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Make Homeownership Happen for Your Kids: A Parent's Guide to Beating Sky-High Prices


Father drawing on wall concepts of buying a home for kids

The dream of homeownership is a significant milestone for many people, symbolizing financial independence and stability. However, skyrocketing real estate prices and economic uncertainty can make this dream elusive for many, especially young adults. Fortunately, parents can play a crucial role in helping their children overcome these hurdles and secure a place they can call home. Here are some strategies parents can employ to assist their children in buying a home:


Have Your Child Live with You While Paying Rent for Their Down Payment


Facilitating your child's journey towards saving for a down payment can involve a thoughtful approach, such as inviting them to reside with you for a designated period while contributing to their down payment fund through rent. This arrangement not only fosters a sense of financial responsibility but also provides an opportunity to strengthen your parent-child bond. As they diligently make their rental payments, you can allocate these funds into a dedicated account that exclusively serves the purpose of securing their future home. This collaborative strategy not only aids in the practical aspect of saving but also imparts valuable lessons in budgeting, property investment, and long-term financial planning. Moreover, sharing your living space during this period allows for daily interactions, enabling you to impart your wisdom about real estate, mortgage intricacies, and the significance of homeownership. By offering both a supportive environment and a wealth of knowledge, you empower your child to step confidently towards homeownership.


Provide the Down Payment


An alternative avenue is for parents to directly offer the down payment for the home, either as a generous gift or as a low-interest loan. This act of immediate financial assistance can often be the decisive factor that empowers your child to transition from aspiring homeowner to an actual one, bridging the gap between their homeownership aspirations today rather than waiting for years to come.


By providing the down payment, you not only accelerate your child's entry into the housing market but also potentially enable them to access better mortgage terms and interest rates. This support can significantly alleviate the financial burden associated with purchasing a home and open doors to opportunities that might otherwise have been distant.


Whether it's an outright gift or a carefully structured loan, this gesture reflects your commitment to your child's future and underscores the value you place on their aspirations. Moreover, it serves as a platform for intergenerational collaboration, as your child's journey towards homeownership becomes a shared endeavor grounded in family support. As your child moves forward with the privilege of your assistance, they can focus on building their life and future, while being mindful of the valuable lesson in financial responsibility and the importance of propelling dreams into reality.


Co-own the House


Exploring the path of co-ownership presents yet another avenue worth considering. In this collaborative arrangement, both you and your child join forces to secure the home. By pooling your resources, you collectively contribute towards the home's purchase, establishing a shared investment in the property's future.


Through your financial involvement, you gain a stake in the property's equity. This equity not only reflects your commitment to your child's homeownership journey but also translates into a tangible ownership share in the property. As time progresses and circumstances evolve, the property may appreciate in value. This potential appreciation holds the promise of benefiting both parties, as your initial contribution could yield a return in sync with any increases in property worth.


Co-ownership goes beyond the transactional aspects; it represents a unique blend of financial collaboration and emotional investment. It reinforces the bond between generations, as the shared ownership aligns your interests and aspirations. Moreover, it underscores the interplay between prudent financial decisions and future potential, serving as a valuable lesson for your child in understanding the dynamics of real estate investment and wealth accumulation.


In the event of the property's eventual sale, your investment is honored with the return of your contributed funds, possibly accompanied by a portion of any appreciated value. This scenario culminates in a win-win situation, where your child achieves homeownership while both parties reap the rewards of a thoughtful, joint endeavor.


Buy a Multi-Unit Property


Opting to purchase a multi-unit property or a spacious house suitable for accommodating roommates introduces an innovative approach to mitigating monthly mortgage payments. This strategic move not only addresses the financial aspects but also sets the stage for a mutually beneficial arrangement.


By acquiring a multi-unit property, you create an opportunity for your child to inhabit one of the units while simultaneously generating rental income from the other unit(s). This income can significantly contribute to covering the ongoing mortgage expenses, thereby easing the financial load on both you and your child.


This approach is underpinned by a symbiotic dynamic, as your child gains an affordable living space while simultaneously embarking on a journey of becoming a landlord themselves. Managing tenants and overseeing rental units imparts invaluable life skills, encompassing aspects like property management, tenant relations, and financial stewardship.


