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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 126958  
Subject: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 6/30/2006 9:41 PM
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Greetings all...

My kid sister and bro in law are buying their 1st home. They're college grads, professional and on their way to a fine future...but just starting out they're not beefed up in the savings department.

Her family..meaning myself, and our parents are fortunate in life...and lending her money, or gifting her with money is no problem whatsoever. I was hoping to explore 2 things:

1.)Helping young ones start out. On one hand I feel it's good for them to live check to check while starting out and take lumps. On the other hand, what's the big deal with just gifting her with some down payment is a nice thing to do for family.


2.)Her house would be $460k. She can get 80% mortgage/15 % second/ 5% mortgage insurance. However,,,,the more we give her, the less interest she'll pay.

Is there advantage in helping her go from 5% down to say...10% down? Obviously the interest savings, but is it a wise financial move?


Thank you in advance. Jedi
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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96838 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 6/30/2006 9:56 PM
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I would encourage you to read The Millionaire Next Door, and the chapter on Economic Outpatient Care.

There's no right answer, but I think it would be better for people to learn how *not* to live paycheck to paycheck on their own.

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96839 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 6/30/2006 10:23 PM
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My kid sister and bro in law are buying their 1st home. They're college grads, professional and on their way to a fine future...but just starting out they're not beefed up in the savings department.

Her family..meaning myself, and our parents are fortunate in life...and lending her money, or gifting her with money is no problem whatsoever. I was hoping to explore 2 things:

1.)Helping young ones start out. On one hand I feel it's good for them to live check to check while starting out and take lumps. On the other hand, what's the big deal with just gifting her with some down payment is a nice thing to do for family.


2.)Her house would be $460k. She can get 80% mortgage/15 % second/ 5% mortgage insurance. However,,,,the more we give her, the less interest she'll pay.

Is there advantage in helping her go from 5% down to say...10% down? Obviously the interest savings, but is it a wise financial move?


Thank you in advance. Jedi


I love my siblings and am economically better off than they are. However, if I were to even consider giving them money for a downpayment, I would make it one of my conditions that they had to 'play house' for at least a year before they purchased. To 'play house' is to figure out how much more the house will cost on a monthly basis, including mortgage payment, additional utilities, homeowner's insurance, maintenance, etc. than their current rental. Each month, they are required to deposit that amount into a savings account, which becomes untouchable. I would request to see the account statements prior to providing any downpayment assistance.

'Playing house' allows them to confirm how much they are comfortable spending on a house on a monthly basis, and it will also provide them with a nice e-fund and/or more of a downpayment.

However, it sounds like your sis may already be too deep into the process to do this. But if they didn't just graduate in May, and haven't been able to save much toward a downpayment since then, why do you think your assistance will end with the downpayment? If they are renting, probably at a much lower monthly cost than 2 mortgages will cost them, and are still living paycheck to paycheck, helping them buy a house will be helping to finance a lifestyle that they cannot afford, and will probably hurt them in the long run, rather than helping.

If they did just graduate in May, they are way too early in their careers to be purchasing a $460k house. It is very likely that early in their careers that they will want to change jobs or go back to school or some other life event will happen, which will cause them to want to sell the house. A $460k house will likely have $40k - $50k in buying and selling costs, and if they don't put at least 10% down, they may have to bring money to the closing table when they sell.

AJ

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Author: Dwdonhoff Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96840 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 6/30/2006 10:23 PM
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Hi Jedi,

1.)Helping young ones start out. On one hand I feel it's good for them to live check to check while starting out and take lumps. On the other hand, what's the big deal with just gifting her with some down payment is a nice thing to do for family.

Maybe nice... or, maybe there are other "nicer" ways to be supportive without being handicapping (which I know is exactly what you are looking for!)


2.)Her house would be $460k. She can get 80% mortgage/15 % second/ 5% mortgage insurance. However,,,,the more we give her, the less interest she'll pay.
Is there advantage in helping her go from 5% down to say...10% down? Obviously the interest savings, but is it a wise financial move?


