Gift To Home: Helping Your Children With The Downpayment

Home / News / Gift To Home: Helping Your Children With The Downpayment

Home ownership is part of the American dream and often thought of as a step towards financial stability. For parents, the thought of helping their child set foot on this path can be both appealing and daunting. Here’s an in-depth look at why and how parents can provide that initial boost.

Why Consider Gifting a Down Payment?
In 2022, the National Association of Realtors revealed an intriguing statistic: 22% of first-time homebuyers were aided by gift funds from family or friends. This underscores the trend of families stepping in to aid the next generation in achieving their homeownership dreams.

In today’s environment, skyrocketing rents, expensive homes, and the looming shadow of student debt make saving for a down payment increasingly challenging for many young people. A down payment gift is a direct way to benefit the child without the long-term obligations and risks associated with co-signing.

Things to Consider Before Gifting
1. Your Financial Health: Before jumping in, it’s crucial to analyze your financial situation. Gifting shouldn’t jeopardize your retirement plans or other financial goals.

2. Your Child’s Financial Savvy: Ensure that your child has the financial knowledge and responsibility to manage homeownership.

3. Tax Implications: Thankfully, gifting for down payments often has fewer tax implications. For 2023, parents can gift up to $34,000 to their child without triggering the gift tax.

The How-To of Down Payment Gifting
1. Assess Your Financial Situation: Reflect on what you can afford without affecting your financial health adversely. As Geller advises, always discuss with your child, understand their finances, and know their repayment strategy.

2. Time the Gift Right: Transfer the gift at least two months before your child’s mortgage application. This “seasoning” period ensures the funds are seen as part of your child’s legitimate assets.

3. Draft a Gift Letter: This letter, addressed to the lender, confirms the nature of the gift. It should detail the amount, purpose, and assure that repayment isn’t expected.

Alternative Ways to Assist
1. Direct Home Purchase: Consider buying the home and having your child repay you. But always consult a real estate attorney before embarking on such agreements.

2. Co-signing or Becoming a Co-borrower: These are valid options but come with their own sets of responsibilities and risks. For instance, as a co-signer, you don’t have ownership, but you are liable for payments if your child defaults.

3. Home Search Assistance: Being a pillar of support during their home search can make the process smoother for your child.

4. Renting Options: Letting your child live with you at discounted rates or for free can help them accumulate savings faster.

In conclusion, gifting a down payment can be a significant step towards ensuring your child’s financial future. You can schedule a meeting with us on our website and we can review your situation and what best makes sense for you. If done right, it can be a win-win situation, paving the way for the next generation’s financial success.