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How Plum simplifies real estate co-ownership and vacations

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Everyone is eagerly awaiting the upcoming holiday season. That’s great and can be a recipe for fighting burnout. And make no mistake, people are back on vacation now that COVID is kind of in the rearview mirror. Research by ValuePenguin even shows that more than half of Americans are planning a trip in the near future. However, figuring out where to live can be a moot point. For many people, vacation co-ownership is an attractive option.

What’s so hard about finding the perfect place to hang out for a week? Despite the proliferation of sites like Airbnb and VRBO, finding budget-friendly accommodations in a prime location isn’t always easy. Many travelers end up feeling that they are not getting the best possible accommodation for their money. As a result, many individuals and families are considering buying vacation properties or looking for timeshares.

Taking a break… without breaking the bank

However, both solutions have problems.

Investing in a house, apartment, bungalow or cottage in a tourist hotspot can be expensive. This is why so many people rent out their vacation properties. Unfortunately, the most lucrative times to rent are during the popular times of the year. Therefore, many property owners forego the opportunity to enjoy their holiday homes during the high season.

Timeshare isn’t necessarily a better option, which is why so many people unload timeshare units en masse. While timeshare fees may seem low, they are very limited.

Also, timeshare “owners” only own time. They don’t really invest in real estate. Therefore, they may not be able to take advantage of a timeshare arrangement, making it a poor choice for first-time investors.

What should individuals and couples who want to go on the same holiday vacation after the holidays do? Serial entrepreneur Matt Williamson asked himself that same question a few years ago. His answer became the seed of his startup, Plum Coonership.

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A streamlined path to owning actual vacation properties

Williamson created Plum so vacationers could ask, “Where should we stay?” Rollercoaster permanently through a co-ownership agreement. Co-ownership of real estate is exactly what it sounds like: several people or couples buy the same property together.

For example, four friends want to buy separate houses on the beach. Still, each friend can only buy houses up to $250,000. Getting close enough to hear the waves is not enough, let alone see the spectacular view.

But when they work together, they have the purchasing power to buy properties listed in the $1 million range. If they invest in that kind of luxury real estate, they can save there for 13 weeks a year.

Not only do they share ownership of the property, but they also have a place to live that they love. And they own the property outright, rather than paying a third party for their time.

Certainly, co-ownership is not a new concept. In fact, there are over 2 million co-owned vacation homes. Still, it can seem daunting for groups interested in buying vacation homes.

Ultimately, there are many considerations to take into account, including setting up a co-ownership group, finding the right real estate agent, and establishing a fair use schedule. Williamson’s brainchild platform, Plume, aims to remove the biggest barriers to co-ownership, making vacation property ownership possible for those interested.

Plum approach to arranging co-ownership of vacation properties

Backed by advanced technologies, Plum serves as a launching pad for aspiring co-owners to make their vacation dreams come true.

Individuals can open free Plum accounts to begin their journey. If they don’t have a group in mind, they can advertise with other real estate investors to join them. Once a group is established through Plume, the site’s seamless system guides the group through the co-ownership process.

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Below are some benefits for co-owners who take advantage of Plum.

1. Co-ownership groups can become LLCs through Plum.

Instead of seeking outside legal help, the co-owners have the option of having Plum help them form the LLC. The LLC then becomes the entity that officially owns the assets.

LLC support protects the individual owners and makes the experience safer and more satisfying. LLC status makes it more efficient in setting up a transparent joint bank account for all LLC members.

While Plum recommends that only certain members be allowed to transfer money, full and transparent access to monthly statements and all transactions should be available to everyone.

2. Co-owners can outline their essentials and conversations on Plum.

It’s important for the co-owners of the property to sort out everything from house rules to maintenance schedules. The sooner it happens, the fewer surprises there are likely to be in the long run.

The Plume system guides groups through the negotiation process of all responsibilities. The final results are placed in a document. Ideally, the document would be created prior to bidding on the holiday property to reduce the chance of misunderstandings.

3. Co-owners can bring properties to the table or search them on Plume.

When Williamson first got into co-ownership, she realized that some people already owned vacation properties. But they were interested in dividing the property into shares to spend less per month on mortgage payments, taxes, etc.

Plum allows these types of owners to find other owners to form co-ownership groups. For groups that don’t have property in mind, Plume’s site offers a property search tool. In addition, Plume can suggest co-ownership brokers and lenders interested in selling to co-ownership groups.

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4. Users can contact Plum for the financial management of the property.

After an investment in a property, co-ownership groups have every reason to ensure the proper functioning of the property.

Plum makes sure this happens by including a reserve fund in the original financial projection. Each month, the co-owners pay a fixed amount into the reserve fund. This way the fund can grow and support the costs of regular and emergency maintenance.

Ultimately, the building remains in better shape and the co-owners have less budgetary burdens.

A bright future for those interested in buying a holiday home

Although Plum has just launched, it has received a lot of attention.

Plum was recently featured on the Entrepreneurs Elevator Pitch Show. The result was a $175,000 investment from the former Netflix CEO. Williamson and his team plan to use the investment dollars to further improve the site’s benefits to users.

Meanwhile, Plum offers an attractive way for people to acquire a vacation home with less stress. After all, stress is the opposite of what travel should be about! With Plum, everyone can spend their holidays in the comfort of a home they not only love but love.

Featured image: Pixabay; pixels; Thank you!

Brad Anderson

Editor-in-Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor who oversees the contributed content on ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can contact him through brad at readwrite.com.

Source: readwrite.com

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