According to the National Association of Realtors, parents gifting money to their children to help purchase a first home is a common experience. Gifting money is a type of down payment assistance that can help them realize their dreams of homeownership.

Talk to a tax professionaldown payment assistance

Depending on the amount you plan to gift, you may or may not have to pay a gift tax. According to the IRS, any down payment gift below $16,000 doesn’t have to be reported. Before you gift a down payment to your adult child, consult with a tax professional to understand how it could affect your finances, especially if you plan on gifting more than the minimum.

Make your decision to gift a down payment early

The sooner you decide whether to gift your adult child a down payment, the better. The lender must know that the borrower has money for the down payment. It’ll also give the money time to “mature” and show the lender that it’s from a legitimate source.

Write a gift letter for the lender

When you make a financial gift, the lender will want to know where it came from. Therefore, you’ll need to write them a gift letter. Again, from the IRS, the gift letter should include the following:

  • The dollar amount of the gift
  • The date the funds were transferred to the recipient
  • The donor’s signed statement that no repayment is expected
  • The donor’s name, address, and phone number
  • The donor’s relationship with the borrower
  • The donor’s connection to the buyer
  • The address of the property being purchased

Be honest

When you gift a down payment, understand that your child doesn’t need to pay it back. Otherwise, it’s a loan, and the lender must consider that when calculating the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. Being honest with the lender about where the money comes from will make borrowing easier.

Have questions about gifting a down payment to your adult child for their first home? The experts at will help guide you through the process and eligibility requirements.

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.