Accuracy in Media

Business Insider is pushing the idea that buying a house with friends is the new model for happiness once described as the American Dream. 

Some of the benefits Business Insider touts about the joint-ownership scheme are “a co-parenting model,” “a co-economy model” and a “really great friendship and support model.” 

“If we can just get out of that individualistic mindset, we can see the benefits of working together and living together in shared spaces. It’s beneficial for mental health. It’s good for the earth,” said Sierra Thompson, a TikTok creator who advocates for a socialistic scheme of joint ownership of property, who was quoted by Business Insider in support of the idea. 

Business Insider said that the number of people falling for the scheme of joint home ownership with friends has risen by 771% from 2014 to 2021, numbers that the publication plumbed from ATTOM Data Solutions. 

ATTOM Data Solutions had no exact numbers on its website, but the percentage increase by triple digits suggests mathematically that the numbers of people buying up houses with friends are pretty small. The law of large numbers says that big numbers don’t progress by triple-digit percentages.

While acknowledging that the phenomenon is somewhat the result of high home prices, Business Insider says that the trend of buying homes with friends is one that supports the notion that at least some Americans want to share in the “sharing” economy. 

“But it’s also pushback on the isolationist norms that have shaped the nuclear family in America — especially among calls to redesign Americans’ homes and means of mobility,” said Business Insider, getting in their plug for electric cars and trucks too. 

But Business Insider, anxious to promote liberal socialism inherent in the “sharing” economy has glossed over risks and downside associated with “co-buying” a house as it is called. 

Buying any joint property with someone you don’t have a legal relationship with, like a spouse, can come with difficulties. Heck, even buying with a spouse can pose problems in a relationship.

But with a house, one must pay yearly property taxes and for maintenance in addition to the mortgage commitment. Plus there could be HOA fees which often have as much liability as taxes do.  

One example is that there’s a ton of case law where properties are divided amongst spouses in the case of divorce, yet we all have heard of cases where the division of property is difficult. 

One can only imagine what the falling out among friends might be like when there are hard feelings and friends head for a “divorce.” 

The Business Insider piece mentions a granddaughter. Having a cute and bouncy granddaughter around is far different from having a teenager around. 

The biggest problems revolve around money. 

What happens when one party wants — or needs — to sell and the other party doesn’t? What happens when one party won’t support the maintenance of the house, or the mortgage anymore because of illness or disability, death or more mundanely, unemployment? 

The weight of that non-payment falls squarely on the rest of the owners with consequences to their credit score.  

A house is the single biggest purchase that most people will ever make. And for most, it will make up a substantial portion of their retirement funds. To treat it like a fun social experiment is irresponsible by a publication that purports to be about money and finance.  

It’s okay to admit that people are co-buying houses because they can’t afford to buy a house on their own and it often makes more sense than renting. 

But let’s not pretend that there aren’t consequences.  




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