Q.  I’m wasting money on rent and want to buy a home.  How can I get help with a down payment?

A. There are ways to get a down payment, including the following:

  • Look into local or federal government programs.  They expire or change frequently, so ask your REALTOR® about any programs that may apply to your area and situation.
  • Have the seller finance you.  Some sellers may be willing to help you buy their homes in something called a “seller take-back.”
  • Use a financial gift from a friend or relative.  Tax law allows gifts of up to $15,000 a year to be given without tax consequences to the giver or recipient (see IRS publication 950).  You can get a gift from each parent or two friends without them having to pay a gift-tax, which brings it up to $30,000.