finance

"I invested in property with my best friend. Now our friendship is over."

My friend and I have known each other since high school. We were the best of friends, more like family, choosing each other as godparents to our children and sharing our lives. We became mums at the same time and our children have spent a lot of time together because we always wanted them to become best friends too.

We’ve always tried to be smart with our money and started trying to think of ways to invest together, so we could both be secure about our futures.

Long story short, she and I bought a property together. It was a lot of work but we were determined to ensure we’d be able to retire comfortably after our children were grown and go on all those holidays we’d always dreamed of. I knew more than she did about how to go about it, so initially I did the majority of the work.

It was so much fun fixing the place up. We’re both massive fans of The Block and used to talk as though we were being filmed. Who knows? If this hadn’t happened then maybe we would have ended up on the show together? After the success of our first investment together we set up a self-managed super fund together and bought another one. 

The last text message from your best friend. Article continues after this video.

It didn’t take too long for things to start to go wrong.

I started realising that I was doing all of the work and every time I asked her to do something she’d say she was too busy so I had no choice but to do it. We started bickering, then fighting and now we aren’t even speaking.

We ended up having a massive fight, the kind of fight you can’t come back from. Now, we aren’t even speaking, aside from the occasional terse email. I want to sell the property, divide the profits and go our separate ways. But selling requires work and I refuse to do it all myself.

This is the story of someone close to me. She recently went through the horrible experience of ending a 26-year friendship, just months after buying a property with that friend.

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In actual terms, this is very much like a divorce of sort,” CEO SMSF Loan Experts Yannick Ieko said. “While emotions may be running high, there is little doubt that everyone’s best outcome from a financial perspective is aligned.”

Ieko says these former best friends need to engage the services of a neutral, third party professional mediator such as the Resolution Institution. “It is important that the two parties come to at least an agreement regarding the price and conditions at which they will sell the property before proceeding with the sales campaign.”

"In actual terms, this is very much like a divorce of sort." Image: Something Borrowed, Warner Bros.

However, even with these services engaged, Ieko warns that things are likely to get worse before they get better.

"I think the real difficult part of this transaction will come at the time of wrapping up the SMSF, as it is a demanding process and can lead to quite a few arguments," he said. "If they do go through a professional mediation, this should certainly be addressed at the same time."

He recommends she stay focused on what is best for her financial future and her superannuation. To try and look past the emotional upheaval with her friend.

"This is the crucial outcome which will impact her and her family long term. Anger and emotions in general are rarely good advisers, particularly in financial matters."

As to whether or not the friendship can be salvaged, that's another story. It certainly sounds like, at the very least, these former best friends could use a nice, long break from each other.

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