Could home-sharing help you comfortably afford your mortgage?

3 years ago
2 minutes

Having a helping hand to meet your monthly repayment requirements not only brings peace of mind as you lead up to the end of the month, but also allows many home owners to either save, or have a more balanced social life.

Housemates can be a lifesaver, especially for those entering the market for the first time.

Affordability concerns are spreading across Australia, and many first home buyers are purchasing properties, and then bringing in friends, or even family members in, to help share the mortgage burden.

Whilst many banks offer a ‘how much can I borrow’ calculator, only a handful put it into complete perspective against your wage and lifestyle.

Inclusive within the Commonwealth Bank’s estimates include; expected rental income, as well as a simplified graph detailing the applicant’s monthly expense position.

This tool will help you self-qualify whether or not a housemate is needed within the confines of your monthly budget.

Using the example below, we can see that the average monthly mortgage repayment would require 42% of the total income earned for the month.

Adding up as follows:

  • $2617.00 for mortgage repayments
  • $1000.00 per month on general expenses

This totals: $3617.00 per month that you would then require you to budget a remaining 30% to saving, or additions to your general living.

But, we can make that easier - adding a housemate.

Pulling in anywhere between $800 to $1200 rent per month from an extra flatmate, would considerably help soften the blow. Decreasing the percentage of your monthly income allocated to mortgage repayments.

Be careful though, as whilst housemates do offer a financial benefit, they can, if not chosen wisely, create conflict and stress. It is therefore imperative to take your time interviewing potential applicants, and understanding the lifestyle changes that will occur if certain prospectives do move in.

Here are some potential housemate tips they you should consider:

  • Always talk to someone on the phone before you invite them over for a chat
  • Find out their taste in music, and ask them what their favourite band is - it’s particularly interesting to see how much information we can get from someone’s music taste
  • Ask them where they like to go out, and whether they prefer pubs or clubs
  • Whilst a cooking housemate is a bonus, their reaction to this may help define them
  • Find out if they have any family or friends in the local area, as they'll always need a plan B if things don’t work out
  • Get them to ask some questions back to you, a successful living situation needs to be mutually beneficial

It is easy to attract the wrong kind of person; but just like purchasing a car, don’t just pick the first one that you test-drive, but rather, explore.

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