2. If it were to work out, in the beginning, what happens when one wants to sell and the other doesn't? Can one family afford to pay the mortgage alone? Would another person or family member want to "buy in" with another family?
Sometimes it's best to be "just family or friends" not joint home owners or business partners. I know of two scenarios where it has divided two best friends, and two family members, where they no longer even talk with each other. That's sad.
The only way it would work is out of neccessity with both family members realizing that we cannot go this route without each other and also to form a legal contract seperate from real estate contract that if one side of the family wanted to sell, so would the other, with say a 6-12 month notice.
Dave Tap Tapper
This reminds me of a film from the late 1960's called "No Blade of Grass". A virus hits wheat and famine sets in. Rules of society fail as everyone tries to survive. A man and his family try to get to his brothers place which is like the one I described and after his travel travails he is killed by his brother at the gate of the property.
Is this question a harbinger of the collapse of our society?
Actually the situation you are asking about is not at all unusual for many immigrant groups and some cultures choose to live with an extended family. Is the Chronicle only asking for people that normally would not live in an extended family situation?