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Young adults who moved back in with their parents may have been expected to move out again once the COVID-19 pandemic eases, but it’s becoming apparent that many are likely to want to stay at mom’s and dad’s even longer than that.

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It’s a trend that has big implications for housing. Last year it was reported by the Pew Research Center that 52% of Americans aged between 18 and 29 years old were living with their parents, the highest percentage since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Many of those people moved back home thinking it was only going to be temporary, for a few months at the most. But now, more than a year later, most are still at home.

Now, even as vaccinations begin to role out, hopefully signaling an end to the pandemic, not everyone is eager to move out again as soon as they can. Some younger adults say they now prefer to live closer to home, while others are jumping into the growing multigenerational home trend. Indeed, data from the National Association of Realtors shows that 16% of buyers in 2020 purchased a multigenerational home, versus just 11% in 2019.

Helping your kids buy a Boston condo for sale

Buying a Boston condo for sale is starting to become multigenerational family affair. Four in 10 parents recently surveyed said they expect to help their children buy a home. That’s more than double the percentage of parents who themselves got help from their parents when they bought their first home.

Boston Real Estate & Wages

Boston real estate prices that have been rising faster than wages, combined with burdensome levels of student debt, are fueling this trend. Moreover, helping with your child’s Beacon Hill condo ownership in the here-and-now can transform a child’s financial life, rather than waiting to bequeath money down the line.

Whether you are the Bank of Mom and Dad or the adult child eager to buy, a successful intra-family deal requires careful consideration of the various options:

Can you afford it?

OK, parents, it is hereby stipulated that you, of course, want to help your child buy a Boston condo for sale. Now the hard question: Can you cope with the long-term ramifications?

A $10,000 gift you make at age 65 would be worth more than $26,000 at age 85 if it kept growing at a 5% annualized rate. A $50,000 housing stake today would be worth more than $130,000 at age 85. If you have any inkling you could use that extra cushion in retirement, you probably shouldn’t be gifting money today. You could consider making it a loan – more on this below – but also keep in mind that if you intend to pull the money out of a traditional 401(k) or IRA, you not only will owe taxes, but a large withdrawal could bump you into a higher tax bracket for the year.

Got a boomeranger at home?

Help them save for a down payment. According to the Pew Research Center, about 15% of today’s millennials are living at home, nearly double the rate when their parents were in their 20s and 30s. Making it a financial free ride does nothing to help your child build adulting muscles. If they’re focused on paying off student loans, great. But if they have ample cash flow and want to eventually buy a Back Bay condo, now’s the time they should start to save. You should insist that they set up a separate savings account and have automatic monthly deposits zapped into it from their checking account. A $500 monthly contribution is a down payment fund of more than $6,000 in just one year. That can be more than enough to qualify for a low down payment mortgage in many regions of the U.S.

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