Some people are convinced they can't afford a home because they haven't really researched alternative forms of home ownership. If you think that the only way to own a home is to have stellar credit, a 20% down payment, and surplus funds for other expenses, then this article is for you. Here are other ways you can own a home without any of those things:
Buy With a Friend
No law that says you have to buy a home alone; property co-ownership is legal. Therefore, you can combine your resources with another person, say a close friend or relative, and share the costs. Of course, you should be careful in your selection of co-ownership to reduce the likelihood of disagreements. However, you still shouldn't just rely on your closeness or friendship; craft a legally-binding agreement for future security.
The arrangements you can have with your co-owner are almost endless. For example, you can decide to live in the home and take care of the maintenance expenses, or you can agree to live as roommates until one of you can buy out the other party. You don't even have to share the purchase price evenly; you can make it out to any percentage you like.
Buy a Property and Rent It Out
Owning a property is more than paying its purchase price or down payment. You should be able to afford the monthly mortgages, property taxes, and maintenance costs, among others. However, some arrangements can allow you to own a home if you can afford the down payment and at least part of the monthly mortgage payments.
For example, you can buy a property and rent out some rooms or the whole house. You can then use the rental income to pay for the homeownership costs. Before you do this, however, do your calculations properly to reduce your risk of getting stuck somewhere down the road.
Try the Rent-To-Own Arrangement
You can also try the rent-to-own arrangement that allows you to live in a house (as you pay rent) with the agreement that you will buy it at a specified later date. This arrangement suits you if you don't qualify for a mortgage at present (maybe due to your abysmal credit rating) or can't afford the down payment. You will be paying slightly higher rent, with a portion of it going to the purchase price. Again, do your research well before getting into a rent-to-own agreement. For example, you should know who will be responsible for the maintenance of the property and how much money you may lose if you rescind your option of buying the house at the end of the rental period.
For additional advice, contact a real estate agent in your area.