Getting a foot on the property ladder is harder than ever at the moment with property prices still at quite a high level. Buying your first home is a scary prospect and many of the younger generation lean on their parents during the process.
If you want to help your child and give them the support they need to make their home ownership dream a reality, then here is what you can do:
Teach Them How to Save
Everyone remembers the first time they got paid. The excitement of having that much money and being able to spend it on anything you wanted. It may be a good idea to have a conversation with your children about starting a savings account once they get their first job.
Assess your child’s financial situation and suggest they set up a savings account with an automatic transfer each month from their current account. They can then decide how much they need to save to reach their goals and let the money go into their savings automatically on a regular basis.
Explain the Basics
Buying a house can be confusing and complicated, so the chance your child understands all the different processes and terms they are being told about is unlikely. It can be overwhelming hearing terms such as “stamp duty” and “completion date” being thrown about without fully understanding them.
Take the time to sit down with your child and answer any questions they may have. Find some good online resources that they can refer to if they ever get confused, this should provide them with some good reading material about the different processes they will go through.
Run Through the Costs
Make sure your child understands all the different payments that will be required, from getting a mortgage to making a deposit. Once the money side has been worked out, it will be easier to start saving up.
There are so many different costs involved in buying a house, including fees, taxes, renovation costs, the price of a removal company and of course any extras needed for furniture and decorations.
When it comes to getting a mortgage, lenders will want to see that your child has the capacity to repay any loans, so it is important they have their bank statements in order before applying for one.
Many people contribute anything they can to their child’s deposit, but it is worth thinking about the consequences long term, as your child needs to be financially secure themselves to afford their repayments and may not realise that if you just give them a large chunk of their deposit.
You also should not act as your child’s guarantor unless you are sure they will be able to make all their repayments. If they fail to pay up, the costs will fall on you and you could end up losing a lot of money.
If you do provide any monetary assistance or sign up as a co-buyer on the house, think about any implications it could have for your child’s situation. Although it may seem like a good idea, co-buying can mean your child misses out on a first homeowner grant or any stamp duty concessions.
Parents often loan their child money, but this can put a strain on family relations if repayments aren’t met and result in arguments. Some lenders now offer a parent to child loan service, meaning the strain is taken off you.
All parties sit down together and set the terms of the loan, but the repayments and loan management are organised by the lender. This means that there is more protection on all assets and savings and less chance of a family fall out.
With some good advice and a shoulder to lean on, your children shouldn’t find the house buying process too much of a struggle.