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Why I Love Buying Properties With Friends

When I talk about buying properties with friends (we've bought an island, a flat in Budapest, an apartment in Tokyo, and an apartment in Hawaii), some people get it immediately. Others don't get the point, quickly do the math and realize that they'd save money and hassle if they just stuck with Airbnbs. It's hard to rebut that argument, because most of the benefits are hard to explain unless you've experienced them. But as I sit here in Honolulu Airport on my way back from a trip to Hilo, I think I can use this trip as an example to illustrate why it's worth buying properties with your friends.

First, the decision to do a trip at all was much easier. The three of us that went on the trip all own the property together, so it makes Hilo an obvious place to visit. There are also no logisticts to worry about. We can come or go on any days we want, don't have to check in or meet someone to get keys, and have our minivan parked out front. Imagine if we wanted to go to Maui. We'd need to rent cars, choose an airbnb, and all go on the same days because no one wants to pay for an Airbnb by themselves if others leave early.

And, of course, the marginal cost was totally insignificant. We had to buy plane tickets (or use miles, more realistically), but we had no lodging or car rental costs. Because of this we can go on trips whenever we want, so we tend to travel together much more often. Before owning a place in Hawaii I visited once every few years. Now I go once every few months, almost always with at least one of the other owners.

Once we arrived in the apartment, everything was just as we left it. I changed into my linen Hawaiian shirt and board shorts, both of which sit in a plastic bin under one of the beds. I took out my set of sheets and made up one of the beds. Unlike an unfamiliar apartment or AirBnb, I feel like I'm home.

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