First-time buyers hoping to get on the property ladder in expensive cities like Vancouver and Victoria may be able to get some assistance this year with the new BC Government Down Payment Plan. The plan, designed to help homebuyers put together money for the down payment with a 25-year loan, will match buyers’ contribution up to a maximum of $37,500. While this is good news as it helps to relieve the pressure on the bank of mom and dad, there are a few things you should think about if you’re wondering whether you should lend your child money to buy a home.
Is it a Gift or a Loan? And to Whom?
There’s nothing to say that you shouldn’t help your child or family member come up with a down payment. But, there are a few things that you need to clarify right from the beginning.
Let’s suppose you give your child half of the down payment, and the government foots the rest. Have you given the money as a gift, or a loan? Family Law Firm Brown Henderson Melbye (BHM) says that, “What is particularly good to know is whether or not any money the child received from a parent came to them as a gift or a loan, and whether it came to them alone or to their partner as well.”
Get it in Writing
It can be tricky getting the law involved when it comes to family agreements, but it’s vital. You’d be amazed at how useful having a contract is, especially if you run into any conflict further down the line.
BHM Lawyers note, “It is really important, particularly in the context of the Family Law Act, British Columbia’s statue that guides the division of assets when couples separate or divorce, to know who owned what at the beginning of the relationship and who was gifted or who inherited what money.”
Consider getting a pre-nuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement drawn up by your lawyer to ensure that the couple knows exactly what’s going on with the finances.
Look After Your Interests
Before you go ahead and make an offer, calculate the monthly mortgage repayments, taxes and duties, and any renovations that the home requires. If your child is just starting out in their career, can they afford to make the monthly payments? If you’re going to use up your savings to raise the deposit, will you be financially secure? Hire a lawyer to help with the legal process and ensure you have a clear picture of everything from the very beginning.
If you have any questions about the BC Government Down Payment Plan or want to discuss anything mentioned in this article, feel free to get in touch.
Not only have we gained a home but we have also gained a trusted friend; someone who is willing to listen and go above and beyond what is called for. Thank you Neil!"-JP & Joanna Espiritu, South Surrey
It was a great experience to buy our first home with Neil; he is honest enthusiastic and very dedicated and most important has extensive knowledge and expertise to help you make the best choices."-Eran & Naama Rozen, Vancouver
I definitely recommend working with Neil Chahal. Just ask to speak with him on the phone and you will know why..."-Eitan Pinsky, Vancouver
In helping us with the sale of our home Neil not only became our friend, he almost became more like a brother. Our heartfelt gratitude to you!"-Cris & Juvy Badua, Vancouver
Neil was an absolute delight to work with in the sale of our home and purchase of our new one. I appreciate his attention to detail and enthusiasm despite some hurdles we encountered along the journey. His professionalism and down-to-earth nature made the whole experience an easy and fun one."-Trevor Tang, Vancouver
I have had the pleasure of working with Neil and it is clear to me that he is genuinely focused on using his knowledge and expertise to make the home buying process go smoothly for his clients. He asks good questions and if he does not have the answer he ...more-Ania Mizgalewicz & Elan Young, Richmond