California home-buyers are increasingly reliant on parental gifts to afford their down-payments

Originally published at:


I know at least one person (a Gen Xer) who finally gave in and did exactly this recently to buy a home in CA. His mother-in-law remortgaged her out-of-state condo to give them the down-payment. The agreement seems to be that she’ll move in with them if she gets too infirm or frail to live on her own.

I’m sure this situation is the norm with Millenials with young families, assuming there’s a parent who can give them the gift. Taking into account a financial crisis that postponed retirement for many Boomers and the on-going train wreck of the American health insurance system I would guess that fewer and fewer parents of any race can afford to give this sort of gift.

Meanwhile, unless they’re already 1%ers or have wealthy parents, people under age 55 are completely shut out of buying a new home in places like West L.A. and, I assume, the city of San Francisco.


I think this might not be a California phenomenon.


While I agree with you statement, what I really want to say is, “You cat user ID photo is so cool!”


As USCs Lusk Center for Real Estate director Richard Green says, “It’s almost like we’re feudal now. You inherit the manor from your family if you happen to be a landowner. If you’re not a landowner, it’s really hard to get in.”

Well, there’s the traditional American route to land ownership, force (or murder) the natives out and take over. /s


I guess you need to find a community of anti-vaxxers who have nice housing, then break out the blankets.


If anyone has there eyes set on So Cal, please take some time to look over the Joshua Tree / Yucca Valley area, it’s very affordable. We paid just 6 months ago, $136,000.00 for a 2 bed 1 bath 1100 square foot home on a 11k sq ft lot. The house was in what I’d call a 7.5 out of 10 shape.

This area is 30 minute commute to Palm Springs, 40 minutes to San Bernardino / Riverside.

@euansmith That idea has some merit.


The cat’s name is Scuba and the pic was taken by Robert Bahou
When it was posted on his page, several friends independantly told me that this cat was me in feline form so he became my avatar.


All he needs is a paw in shot, and he would be “Awesome Kid”.


Yep. Basically every 30-something homeowner I know (who didn’t get a tech windfall) had help from their parents to buy their house… That boomer money goes a long way. For many parents it’s sensible more than generous; there’s not really any other economic vehicle that they feel safe putting their money in, and their kids can’t really hope to make the same as their parents did (as CPA’s or whatever). But it has caused such a nasty distortion in the market. And it’s created such a strange psychological effect among the people I know… These people are grown-up, some with children, who depend on their near-retirement parents for their over-priced homes. The middle class myth of the self-made are laid bare.


I have family living in YV. The 2 problems I see with living there are that it’s hot as Hell in Summer, and you have to get in your car to do anything (though that’s a fairly common problem wherever you live in the US). That drive up from PS is brutal, 3,000’ vertical IIRC.


Yucca Valley and Palm Desert are still both great places to live, especially if someone wants to live in the desert and enjoy hot weather, sweeping views, and the beautifully sparse landscape. Houses out there can be bought outright for the cost of a down payment on a home in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, not all of us can handle that heat though! :slight_smile:

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Or people could move somewhere they can afford to live. Here’s a quick search of a couple random neighborhoods in a midwest city:

Giant HTML. Sorry.

What am I saying. Moving is crazy talk.

Where’s your sense of adventure?

@Carbonman @Secret_Chimp Yes it’s hot in the Summer, but it’s a dry heat. The JT National Park is a huge plus. The lack of a central downtown makes for great exploring. ie.

I get that it ain’t for everybody, but it may work for somebody.


Why the hyphens in “home-buyers” and “down-payments” ?

Moving to Ohio (your link shows home for sale in some rural/suburb in Ohio) from California is a 1500 mile move. For many people, moving a thousand miles away from friends, family, and support networks doesn’t make for a good trade-off to own a home.


Not to mention that this kind of move with a small family is going to run into the thousands of dollars and that the salary you might make (assuming you’ve secured a job) is going to be lower in Ohio than it is in California.

Could have been worse, though. He could have suggested North Dakota, favourite suggested destination for “lazy” Millenials by conservative Boomers.


Oh, so you’re a “hyphen” hater!

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Pssst…say it five times really fast.


Ok, now I’m in trouble with the Boss.