If they REALLY have no dough, here's what I suggest, in order;

A) Offer to establish for them an "Uncle Jedi emergency Line Of Credit Account." Set aside, say, $10,000 in a seperate checking account for them in their name. You can determine "real life" terms on the money if you wish... say, 5%-10% interest on the monthly outstanding balance... which you can choose to check on monthly, or quarterly, or annually... or just "forget to" from time to time if you prefer.

Let them know that a proper safety net is critical... and while you are neither handicapping them with a gift of safety cash, let alone a gift of house-spending cash... you WILL extend them "family credit" at far more leverage than the banks will. (OK, you can decide how far you want to extend the generosity in subsidized line limits, and subsidized interest. The thing is.... meter out the generosity in this case. Let them discover that you ARE offering more incrementally than they have access to in their own reality by themselves.)

If that's to timid & common-sensical for you... my next level suggestion;
B) Offer to lend them the 2nd lien for the home at what you consider a fair interest rate & terms. I suggest DO NOT make it a gift... make it a subsidized below-market (the market THEY would otherwise qualify for) loan.

I personally do not think the outright gift, in this scenario, is the best for their growth.

If first-timers with decent credit simply couldn't find zero down financing at all (as it was 20 years ago,) it may be a different story.... giving them a "leg up" with the strong family influence that they "pass it forward" to the next generation when they are in the position.

HOWEVER, the mortgage markets are SO flexible & lenient... I think outright gifting of a down payment sends the wrong message, and handicaps the kids... weakens their resolve to go out & get what it is they rightfully qualify for on their own.

Think about it... seriously. When you look back on your own life, you have great self-respect from the "insurmountable hurdles" you successfully mounted... but the generous "gifts" of support (while still remembered with appreciation) don't leave you particularly feeling like you are any stronger from the experience.

I know you won't think I'm being an overly hard-ass for these suggestions (though other may... LOL!) I admire that you are both in the position to support, and looking forward to the process.

Have a great Independence Day Weekend!
(How appropriate for this thread, huh?)

Cheers,
Dave Donhoff
Strategic Equity & Mortgage Planner

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96842 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/1/2006 6:03 AM
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Jedi,

A good 20 years ago, I was that kid trying to buy a house with the then mandatory 20% down. I had 10%, but in an effort to eliminate the pmi I "borrowed" 5% from Sis and 5% from Mom and Dad. We had a really good income but not much saved as of yet.

Sis' 5K I paid back in a year...Mom and Dad's took a bit longer than that but given it was an interest bearing loan and I got it back to them within the allotted time, they didn't mind. Dad told me the only reason why he did the loan, (totally out of character for him,) was because of the "legal" documents I as a non-lawyer typed up in a professional manner.

Be aware, however, that my first marriage did not work out and exH was actually the one who decided to take the starter house. How would you feel if your sis got divorced and ex-bil got half the equity you gave them?

Best,

IP

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Author: DWSZ Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96843 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/1/2006 12:53 PM
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JEDIKNIGHT;

While what you and your parents are thinking of doing to help your Sis & BIL get their first home is admirable, DON'T DO IT!

Unless you are a very special family, relationships can go sour sooner or later.

Small comments may arise in the future such as, "If we didn't give or loan you the $$$, you never........". There are many other variables of such comments that can destroy a family.

Should you and your parents go forward with this idea, will Sis & BIL have a true sense of ownership and accomplishment or, forever be beholden to you and your parents wishes?

As, "college grads, professional and on their way to a fine future...", I see no real need for them to own a home worth nearly a half a million dollars right now. Why the rush?

Who paid for their educations? Was their educations bought and paid for by the respective parents or are the carrying student loans?

I could go on and on, but I hope you can sense where I'm going with this post. Accomplishment + ownership = self satisfaction.