Furthermore, the multi-unit property venture enriches the parent-child relationship through collaboration and shared responsibilities. It fosters a deep sense of teamwork and cooperation, as both parties work towards a common goal — sustainable and affordable homeownership for your child.


This strategy exemplifies the fusion of pragmatic financial planning with experiential learning. As your child navigates this dual role of homeowner and landlord, they gain insights into real estate investment, property maintenance, and financial independence. Simultaneously, you, as a parent, witness the transformation of your child into a responsible homeowner while savoring the rewards of your collective efforts.


Finance Your Child’s Home Purchase


Empowering your child's home purchase through parental financing presents a practical avenue. A structured approach to this endeavor involves extending loans to your children, effectively assisting them in acquiring their dream home. To ensure clarity, avoid any possible ambiguities, and maintain a formal arrangement, you can opt for a legitimate mortgage setup.


By formalizing the loan as a mortgage, you lay the foundation for a transparent transaction that mirrors the conventional lending process. Collaborating with mortgage servicers, you can meticulously structure the loan, incorporating essential elements such as interest rates, repayment terms, and collateral, just as in a typical mortgage arrangement.


This approach not only bolsters the financial aspect but also instills a sense of financial responsibility in your child. The regular monthly payments, akin to those required by a standard mortgage, foster fiscal discipline and a heightened understanding of long-term financial commitments.


Furthermore, by engaging with mortgage servicers, you ensure that the loan documentation adheres to legal and regulatory standards. This professional touch extends to generating monthly statements and tax forms, mirroring the official procedures associated with traditional mortgage agreements. This not only underscores the legitimacy of the transaction but also streamlines administrative aspects for both parties.


The parental mortgage route represents a harmonious blend of financial assistance and formal structure. It offers your child the means to embark on homeownership while simultaneously preparing them for the intricacies of real-world financial transactions. As your child navigates this experience, they glean essential insights into borrowing, repayment, and property ownership, effectively equipping them for a future of sound financial decision-making.


Buy a Home and Rent it to Them


Consider leveraging your substantial savings by purchasing a property and subsequently renting it out to your child. This strategic move can yield numerous advantages, especially if the real estate market in that locality is projected to experience appreciable growth. By owning the property, you create an avenue for your child to reside in a secure and familiar space while contributing to their financial independence through rent payments.


This approach gains further significance when you envision your child eventually taking ownership of the property. You can establish a predetermined price at which they can buy the home from you in the future, offering them a structured path towards becoming homeowners themselves. This arrangement not only cultivates a sense of responsibility and financial awareness in your child but also positions them to benefit from the potential appreciation in property value over time.


In addition to providing your child with a practical housing solution, this strategy fosters a unique sense of shared investment and collaboration. It also instills valuable lessons about property management, real estate market dynamics, and the intricacies of real estate transactions. As your child navigates this journey, they will not only secure a place to call their own but also gain insights into wealth-building and prudent decision-making.


Conclusion


Amidst soaring real estate costs and economic uncertainties, parents hold the power to propel their children's homeownership aspirations. Through a spectrum of strategies, from shared living arrangements to co-ownership and financing, parents can guide their children past financial barriers, nurturing not only tangible property ownership but also a legacy of collaboration, financial acumen, and the enduring fulfillment of having a place to call home.


Fact Sheet:

  • U.S. household growth was sluggish, with a mere 10.1 million increase from 2010 to 2020, the smallest gain since 1950-2010.

  • Homeownership among young adults (25-34 years old) fell from 45% in 1990 to 41.6% in 2021.

  • First-time homebuyers plummeted to 26% in 2022, a sharp decline from 34% the previous year, marking the lowest level since data tracking began by the National Association of Realtors.

  • The average recently purchased home features 1,800 sq. ft., three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and dates back to 1986.

  • A majority of buyers secured homes for the full asking price, while 28% paid above the listed price.

  • The typical age for first-time homebuyers was 36 in 2022, while repeat buyers reached a record high median age of 59.

  • 14% of purchasers bought multi-generational homes to accommodate aging parents, adult children, and cost-efficiency.

  • 24% of Gen Z and 11% of millennials live rent-free, residing with family or friends due to economic considerations.

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