For first time buyers, getting their first apartment can seem a tricky business, especially in NYC. Prices still remain high, even in the current buyer’s market. To help foot the bill, many young millennials are turning to their parents to help out. Whether you’re looking to buy a co-op or condo, having your parents help out can dramatically help you stabilize your life. The numbers of people choosing this road have definitely risen in recent years. The good news is that it’s relatively straightforward, there are even a few different options for how it can be done.

Have your parents purchase the apartment outright

If you can get this consider yourself very fortunate. How it will work depends on what you and your parents agree to. You could pay them a monthly rent, or it could be simply given in trust for you to look after. This is a popular choice for parents whose child is attending college in NYC. You get a free place to stay while they have an investment in NYC real estate that will appreciate in value over time. Co-ops are cheaper but present some difficulties. Many co-op boards don’t allow parents to buy for their kids. For those that do, there will still be a lot of concerns.

Co-purchase the apartment with your parents

If your parents can’t foot the full bill the next option is for you to co-purchase it with them. For instance, they could pay all or part of the down payment. If you need a mortgage, your parents could agree to be the legal owners and attribute their own finances to help you secure that loan. You’ll want to discuss this first with your lender to see how much financing you can secure.

Who’ll be responsible for what will also need to be worked out with your parents such as monthly payments. Keep in mind though that you’ll be restricted in your choices to only buildings that allow co-purchases.

Have your parents gift fund you the money for the apartment

If you can cover the monthly payments but not the down payment, a cash gift from your parents could be the best option. If you require financing, you’ll need to first secure a pre-approved mortgage. Lenders usually have no problem with this. But they will want proof that the funds are a gift with no expectation of repayment.

Any large payments in your bank account that occur within 60 days of closing needs to be sourced. A large amount is defined as anything that is 10-20% of your monthly income. You can do this by filling out a proof of gifted funds form. If you go this road it is essential that you let your buyer’s agent know. Some co-ops restrict buyers who need a cash gift to secure the purchase.


There’s no shame in having your parents lend you a hand in securing that new home. The important thing is that you discuss it early with them. Once you know what kind of financing they can provide your broker can help with finding properties and lenders. Also, be sure to hire a buyer’s agent that has experience in selling properties to parents for their kids. They’ll not only help with finding good listings but also navigating the board approval process.


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