I'm curious what you and your parents decide to do. Please post an update.

Best regards,
Duane



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Author: OtherVoices Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96845 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/1/2006 5:12 PM
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Have you discussed this with them at all? Would they be comfortable accepting a gift like this, or would they rather it be a loan?

And if you did loan it to them, rather than gift it, how would you feel if they took their time paying it back or circumstances came up and they didn't pay you back at all?

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Author: CSDunford Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96851 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/2/2006 12:45 AM
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Read "The Millionaire Next Door" before you make a decision.

CarolD.

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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96889 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/3/2006 1:32 PM
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Delta...

Thanks for the advice.

And we believe alot in the train of thought, of letting them learn on their own...which is why it's been a tough decision vs just writing a check.

We're leaning towards helping them with 5% down.

They've done budgets and with this new mortgage payment, they'll be living very, very gingerly.

Jedi

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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96890 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/3/2006 1:37 PM
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Aj...

They've graduated over 18 months ago.

They're both smart, both attorneys. Both hardworking. However, we really counselled my sister to enter the business world, where she'd blow away senior partner money easily. She insisted on law. Her husband is a good guy, and will be a good lawyer...but his upbringing lacks the "go get em" mentality, or greed if you will.

They made some wrong career moves early on, some of it not their fault, long story...which is why they've not built up a bank. They've got about $15,000 in bank, plus they max 401k contributions.

We've watched them live together, and their budgeting and responsiblity is great. ZERO credit card debt, NO frills whatsoever. The big mortgage will only make budgeting tighter....but will ALSO "kick him in the butt" to be more ambitious, and while my sister is very smart, has a great future ahead of her...a continued austere lifestyle will force her ego to accept more new ideas, career alternatives, etc etc etc.

Thanks! Jedi

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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96891 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/3/2006 1:41 PM
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Dave,,,

Appreciate it.

My parents are from a culture that when it comes to kids, IF kids are doing the right things, they will offer support when it comes to home and college. Meaning that if you're out with some boyfriend and working at the movie theater, we'll send you a Christmas card. But if you excel academically and live within the value systems our family believes in, tuition or home assistance is there. \


The kids will throw in $5000. Parents will kick in $20,000...to arrive at 5% down. They know out of upbringing that there will NEVER be money for a new dress, a trip to Mexico, or anything of the sort.

The mortgage payment will actually force them to live even more responsibly, and that'll be a good lesson and character builder we think.

Thanks, Jedi

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96893 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/3/2006 1:51 PM
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They've graduated over 18 months ago.

They're both smart, both attorneys. Both hardworking. However, we really counselled my sister to enter the business world, where she'd blow away senior partner money easily. She insisted on law. Her husband is a good guy, and will be a good lawyer...but his upbringing lacks the "go get em" mentality, or greed if you will.

They made some wrong career moves early on, some of it not their fault, long story...which is why they've not built up a bank.


Sounds like they may not listen to advice well, so if you still plan on giving them money, don't plan on giving any advice - be prepared to let your money go.

They've got about $15,000 in bank, plus they max 401k contributions.

We've watched them live together, and their budgeting and responsiblity is great. ZERO credit card debt, NO frills whatsoever.


This sounds like they're getting on the right track.

The big mortgage will only make budgeting tighter....but will ALSO "kick him in the butt" to be more ambitious, and while my sister is very smart, has a great future ahead of her...a continued austere lifestyle will force her ego to accept more new ideas, career alternatives, etc etc etc.

If this is the outcome you are hoping to have, you will give him more of a 'kick in the butt' and her more thinking to do about career alternatives if you don't contribute.

AJ

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96894 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/3/2006 2:14 PM
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The mortgage payment will actually force them to live even more responsibly, and that'll be a good lesson and character builder we think.


And what if it doesn't work like that and they can't make the mortgage payments? Will you bail them out or will you let them go into foreclosure?

