12 minutes

A beginners guide to co-ownership

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Navigating the real estate market is tough, for many young Canadians it’s hard to believe that there was a time where our parents could start owning after a mere 5 years of saving. It now takes the average urban Canadian homebuyer 28 years to save enough for the recommended down payment. Twenty. Eight. Years. And with the growing gap between housing prices and incomes, homeownership is feeling more and more out of reach for so many.That’s where Key comes in. Our innovative co-ownership model is removing the two largest barriers to traditional homeownership: saving a significant amount for a down payment and being required to take on a mortgage. To help better your understanding of our model we put together this beginners guide to co-ownership.

Table of contents

  1. How does co-owning with Key work?
  2. What are the costs involved with co-ownership?
  3. How does Key compare to other models?
  4. When does co-owning make sense?
  5. What is it like to be a co-owner with Key?


1. How does co-owning with Key work?

Simply put, with Key’s co-ownership model you co-own alongside one of our investors or property owners. As a co-owner you can start owning for just 2.5% of the value of your suite, and you can contribute more to start if desired. Like traditional homeownership, your investment grows with real estate. Each month you have a monthly payment, The monthly payment primarily covers your residency for the portion of your suite you don't yet own. It also covers important things like maintenance costs, shared building expenses, and property taxes. Each month $50 of this payment goes towards building your home equity. You can contribute more to your equity at any time, and the more you own the less you pay monthly.When you are ready to move out, after the first year simply give Key 75-days notice and you will receive your equity, appreciation and appreciation from your co-financing benefit back. As with all homeownership, you are taking on the risk of your home depreciating.Learn more about how co-ownership works with these resources:

  1. Co-ownership models explained

   A breakdown of how co-ownership models work, how home equity is treated and how leverage works in our model.

  1. How Key is turning renters into owners.

         At Key, we’re turning renters into owners by delivering the two key benefits of ownership: The ability to own and grow home equity, and increased security of tenancy.

2. What are the costs involved with co-ownership?

With an initial contribution of just 2.5% of the value of your suite, Key’s model allows you to start owning and building equity many years sooner. These resources highlight the financials involved with co-ownership:

  1. Home Equity Calculator

Our home equity calculator allows you to see what your co-ownership interest and monthly payments will look like over a 5-year period. Try it out for yourself by    adjusting the values.

  1. Co-financing Benefit

         Key offers an optional Co-financing Benefit to help you build home equity faster. For every $1 you invest, you will also receive another $1 in leverage. Owner-Residents can benefit from leverage without having to take on debt.

  1. Closing costs

          Co-owning with Key saves the hassles and a minimum of 6% of the costs involved with buying and selling traditional real estate

3. How does Key compare to other models?

As a new model for homeownership, we often get asked how we compare to other models. Here are a few resources that break down these comparisons:

  1. Key vs. Renting.
  • Unlike renting, with Key’s model you own a portion of your suite and are able to grow home equity. You also have more security of tenancy, so you don’t need to worry about that dreaded 60-day notice from your landlord.

2. Key vs. Traditional homeownership

  • Like traditional homeownership, Key allows you to grow equity and have improved security of tenancy over renting. Unlike homeownership with a conventional mortgage, Key also provides you the freedom and flexibility of renting. With Key, you are never required to take on a mortgage and you can move anytime after the first-year. You can also start owning for a significantly lower initial investment (2.5% vs. 5-20%!).

3. Key vs. Rent-to-own.

  • Unlike rent-to-own models, with Key you start building equity from day one. You are also never required to put 5-20% down or qualify for a mortgage.

 4. Key vs. Timeshare

  • With Key you are the sole tenant of your suite. Additionally, unlike a timeshare model, you have an equity position, more security of tenancy and ease of exit.

5. Key vs. REIT.

  • Unlike with REIT’s, Key’s model allows you to reside in your condo and enjoy the benefits of homeownership while building home equity.

4. When does co-owning make sense?

Key’s model is making homeownership accessible to all the people currently locked out of owning. Does co-owning make sense for you? Here are a few resources that might be helpful in your decision making:

  1. When does co-owning make sense?

         If you’re struggling to save for a downpayment, want flexibility, can’t qualify for a mortgage, and crave downtown living, co-owning may be the right solution for you.

  1. Tired of renting? 4 Alternative homeownership models to consider.

           For those struggling to get off the rental treadmill, alternative home ownership models are emerging to increase the accessibility of homeownership.

  1. Why co-ownership is one of the best alternative homeownership models for first-time buyers.

          Key’s model provides you the benefits of owning with the freedoms of renting, making it one of the best solutions for first-time buyers looking to get their foot into the market many years sooner.

  1. 3 reasons to start co-owning with Key.

           With its financial ease of access, Key’s model allows you to get your foot into the market many years earlier, while becoming part of a budding community.

5. What is it like to be a co-owner with Key?

At Key, our Owner-Residents range in age from early 20’s to early 50’s and include singles, couples and families across a wide range of professions. From school teachers to architects, gig workers and more, our diverse group is what makes our budding community at Key so special. Here are some resources to help you learn more about them:

  1. 5 Reasons why Key Owner-Residents chose Key.

          Our Owner-Residents were attracted to Key for a number of reasons. Being able to build equity, while maintaining their flexible lifestyle was important to many of them.

       2. How Key enables community.

          Being an Owner-Resident with Key means being part of a budding community. We work to connect our Owner-Residents with one another.

Meet two of Key’s first Owner-Residents:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn4otj0yqh4At Key, we’re on a mission to make real estate a source of prosperity and freedom for everyone. If you’re interested in starting your homeownership journey with Key, join our waitlist to be among the first to know when our next suites become available.

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