Sure, you could give your adult child a subscription to Netflix this year, or you could think a little bigger. Money Magazine reports that nationally, 36% of first-time buyers received help purchasing their home this year, primarily from parents, up from 28% the year before. It's not always a good idea though. The magazine suggests gifting your grown-up child the money if you want to shift assets out of your estate or if your child is just shy of saving enough for a downpayment. Do not loan your child the money unless you are prepared to potentially lose it; co-sign the mortgage only as a last resort; and no matter how you provide the assistance, do not think it means you co-own the home. One more consideration: If you're buying in NYC, you'll need to focus on condos, or find a co-op board with a liberal attitude toward parental help. (CNNMoney.com)
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