And why do you think this is the best way to teach them a good lesson and build character? What business is it of yours how they learn their lessons and what lessons they learn?

From what you've written, it almost sounds like you think saddling them with a big mortgage will force them to grow up and live however you want them to be living. But it's not your choice how they live.

I don't see it as being a good thing that you think they will have to live more responsibly and a more austere existence to support this large mortgage, particularly as you've said they are already living responsibly and seem to have no debt.

Personally, it seems to me like you and your parents may be butting in where you don't belong, and it almost seems as if it's to control how they live their life.

I'd recommend staying out of it and letting them do it like the rest of us. They can earn their money, save the downpayment, and find the house that meets their needs, all on their own and on their own timetable. There's nothing wrong with starting slow, and if it seems like they are happy, which it does, why do you think things need to change?

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Author: yosandiego One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96896 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/3/2006 3:10 PM
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**Aj...

They've graduated over 18 months ago.

They're both smart, both attorneys. Both hardworking. However, we really counselled my sister to enter the business world, where she'd blow away senior partner money easily. She insisted on law. Her husband is a good guy, and will be a good lawyer...but his upbringing lacks the "go get em" mentality, or greed if you will.

They made some wrong career moves early on, some of it not their fault, long story...which is why they've not built up a bank. They've got about $15,000 in bank, plus they max 401k contributions.

We've watched them live together, and their budgeting and responsiblity is great. ZERO credit card debt, NO frills whatsoever. The big mortgage will only make budgeting tighter....but will ALSO "kick him in the butt" to be more ambitious, and while my sister is very smart, has a great future ahead of her...a continued austere lifestyle will force her ego to accept more new ideas, career alternatives, etc etc etc.

Thanks! Jedi **

Jedi,

I didn't see a problem with you and your parents gifting or lending them money for the down payment until I read your above post. Now, I'm convinced that you shouldn't give them money for a downpayment.

First, it seems that your main motivation for giving them money is to attempt to coerce them into living a lifestyle that you want them to live. You seem upset that your sister became a lawyer rather than entering "the business world" because she could make way more money than a senior partner if she went into business. Are you kidding? It would be one thing if you were telling her not to become an artist because she couldn't make enough money (though it's debatable whether it would be appropriate for you to pressure her there either), but to pressure her because senior partners don't make enough money in your view seems absurd. Senior partners in major law firms make anywhere from $300K to upward of $2million a year. Most people think that's plenty of money. How much money does your sister really need to satisfy YOUR standards? Don't get me wrong, I'm a lawyer, and there are legitimate reasons that one may advise someone not to become a lawyer, but money does not seem like one of them to me.

Second, your posting clearly indicates your unhappiness with her husband's "go get em" ability or "greed" as you describe it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I read your post, you don't feel like your sister's husband earns enough $ or that he has the drive to do so in the future. Does your sister share these feelings? You should not lend or gift money to your sister and her husband while harboring these feelings about his career choices and earning capability. You're hope is to "'kick him in the butt' to be more ambitious." Did you ever consider the fact that maybe he doesn't want to be more ambitious as you define it? You're giving them money may not do anything to change his ambitions or to kick him in the butt. Rather, it may only end up saddling them with debt that does not comport with the lifestyle they are able to afford. The result may be resentment toward the mortgage and the house, arguments between your sister and her husband and resentment of you for meddling.

Finally, they are only 18 months out of school and you say they've made career mistakes early on that have hindered their savings? What kind of career mistakes? Also, does that mean they've moved on to new jobs? As a lawyer who has only been out of law school for a few years, one thing I've noticed is that a lot of lawyers make career moves after 3-4 year out of school. Some move to other legal positions, others leave the law completely. You suggest that having a house and a mortgage will make her more accepting of "new ideas, career alternatives." I think you're all wrong on this count. Here in the Bay Area I know a number of young lawyers who are unhappy with their jobs and would like to do something else, but who are unwilling to leave their jobs or search for something else because they NEED the money to pay for their house or condo. So, if you really want your sister to think about career alternatives (once again, I question the appropriateness of you meddling with her career), helping to saddle her with a big mortgage is not the way to go.

