Gifts of equity within the family are common. Parents often provide the down payment on their child's first home purchase. Many parents, however, can't afford a sizeable gift -- among other things, they may be concerned about the adequacy of their assets for retirement. Yet they might welcome an opportunity to help their children if it took the form of a reasonably safe investment yielding an adequate rate of return. A house purchase by a family member may provide such an investment. Over the years, I have advised a number of families who asked me about how to set up a plan that would meet their particular needs. I even wrote a few articles describing such plans. On reading these articles now, however, I am not very pleased because they provide limited help when the individual circumstances differ from those in the article, as they often do. Usually the investor contributes to the down payment, but some home buyers may need help with the monthly payment as well. In addition...
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