Another interesting topic that came up at CPFC15 was the concern that First Home Purchasers. They are relying more and more on Parental help with the transaction (monetary help, as well as advisory help).
I have spoken a few times about how both sets of parents helped my wife and I purchase our first home (leading to the Best Financial Advice Given ever). I don’t think parents helping kids buy their first homes is new. In our case, my parents helped us ensure we didn’t have to pay CMHC Loan Insurance premiums. My wife’s parents helped with furniture purchases and repairs in our first home.
Is this a good or bad thing? As usual, it all depends on the situation.
This is mostly a good thing if the parents can afford to help out their kids. However, if the parents have to borrow money to do this, it is a very bad idea. There are scenarios where this might not be the best idea:
- If the parents loan the entire down payment on the house for the children, this is a bad thing. I always espouse that with all things, people are much more diligent and attentive to debt if they have “skin in the game” (i.e. their own money is part of the purchase). It also might create a sense of entitlement in the children. The Kids assume their parents will continually bail them out in challenging economic times.
- The money loaned can simply allow the “kids” to become very house poor and ties them down to a home that symbolizes being broke (to them).
- If the money is loaned because “the kids” don’t have a very good credit rating and can’t get a mortgage without a large down payment (or worse without a co-signer). Most times bad credit rating is earned, and maybe they are a lousy loan candidate?
Families and money sometimes are a very bad mix. Both parents and children should think carefully before there are large monetary transactions “between them”.