As lenders tighten mortgage guidelines for home buyers, minimum downpayment requirements are increasing.
Several years ago, you could finance a home with nothing down. Today, most conventional mortgages require at least 5 – 10 percent.
Incidentally, these guideline changes have led to an increase in the number of home buyers accepting cash gifts from family.
Gifts are allowed in most cases but the problem is, if you don’t accept the gift in a “lender-friendly” way, the mortgage underwriter could reject it, and negate it.
Three Steps To Success With Your Down Payment Gift Funds
You can’t just deposit a cash gift into your bank account. You have to follow a series of steps and keep records.
- Provide an acceptable gift letter signed by all parties
- Provide documentation of the gifter’s withdrawal of funds via teller receipts
- Provide documentation of the giftee’s deposit of funds via teller receipts
Lenders require these 3 steps for two basic reasons. First, they want to make sure that the cash gift is “clean” (i.e. not laundered). Second, they want to make sure the gift is really a gift and not a loan-in-disguise. It’s why lenders typically require that the loan application be accompanied by a signed, dated letter.
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