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Advantages and disadvantages of buying a second home with several people.

Are you interested in buying a second home and sharing the costs with friends, family or even strangers? It's an attractive idea! You enjoy the benefits of a second home at a fraction of the cost. 

But there are complications: friends fall out, maintenance gets out of hand and it’s complicated sharing such a large and valuable asset, with everyone trying to meet their specific needs. What’s the solution? How can you keep the advantages of a shared purchase without all that complexity? 

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What is the purchase of a second home by several people? 

There are various legal mechanisms by which you can jointly own property. The SCI (société civile immobilière) is a French legal structure for joint property ownership. Each partner owns shares in the SCI in proportion to their in the property. Decisions are made by majority vote. SCIs are non-commercial companies that have over the years provided some advantages in tax and ease of transfer, but with tightening of the law they have become less attractive. 

(Timeshare, which became popular in France in the 1980s, uses the SCI as its framework). 

The advantages of a second home for several people 

There are various advantages to properly managed co-ownership. The most obvious is that you can lay claim to an address that would otherwise blow your budget. It’s also very practical and proportionate. The house does not stand empty, costing money.  Charges and costs are divided, keeping them affordable. 

The possible disadvantages of a second home for several people

Buying a second home with others, perhaps using an SCI, is certainly an option. However, you can expect inconveniences and frictions. Who chooses the decorations? Who buys the furniture? What about everyone's personal gear? And why should Clémence have those two weeks in August and not me? Jules could have mowed the lawn before we arrived... And what happened to my family porcelain vase? 

Yes, between various maintenance and repairs issues, calendar clashes, the smelly kitchen, the swampy swimming pool, conflict is inevitable. People become resentful when they feel they’re doing all the admin. Inevitably, the hassle of running a home for others becomes a burden and a cause of unhappiness…all the worse when it happens between friends 

Administering a property portfolio through an SCI is complex. You risk sacrificing friendships and family ties!

Didn't Rockefeller say: "A friendship based on business is much better than a business based on friendship”? 

Timeshare is also not the solution, given that you don’t actually own the property, you only have right of use. Timeshare is also notorious for not maintaining its resale value and the difficulty of getting out of the contract. The levies are also expensive. In short, a dream can become a nightmare! 

 

An innovative alternative: Altacasa 

"Order and beauty; luxury, calm and pleasure". 

Altacasa has reinvented the idea of the second home. You can buy with friends, family or with strangers. Altacasa acts as a third party, seeing to the management and maintenance of the property. 

With Altacasa as your partner, you hold the title deed to an epic home: a sublime villa with uninterrupted views of the ocean, a magnificent country manor with a river running through it, a sumptuous chalet overlooking Mont Blanc… Each property is carefully selected for position, comfort and style, which you enjoy for zero hassle. 

A neutral, credible formula is applied to choice of stays, guaranteeing flexibility and fairness. You also have the option to rent out your weeks. 

Altacasa uses top interior designers to furnish and decorate in keeping with the unique regional styles. Your house is meticulously kitted out, particularly the kitchens…oh puréePersonal belongings can be kept in special lockups for each owner.

The clincher is the suite of services you enjoy. The property is quietly taken care of:  garden services, cleaning and painting…even changing light bulbs. Legal and administrative issues are expertly dealt with behind the scenes, and bills are paid, assuring you that costs are being optimally managed. 

All in complete transparency. You don't have to worry about anything! Nothing at all. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the charms of your classy property.