How to Help a Family Member Buy a Home

Helping someone close to you buy a low-cost property – $50,000 or less – is a fairly straight-forward transaction, although it may require specific legal advice, says Charles Carter, an attorney and a consultant at Haint Blue Realty in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Carter suggests that buying a property outright, using the gift exclusion ($13,000 for singles; $26,000 for married couples) to pay for a down payment and closing costs and then giving the recipient a 30-year mortgage on the remaining amount at 5 percent interest is a good way to go.

There won’t be any gift taxes. And the mortgage holder may later cancel the mortgage and gift what remains on the loan as another annual gift-tax exclusion.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Charles Carter (06/03/2010)