Since average house prices are no longer aligned with average incomes, as they once were, many homeowners are becoming concerned about how the next generation will be able to afford to buy homes in the future. Fortunately, there are many government programs designed to assist first-time homebuyers, based on a myriad of qualifications. Such programs are well worth considering because they can make a significant difference in terms of down payments and mortgage financing. Other lending arrangements to improve affordability might include longer-term amortization schedules or, where a vendor is willing, a rent-to-own plan.

Of course, parents can be a big help by offering rent supplements (or living space) to encourage disciplined saving, or by offering forgivable loans or co-signing for a mortgage. Some seniors are also transferring funds to younger family members, rather than designating the same money as an inheritance. Meanwhile, creative co-ops and innovative banks are embracing intergenerational mortgage-sharing arrangements. Yet, the most important first step toward home ownership is understanding what might be attainable and having a frank discussion about the many options worth considering. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call.