Buying a multi-generational home


Dear David,

My son and I have started discussing selling our respective homes (he’s in a semi, I have a condo) and purchasing property we can share. He has a wife and two young children. I’m single. Is there anything in particular we need to consider? – LOOKING AHEAD

DEAR LOOKING: As prices and interest rates escalate, more and more families are thinking about moving in together. The trend is reminiscent of old traditions that saw mom and dad helping the kids get into their first home. As the market becomes increasingly unaffordable for many buyers, we’re seeing a growing number of large homes become multi-generational.

With a condo and a semi already in the mix, you and your son are off to a great start. You both may have some equity built up and combining your buying power will multiply your options. It’s important to consider how much each of you will be putting towards this purchase. If one of you is more heavily invested than the other, your lawyer may be able to accommodate this in the way the title is registered.

Consider the status of your son’s semi. Because he is married, it’s probably the matrimonial home. The property you purchase together will likely become your son and daughter-in-law’s matrimonial home as well.

In Ontario, if a marriage dissolves, the matrimonial home is typically split 50/50. At this point, it’s important to seek legal advice so you know how your respective shares of the property will be accounted for and protected. I can offer some high-level guidance, but a real estate lawyer is invaluable when it comes to ironing out the details. The last thing you want to do is to create a situation where unforeseen consequences stem from something you didn’t understand.

Like any buyer, you need to sit down with your mortgage specialist and nail down the moving parts with regards to financing. Mortgages are based on income and monthly obligations. The right mortgage specialist will fill in the details like car payments, student loans and credit card balances. They’ll take everyone’s employment situation into account and come up with an amount you qualify for together. An experienced Realtor can help you find out what your current properties are worth. With the right preparation, you’ll find a solution that accommodates your son’s family and helps you conquer the market.

PRO TIP: As I’ve said more than once, surround yourself with professionals. Your lawyer will help you structure the ownership of the home. Your mortgage specialist will help formulate a buying plan (which may include strategic planning to maximize buying power while avoiding pitfalls). Your Realtor can connect you to these professionals, and help you find that perfect multi-generational home. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.