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"Yep, my parents helped me buy a house. Here's why."

My boyfriend and I bought a house this year.

When we first inspected it, I almost fell through the holes in the creaky old floorboards. The lime-coloured paint was peeling off the walls, there was a bug problem, and the sewerage system had given up months before (the smell alone probably put off most of our competition.)

But the thing is, even though it required a total renovation, it still cost us over $800,000 for a teeny two-bedroom terrace. And without the help of both sets of parents in the form of a $40k loan? There’s no way we’d be able to get our not-very-well-heeled feet onto the property ladder.

Our situation might sound ridiculous but it’s far from rare — because more Australian parents than ever are stumping up large sums of money, buying property in a joint venture with a child, or providing loans to help their adult children buy property, according to Fairfax Media.

helping your child buy a house
“My boyfriend and I bought a house this year. And by this I mean my boyfriend, my parents and I…” Image via iStock.

In fact, a whopping two in five first-home buyers are now relying on their parents to buy a home, according to another report report this year.

Yep, 42 per cent of first home buyers — and 19 per cent of total buyers — live with their folks while a tenant pays their mortgage, ask to borrow money from their parents or have their parents go guarantor on a bank loan, according to The Housing Sentiment Report released by realestateview.com.au.

So is this the newest evidence that Generation Y are a bunch of entitled brats? Should we add “help with housing” to the ever-growing list of unreasonable, self-absorbed demands often associated with the under-30s set?

Well, hold your judgement for a minute – because it’s not quite as simple as that.

The report found that half of renters can’t afford a home deposit, while over 30 per cent can’t afford mortgage payments  — suggesting that insane house prices are simply forcing first-home buyers to seek help with their purchase. (Anyone who’s ever heard their parents talk about how “in the good old days, a house deposit only cost a month’s salary” will know the housing market has changed drastically in the past few decades. Yep, those good old days? Are well and truly gone.)

Another factor is that many modern mums and dads simply have more money than parents of generations past — making financial assistance from parents a viable option for the first time, according to realestateview.com‘s general manager Petra Sprekos.

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“From a generational perspective, the kids (now) have that fall-back position,” Ms Sprekostold told the Herald Sun. “Around 30 years ago, the parents didn’t have the money.”

In other words, while many of our grandparents might have jumped at the chance to spring for their own kids’ house deposits, it may have simply not been an option in the wake of the Depression.

The survey also found that a massive 28 per cent of prospective buyers can’t afford to buy where they want to live — an issue that became the bane of our existence during the house-hunting process. (Yep, the fact that we paid the cost of a small island to buy our little bug-infested, inner-city terrace is living proof of that statistic.)

helping your child buy a house
Hold your judgement for a minute – because everything isn’t black and white. Image via iStock.

Yeah, I know, I know. Some people would argue that we could have found a better deal by stepping outside our comfort zone and moving out to the country for a few years.

But before you get all shouty? When we were house-hunting, property prices weren’t rising nearly as rapidly in those outer suburbs and rental rates in those areas were also much lower, meaning that from an investment perspective, moving out yonder was not so wise. We were told by financial planners that, like it or not, the inner-city areas are where the capital gains are at.

Which brought us to our little ramshackle terrace. In the end, we’re happy with it, even if we’ll be still paying off that mortgage when our grandchildren enter the world. We’re extremely fortunate that our parents were able — and generous enough — to help us get a start in a market that’s, frankly, unrecognisable compared to a generation ago.

So, lucky we may be. But Gen Y brats for accepting housing help from our parents? Nope, not so much. We – and the other 42 per cent of first-home buyers in our position — are just making the best decisions in a property market that’s spiralled completely out of control.

Would you help your children buy their first home?

Looking for more like this? Try these:

The 6 things ALL kids should know about money.

The 8 lessons I’ve learned from surviving financial oblivion.

Mia Freedman: “Oh you bet I bribe my kids. And this is why.”

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