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When Georgie Aitken and Magda Dominik’s son, Walker, was born in September 2013, they dreamed of having a backyard and more space for him to play in. The 36-year-old leadership consultants were renting the third floor of a 110-year-old house in Vancouver for $1,700 a month.


They wanted to buy and were considering spending $600,000 on a home, not an outrageous amount considering that the average price of houses in Vancouver is projected to hit $811,000 at the end of this year. But it is a daunting amount.


“To buy something in our price range would’ve made us house poor,” Mr. Aitken says. “We could’ve afforded a fixer upper but it would have compromised the rest of our lifestyle.”


Instead, the family joined forces with another couple who also had a young child and together in July, they bought a 2,700-square-foot, two-level home in North Vancouver. Located across the street from a wooded park and three minutes from the ocean beach, the home cost about $970,000.


As housing costs rise, many first-time homebuyers are being priced out of the market and unable to save the huge down payment or even qualify for a mortgage. So more people are resorting to other ways to achieve their home-buying goals, including co-buying with friends or family.


Mr. Aitken and Ms. Dominik live upstairs while their good friends, Joe MacLeod, Margaret Shipley and their one-year-old son Levi, live downstairs. Each level has three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The week that they moved in, Walker, took his first steps and can now explore a beautiful backyard hugged by towering Maple, Cedar and Alder trees.


“We give each other date nights with cheap in-house baby sitting,” Mr. Aitken says. “We just had a big canning session here with us canning tomatoes for the winter.”


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