospective home buyers looking to live in New York City or the metropolitan area have turned to co-ownership of their first homes with their friends or family.

“It’s a really good way for people to work the system,” says Marina Schindler, a saleswoman at Compass Real Estate. “Not everybody has that money for a down payment. They realize if they team up, they get more bang for the buck.”

Some groups have chosen to split existing two-family homes. Others purchase single-family homes and work together to convert them into multi-family properties, according to agreed-upon conditions.

Families looking into joint ownership should map out their finances before they make a purchase, according to Stuart Berg, a partner in the Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever firm. “It’s essential to determine up front the financial arrangements of each party,” says Berg. This includes what will happen “if one party cannot meet his or her agreed-upon financial obligations.”

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