It seems to me like your sister and brother-in-law are on the right track, living below their means, no credit card debt, funding their retirement plans. You should not use a gift of a downpayment to try to get them to live the life you (and/or your parents) want them to live. They seem to be doing just fine on their own.

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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96985 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/6/2006 2:20 PM
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AJ...

Thanks for the advice, and I realize you are only going by the background I provided, which is pretty basic.

As far as lawyers in the Bay Area, I understand what you mean.

As far as partners in firms making good money, I understand that too.

In an nutshell, my sister has personally come to us and while she likes being a lawyer, understands there are other avenues out there. Odds are she is planning a change.

Odds are that if she does, 5 years from now she'll be worth more than the most senior partner in her firm today. She was a 4.0 student and excelled at academics, so we supported it 100%. But she is realizing that having 7 times her current income ain't too bad either.

And, there is lots more background to this than I mentioned in the thread, as it was just a thread on down payment assistance.

As far as "kick in the pants" for brother in law, they've BOTH come to us. She wants to do better. He has seen that there is another world out there for the more aggressive, and higher achieving and wants to be a part of it. To truly know this situation, one need be face to face with them.

Jedi



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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96986 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/6/2006 2:21 PM
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2gifts...

Nobody is butting in anywhere.

And the young couple is 100% ready and comfortable budgeting for the mortgage.

And yes, in some families high achievement is encouraged.

No apologees for that.

Jedi

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Author: BklynBorn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 96997 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/6/2006 4:40 PM
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Hi Jedi,

As far as I can see, you've mentioned how *you* feel and think, and your parents... but not your sis and Hub -- whether they've acknowledged what a huge boost this is, how they've promised pinky-swear to hold up their end, how excited they are. The point is not the answer to these questions, but that they just haven't been mentioned. Their thoughts and feelings seem not to have counted for much in the decision-making process, another sign of infantilization. This also points to the possiblity that this is about your anxiety (and your parents). Sometimes it's harder to watch loved ones struggle than it is to take care of thm. The question is, what's best for THEM -- in the long run.

In my family, high achievement is not reflected in needing help with a down payment that will put you in over your head. What's reflected there is a long dinner with multiple brothers who force you to run numbers until your head explodes.

On the other hand, I am genuinely moved by your generosity and obviously unconditional love for your family, and your drive to make it tangible.

BklynBorn

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Author: TMFBreakerTinker Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 97061 of 126958
Subject: Re: Mortgage: How much to help a kid? Date: 7/7/2006 11:51 PM
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Jedi,

I am not going to comment on the financial calculations here, but just a cynical legal matter that may be important some day. If you gift her the money, make it very clear that you are gifting "her" the money and not making a joint gift to the both of them.

It may never happen, and I hope it never does, but if they some day decide to get a divorce, and if you find out the reason for the divorce has to do with some poor behavior on the part of your brother in law, you will be very pissed to find out he is entitled to half the gift plus appreciation in any future divorce.

Whereas, on the other hand, if you were to clearly delineate, say on the check, that this money is a gift to your sister, then if a situation like this were to occur, she would retain this equity plus appreciation free and clear from your brother in law.

I know it is cynical, but the little issues like this can have big consequences in the future.

I once had a case where the wife's father gifted the husband money to be used to pay for the wedding and gifted his daughter money to be used for the downpayment on the house. At the divorce the wife got this downpayment money back plus substantial appreciation (as the house tripled in value) while the husband had $0 in gift money as it was all spent to pay for the wedding ceremony. He was outraged, but her father knew what he was doing.

Hey, I'm a lawyer, so sue me for being cynical ;)

Tinker

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