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Cashing out your IRA carries the additional expense of the withdrawal penalty, which is 10% before 59 1/2 (with notable exceptions).

Are first time home purchases included in this? Or are they exempt from the 10% penalty. If they aren't that's going to close this discussion right here.

Have you calculated the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of his parent's house? House appreciation often sounds better than the actual return, because people rarely compare it to other investments over the same time period.

This is a good idea. I think too often people see the $Sold For Price$ - $Original Purchase Price$ = Gain and don't factor in years owned or $$ for improvements. My biggest argument against a bigger house is that I don't want to heat it and I don't want to clean it and I don't want to pay taxes for rooms/buildings/land I never use. This is challenging, though. His brother is building a monstrous house out in the boonies. And his parents' house is bigger now than it was when he and his brother lived at home.

Thank you for your advice, Gus. I'm definitely going to show it to him.
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