How to Help Your Adult Kids Buy a Home

Whether you hand over cash or make a loan, lenders will expect you to dot your i’s and cross your t's.

(Image credit: ©Meredith Heuer)

After college, Dan Mazzarini made a beeline for the Big Apple. After working as an interior designer with Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, among others, he cofounded a business, BHDM Design, in 2012. The following year, a studio apartment came up for sale in Mazzarini’s co-op apartment building in Greenwich Village. Mazzarini, 34, decided to go for it. “That’s how it happens in New York. You don’t have a lot of time to sit and think about things,” he says.

The sellers were asking $550,000. After adding up the cost of the 20% down payment required for co-ops and estimated closing costs, Mazzarini realized that the $50,000 he had managed to save wasn’t enough. He swallowed his pride, called his parents and asked for help. They told him they would be happy to chip in for what they called a great investment and ponied up $56,000. “You’ve never asked us for a thing, and you’ve earned it,” said Mazzarini’s mom, Clare.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.