As first-time buyers continue to struggle with the demands of purchasing property in the UK, it is becoming increasingly common for parents, grandparents or other family members to assist children however they can.

In November 2023, the average UK house price was £284,950, and the average price for first-time buyers was £236,000. In Gloucestershire, the average price in 2023 was £374,018. In 1999, the average age of a first-time buyer was 29. This has jumped to 34 and has no sign of decreasing.

Raising thousands for a deposit can feel out of reach amongst rising prices and consistent uncertainty. Nevertheless, you may be able to assist your child(ren) in buying their first home. Our residential conveyancing solicitors at Langley Wellington understand the confusing nature of gifting finance, so we will do all we can to assist you. This article explores a few ways in which you may be able to help your children onto the property ladder.

Savings

The most common way that a parent or grandparent may support their children in buying a property is by gifting a financial donation to boost the deposit. In doing so, the child’s borrowing power will be boosted, allowing them to get a more favourable mortgage deal whilst speeding the process along.

It is important to note that this gift may be subject to inheritance tax further down the line. However, this is not immediate.

Loans

It might be that although you would like to assist your child(ren), you may require the finances back in the future. In this case, it is sensible to enter into a loan agreement. This type of agreement is typically straightforward and should include terms such as:

  • If interest is payable.
  • The repayment period.
  • What happens if one party should die.
  • What happens if the money is promptly required back.

It is important to note that such loans should be declared to a mortgage lender. The lender may see this as impactful for the affordability of the property. Some banks may refuse to accept deposits largely contributed to by loan agreements.

Family Offset Mortgages

A Family Offset Mortgage allows you to offset your savings against your child’s mortgage, reducing the interest they are liable to pay.

The savings balance sits alongside the mortgage and is treated as a provisional overpayment. Where necessary, it is still possible to dip into the savings where necessary.

Act as a Guarantor

If a child cannot make mortgage repayments, as their guarantor, you would be liable to make the repayments on their behalf.

In the future, if your child can prove that they can manage the mortgage liability independently, it is possible to be removed from the mortgage agreement as the guarantor.

Joint Mortgages

Should you take out a joint mortgage with your child, you are equally responsible for paying their mortgage. Thanks to the combined incomes, this allows a larger mortgage to be taken out.

It is important to note that although first time buyers are not typically liable to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), they will be liable to do so in this case if you have previously owned a property and additional tax if you still own another property – such as your family home.

In addition, if your child’s property is your second home and you are still on the mortgage when it is sold, you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Residential Conveyancers Gloucestershire

At Langley Wellington, our experienced residential conveyancing solicitors work closely with our private wealth team for clients wishing to support their children, grandchildren or loved ones onto the property ladder.

The excitement of doing so can often be overshadowed by the vast array of available options and the complexities that often arise.

By instructing our knowledgeable and professional team, you can be confident that we will do all we can to ensure you utilise the best method to suit your circumstances.

To speak to us today, please call 01452 545 678, email lawyers@langleywellington.co.uk or fill in this contact form.

This blog is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors.