For 2 months in a row, I have appeared in Personal Money, a financial magazine for those who want to be informed about how to be financially independent. Last month, in June 2010, my book '40 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer Before Buying a Residential Property in Malaysia' was reviewed.
As that was it first review done by a financial reporter, I was quite nervous when Siew-May Lim (the reporter) came to my office and interviewed me. The interview was about what advice would I have about the issue of 'Legalities of Buying Property in Malaysia'. When it came out, I was relieved when she said my book is great as a basic book about legal matters when buying a property. Read my take on that review here.
As for the July issue, which you can see the cover below, I was interviewed, through e-mails (a first for me), under the title 'Co-owning Property : Dos and Don't'. I was first told that it would be about my experience in co-owning properties with other investors, but I think it was changed to a panel discussion (as if we were interviewed together) on how to co-own property with enough coverage to ensure that the sharing of property either for those where we live in or for investment wouldn't be impeding our ability to enjoy the property.
Basically, I am all for it as long as you can find the right partner. The benefit of sharing the capital expenditures, the maintenance and the cost of marketing or looking for tenant(s) and/or buyer(s) can be a plus points. The best way to ensure these matters are shared equally, agreements stating these terms need to be entered into. Equal sharing can be between two people or even a few people. A panellist in the discussion said that he believed you can also do a better arrangement by incorporating a company though the cost may be higher as you need to pay the cost of maintaining the company. As for financing the purchase, with a partner, you may get the advantage of setting of each other shortcoming financially but you may also some problem in encountering bankers who are unwilling to finance purchase by unrelated parties.
In my experience in sharing the purchase and the maintenance of property with partner(s), whom are not my spouse (which is another matter altogether), I can say that the success lies in the understanding of the exit strategy for the investment. As we were using other sources for the purchase, the cost and the profit from the sale became the point of contention which we finally managed to settle amicably. It is not an easy option but my reason for entering such arrangement is due to the fact that risk should always be spread around that be burdened on one party. As some would say, Sharing is Caring (either the risk or the profit).