Despite the recent softness in the real estate market, buying a home can be a stretch for many first-time buyers and young move-uppers. Prices are relatively high in most areas and lenders are getting fussy. Shared equity mortgage could be worth a look. Let's go over some of the basics.
Normally it involves well-off parents helping out their children. But it can be anyone besides the parents. Anyway, let's say a father contributes $60,000 toward a down payment on a $300,000 house his married daughter wants purchase. His investment is 20% of the home's value. He would get that back at a future sale, plus 20% of any appreciation to that date. Just a short example.
Benefits to the daughter are that her family is able to buy the house they need in the neighborhood they desire to live in and the home loan is easier to qualify for because of the 20% down payment that they otherwise wouldn't have. And the father is now a real estate investor and proud to be able to help a young family out.
Everything in an arrangement like this should be put in writing. Normally the homeowners would be responsible for the mortgage payments and during tax time get the interest deduction. Property taxes and insurance are open for negotiation, although often they are split. Many experts recommend that an end date is set, ranging typically from 3 to 10 years, when the investor, the father in this example, will be paid back either by means of a refinance or a sale.
Should the father's name be on the loan? It could be, but deals between family are frequently very flexible. If I were the father, I'd have an attorney write up the contract. And keep my emotions in check since we're talking about a financial judgment here. For many young families, shared equity mortgage could be the path to take.