Affordable housing has been kicked around a lot in the last few years, especially since 2021, when Bidenflation started jacking up the prices of almost everything. Young people are having trouble buying houses, interest rates are moving upward, and some folks with homes are having trouble staying in them.

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One possible solution to this is “co-ownership” of a home. That is to say, co-owning and sharing a home with friends or family members. Is this a good idea? 

Color me skeptical.

While the concept of group homeownership isn’t new (think: timeshares), more and more younger generations are reportedly open to the idea of buying one-fourth or even one-eighth of a property amid a volatile and pricey real estate market.

“It’s just a natural solution to a growing problem that we face here in America, and that many cities face around the world,” co-founder and CEO of Pacaso – a property broker which lists shares of vacation homes – Austin Allison told Fox News Digital. 

“There’s so many examples of companies that are creating sharing economy solutions to old problems,” the CEO added, “and co-ownership is effectively a sharing economy solution to a housing affordability problem. So I think the younger generation is just more familiar with innovative and sustainable structures like this.”

This isn’t going to work out the way these young people think it will. I say that because this isn’t a new thing; my hippie brother tried it, back in the early ’70s.

That being the early ’70s, and my brother and his friends being hippies (It was still a pretty new thing back then) a group of them took it in their heads to go live in a commune. Seven of them had enough money that between them they came up with a down payment and qualified for a mortgage, and they bought a farm in northern Missouri. 

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They all lived there for some time, but the group gradually came apart, in no small part because, as my brother described it, the idea of a “commune,” that is, a group holding all their property and responsibilities in common, didn’t work. Not when 10 percent of the people were doing 90 percent of the work. 

So my brother bailed, and in time married, and started his own business doing fine cabinet work and building custom speakers.

But he still owned 1/7th of that farm. He still owns it today. The original contract stated that all seven members of the purchase agreement had to agree to sell the property, and wouldn’t you know it, one of them refused, still refuses, and still lives on that farm today, having essentially bought it for 1/7th the purchase price.

That’s the kind of crap these young people who are considering this arrangement are going to run into.


See Related: West Hollywood Progressives: ‘We Need Affordable Housing…but Not Where We Can See It!’

Five States Where Homes Are Overvalued – but Are They, Really?


Of course, there are situations in which family members might share a home for a while; my wife’s grandmother lived with her parents for the last 10 years of her life, for example. And multi-generation homes have been the norm for much of human history, and still are in some places. But co-ownership among a group of friends strikes me as a great way to end a friendship.

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Owning a home really is part of the American dream. It’s more than just a cover for all your stuff. It’s a place for your family; a place to raise kids, and later a place to spend your golden years. Sharing it with a group of friends seems like it kind of negates that idea.

There is an obvious exception, though: I co-own my house. With my wife, in fact. For the past 32 years, that’s worked out pretty well.