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Law Office of Marilyn Sullivan

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In the early 80s Marilyn brought us shared ownership, a creative way to buy and sell real estate for optimum profit and tax deductions.

Shared ownership is basically another name for equity sharing. It takes one property, more than one owner and blends them to maximize profit and tax deductions. This form of co-ownership has varying structures. In the traditional equity share, Party 1 (the Investor) provides the down payment while Party 2 (the Occupier) lives in the property and pays its expenses. At the end of an agreed term they split the equity. The shared ownership's greatest advantage to the Occupier is to confer home ownership long before s/he could save up a down payment. The Investor's greatest advantage is to earn a portion of the home's appreciation without paying its expenses.

The Investor may wear many hats: a family member, a third party Investor, a seller. In a buyer's market, when sellers are forced to slash prices, the shared ownership seller becomes a marketing magnet when he offers to fund the down payment. From the loan he and the Occupier obtain, the seller cashes out with at least 80% of value and turns the property and its expenses over to the Occupier. The down payment amount left in the property as equity is converted to his investment property. By cashing out and moving on to another property yet continuing to share in the appreciation of his home receiving generous tax breaks, he gets the best of both worlds.

There are many versions of shared ownership: the Traditional Transaction, the Co-Occupier (no investor; more than one occupier) and the Joint Venture (No occupier; more than one investor). Visit our Equity Sharing sub-pages for Transaction Samples, Products for sale, Checklists, and more. If you are a Seller interested in Equity Sharing as a means to sell your home, also look at our pages on Rent to Own which is another strategy you may want to explore.

As the national expert on shared ownership and the author of two books on the subject, Marilyn and her staff offer the most complete and up-to-date information on this popular co-ownership option. They also believe in full service, meaning they are set up to do it all for you (see our Fees page) or give you the advice and tools (see our Do It Yourself page) to implement your transaction yourself.

The tax laws which apply to shared ownership are Federal laws, thereby making this type of co-ownership pertain to transactions nationwide. Because the tax code refers to a Shared Equity Financing Arrangement, the transaction is formally referred to as Equity Sharing. As the national provider of equity share services, Marilyn and staff are set up to provide long-distance consultations by e-mail at low rates.