Should Home Buyers Be Looking For Co-Investors?

by Shilpi Paul


Atlantic Cities spent the better part of last week mulling over the younger generation’s housing conundrum. In “The Anxiety of the Forever Renter,” DC resident Emily Badger shared her conflicting desires; to move to Portland on a whim, but also have a home that she feels like she can make her own. She’s aware of the risks of homeownership, but still wants freedom from a landlord’s careful watch.

Shows like My So-Called Life and movies like American Beauty may have soured some on suburban life, and the housing market crash made a mortgage seem more like an albatross than a wise investment. The new world order is supposed to reward adaptability and create more global citizens. But while we’re here, we want a place we can call home.

So, is there a way for Generations X and Y to be temporarily settled?

Atlantic Cities found one compromise: housing partnerships. The idea, from New York University economics professor Andrew Caplin, is that homeowners find co-investors to share ownership of a house, like the stock market. The homeowner would live there, but the co-investors, who Caplin imagines might be parents, employers or just interested investors, would own shares in the home.

When the owners wanted to sell, all the investors would keep a share of the selling price. The theory is that the owner wouldn’t take on more than they can afford, keeping default rates low. The investors share the risks and the rewards, and the owners get to paint, renovate and generally feel like it is their home.

Sounds like Caplin’s plan might work for some people. The problem? He says that current tax and property laws make the execution of the theory almost impossible. Nevertheless, he continues to lobby for the plan.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/should_home_buyers_be_looking_for_co_investors/4619


  1. Jake said at 12:54 pm on Monday November 21, 2011:

    What a concept! I think it’s called renting. This is a stupid idea.  Another dumb idea from so called experts.

  1. WD said at 1:15 pm on Monday November 21, 2011:

    On some level this is already happening, parents helping kids buy, etc. the difference being that this calls for investors to take equity. Not a bad idea but not sthing I see happening anytime soon.

  1. E said at 2:23 pm on Monday November 21, 2011:

    Hey Jake did you read the entire article?  It says when the owners want to sell, the investors get a piece of the pie as well. How is that like renting? Let’s try more reading comprehension. I don’t think this idea holds much weight either way.

  1. Rayful Edmond said at 3:49 pm on Monday November 21, 2011:

    How is this different from Tenancy-in-Common?

Comments are closed.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