Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's how to make shared equity work for you. Hosted by Frances Cook.

As the talkfest on what to do about our housing market continues, one idea hasn't had the scrutiny it deserves.

That's the idea of shared equity, where you might buy a home with a friend or family member to reduce the cost of a deposit, as well as the ongoing mortgage.

So far so sensible, but actually, it's much harder than it sounds.

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For one thing, banks are often quite wary of it. They may ask you to practically sign your life away just to get approval on a joint mortgage.

It's not that different to buying a house with your significant other, but you wouldn't know that from how banks react.

You might also want to draw up a legal agreement between the two of you, as a shared house is quite the commitment, and can certainly go wrong.

The problem is it shouldn't be this difficult, as shared equity between friends is a great solution to a very real problem.

House prices may be flattening out, particularly in Auckland, where prices actually dropped 0.3 percent in the three months to October.

But they're already at sky-high levels, with the average Auckland home now a smidge over $1million.

So while it's nice it's not going any higher, holding steady at that high price still isn't all that helpful.

I talked to Lesley Harris, from the First Home Buyers Club. We discussed what you need to get the bank to sign off, the problems people don't expect, and the legal issues to be aware of.

For the interview, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this podcast, or an idea for the next one, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

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