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Helping Your Parents Purchase a Home

By Allison Halliday | October 17, 2014

You often hear of cases where parents have helped their child to buy a home, but it is rarer for it to happen the other way round.

This could be the case if the children are very successful and want to help their parents buy a nicer home, or perhaps when their current house no longer meets their needs. Often the children will have moved away from home to a more expensive area, and would like their parents to live nearby. Another possibility is where parents need a retirement home, but cannot afford it on a fixed income.

Children have several options when it comes to helping parents move home. They can purchase a home outright and allow their parents to live there, or they can charge them a reasonable rent. Alternatively they can help them get a loan to buy a home on their own. These options raise various questions as to the title of the property, the taxes, and sorting out the eventual sale or inheritance of the home.


If you intend to purchase the home yourself then you’ll probably need access to considerable assets. If the financing will be in your name, the lender will view it as being a second property or investment home and this could incur higher interest rates and closing costs compared to a primary residence. Experts in these matters suggests that if a buyer has a lot of equity in their home then another alternative would be to refinance which would likely be on a lower interest rate than could be obtained with a second home or investment property.

Another option is to get a regular mortgage on the property for your parents and to make the payments yourself. On the plus side it’s possible to deduct the mortgage interest on both homes up to a total of $1 million for the combined balances on both, and to deduct the property taxes on both as well but this won’t work if you already have a second home. One of the problems with trying to obtain a mortgage for a second home is that lenders may require it to be located at least 50 miles away from your primary home which may not be so successful if the intention is to move your parents closer to you. The Family Opportunity Mortgage authorized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac waves this requirement but it can be harder to find a lender who offers this mortgage.

The actual article, written by, goes into much more detail than can be explained here, so it is well worth a look.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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