Who doesn’t dream of owning a property on the beach or a house nestled in the mountains? For many vacation home buyers, however, this dream is out of reach. That’s why some real estate professionals are considering an alternative: shared ownership. By purchasing one-eighth or one-fourth home equity, buyers can lower their costs and share the responsibilities of ownership with others.
Technology startups—like Pacasso, SecondShare, and investor-focused solutions Fractional—are helping real estate professionals create co-ownership arrangements between groups of buyers, who may be family, friends or strangers.
Second Share claims that shared ownership for a vacation home can reduce upfront ownership costs by 75 percent. “Most people can’t afford the vacation home they want,” says co-founder Patrick Duncan. “It often doesn’t make economic sense to own the entire property when you can only use it for part of the year. Co-ownership can represent the future of vacation home ownership.
in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Josh Dotoli, founder and principal of Compass Dotoli Group, recently pitched the idea to one of his buyers. Using Pacasso’s platform, the client purchased a one-quarter equity share in a waterfront home. The house would have cost $5 million to buy outright, but the client bought the share for $699,000. “Our client got everything he wanted at the right price,” says Dotoli, who added a section on the brokerage’s website dedicated to co-ownership opportunities.
Pacasso Vice President of Industry Relations Marnie Blanco is a real estate professional who is an integral part of fractional ownership transactions. Companies rely on agents to convey the idea of fractional ownership and represent buyers entering into these arrangements. According to Pacasso, 89% of buyers are buying a second home for the first time, evidence that shared ownership is opening up opportunities for a new class of buyers. Agents collect a commission when they represent each buyer in a joint ownership agreement.
When proposing fractional ownership, Pacasso, SecondShare and their competitors understand that they must first clear up an ambiguity: They are not selling timeshares. Timeshares sell time or are essentially long-term leases, not shared ownership or real estate ownership. Co-owners share equally. After a one-year ownership period, owners can publicly sell their stake in a Pacasso or Second Share property.
Tech startups know that they need to promote this new proprietary segment to get more people on board. Pacasso is partnering with real estate brokers to do this. Most recently, it partnered with Engel & Volker to sell a joint venture in Park City, Utah, and Aspen & Vail, Colo. and Malibu, Calif., among other places. Pacasso also worked with the Real Estate Standards Organization to establish condominiums as a property subtype in RESO’s 2022 Data Dictionary of Industry Standards.
“With RESO’s announcement of co-ownership as an asset class and our continued work to develop partnerships with major brokers, we are further strengthening co-ownership as a key purchasing decision,” says Blanco. “We’re helping real estate professionals tap into a new group of buyers who have always dreamed of owning a second home but weren’t priced out or generally ready to commit.”
Learn more about three fast-growing co-owned real estate startups:
In the year After launching in 2020, Pacasso quickly achieved “unicorn” status as a technology startup worth billions of dollars. In the year In 2021 – the first year of operations – the company sold 400 units in properties owned by Pacasso.
How it works: Pacasso buys a luxury vacation home through an LLC, then sells ownership shares, oversees management and maintenance, and coordinates timeshare and owner payments. It currently has 35 markets in the US, Spain and the UK with plans to expand to 30 new markets by 2022.
Property Shares: Buyers must buy at least one-eighth share, which allows them to spend 44 nights a year in the house.
About the houses: Picasso homes are often priced at $1 million or more, are located in second home hot spots, and are professionally designed and furnished.
How to finance: Buyers can finance up to 70% of the purchase price. A minimum of 30% down payment is required. Pacasso offers competitive rates with bank partners.
For real estate professionals: Agents earn a commission for referring buyers. Pacasso also works with buyer’s agents on the homes they buy.
In the year Founded in 2021, SecondShare offers shared ownership as a service for any home in the US
How it works: It is a platform for arranging joint ownership transactions and managing property and ownership details. Co-owners can be matched on the purchase of rental properties or use the service to purchase property shares for personal use.
Property Shares: Co-ownership of vacation rentals is usually sold as a quarter share, with a maximum of 50%, allowing each owner enough weeks to allow for more than 21-plus days of annual use and for short-term rental income. Common ownership is typically sold for one twelfth share for owner use only, allowing each owner up to four weeks of property use.
About the houses: The company can arrange joint ownership for any house.
How to finance: Buyers can use financing for up to 70% of their purchase, through cash, a personal line of credit, or through Second Share financing partners.
For real estate professionals: SecondShare pays commissions to listing agents and agents who represent buyers in co-ownership transactions.
Fractional, a member of the National Association of REALTORS® 2022 REACH Group, facilitates investment opportunities.
How it works: Users can create or join an existing investment proposal. Once the property generates enough interest and funding, the fractionalist takes a discount on the property and then forms an LLC to divide the equity stake among the owners. Manages fractional co-ownership agreements and administrative duties and distributes rental payments among owners. Fractional is primarily located in Georgia, Texas and Florida but can support properties anywhere in the US.
Property Shares: The minimum investment amount is $5,000.
About the houses: Shared ownership investment opportunities for residential and multi-family real estate, including single-family homes, two-story homes or entire apartment buildings.
How to finance: Fractional Lending Partners offers short and long term financing. Interest rates and down payment amounts vary by location, property type and loan type.
For real estate professionals: The company will work with agents to close the purchase.