Helping Down-Payment Dad With Sticker Shock

Feb 13, 2020

Doris was holding Open House on a new listing.. She expected a good turnout as this was a fairly new, well-priced, entry-level bungalow.


Somewhere near the end of the afternoon, a young couple walked in.


"Hi, I'm Doris. Thanks for stopping in. Can I offer you coffee or a water?"


"No, thanks. Do you mind if we just look around?"


"Enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions, OK?"


"OK, thanks."


"By the way," Doris asked, as an afterthought, "What was it about this house that caught your eye?"


"Oh, we've always loved this neighborhood," she said, "But we're just getting started and wanted to see what something like this looked like on the inside. It's just beautiful!"


"Thank you," said Doris, "I will let the owner know."


They wandered off to inspect and on their way out, Doris asked, " Have you two talked with anyone about today's home buying process?"


"Uh, not yet. We have a budget, and our parents are helping us out with the down-payment."


"Well, that's wonderful!" said Doris, genuinely excited for the youngsters. "How lucky you two are to have such generous parents. I have an idea. Why don't we do this, let's find a time . . ."


They met again at Doris' favorite lender's office, went over the pre-approval process and began selecting home to look at. Within a week of looking with Doris, they found the perfect home. It fit all their needs and their budget.


Doris recognized the classic buying signals, and asked, "You kinda like this one, don't you? Why don't we go to the Starbucks right around the corner and answer all your questions over a nice cup of coffee?"


They said, "We have to call Mom and Dad first and have them come over and look at it before we make an offer."


So they call Mom and Dad, who drop everything and come over to see what the kids have picked out.


After they looked at the house, Dad said to the kids, "You two really want to spend over $200,000 on this house? Do you know what your mother and I paid for our first house? $68,000. I know this neighborhood. I could have bought this house for $80,000 back in '98."


The kids turned to Doris with a disappointed look and rapidly fading hope in their eyes.


Doris said to them, "Didn't I say you were so lucky to have such generous parents? And now I can see they are looking out for your best interest, too. Wow, you kids are blessed."


And then she turned to Dad and said, "You are absolutely right, Dad, how smart of you to be able to see that. This is a great investment. 22 years ago, you could have bought this for $80,000 and now it's worth more than double that. By the time they sell it, it will be worth more again and their investment (and yours) will pay off. Thank you for pointing that out."


At the closing, Mom, Dad, the kids and Doris celebrated with a glass of bubbly as Doris toasted, "Here's to the new homeowners! And here's to their very generous parents! Congratulations to all of you."


As Floyd says, when showing homes, "Turn a negative into a positive."


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