Gen Y getting helping hand from baby boomers

Published on: 2015-03-18

First home buyers regularly seek advice of parents or grandparents to help guide them through house hunting to their milestone purchase.

The advice is often well-received, and followed.

With good reason: today, the elder generation is likely to have more than a passing interest in the purchase – with intergenerational financial contributions complementing the deposit and/or bank.

But frustrations can develop when there’s an exchange of views between grandparents/parents and their children; those contributing money can easily overlook who’s going to be living in the property.

Elders should be mindful of initial compromises they themselves had to make when it was their first purchase – such shared room arrangements between siblings, badly-worn carpet, or flaky paint jobs.

The context is amplified given the fact the parents are nowadays likely to be living in a particularly comfortable home; almost certainly they won’t be still living in their first home!

Excited, energetic young people are often ready to put in the extra work required to find, reveal, and make extra money from ‘a character home’ (one their parents, on the other hand, might describe as ‘an old nail’).

Location can be further source of tension, with budget playing a dominant role in determining first-home location.

Yes, a better location is possible – as long as the baby boomers are prepared to chip in a little (or a lot) more to the overall budget.

During the process it’s perhaps important that parents themselves keep in-mind where they first bought – rather than where they’re living now.

And don’t fret; statistics prove young couples are likely to make their second home purchase prior to the appearance of children, or at least before the new kids on the block reach primary-school age.

If you’re contributing funds from the sideline, ensure your well-intended advice is useful and reasonable, without dampening the enthusiasm or outcome for the first home buyer.

Go easy, have empathy, and share in the joy of the first home purchase made by your son /daughter /grandson /grand-daughter.

First homes are exactly that; times will change – that’s why commentators refer to the metaphoric ‘property ladder’.