The past few years haven’t been kind to aspiring homeowners. Scroogelike lenders have insisted on 20% down payments and high rents have made it hard to scrape up that much.


Here’s some good news to share over turkey and pie: 2017 is looking friendlier. The current expectation for first-time buyers is a down payment of six percent of the purchase price, according to the National Association of Realtors.

And move-up buyers are finding that they need a boost, too, to assemble enough from equity and savings to get into a bigger house. (That’s why the USRealty way of selling is such a gift: you can pay what’s fair and keep more equity, while using all the selling tools that professionals do to list and sell quickly and easily.)   Right now, move-up buyers are expected to have down payments of at least 13% of the purchase price of the new house.

If concerned relatives (is there any other kind?) ask how they can boost you over the line into your new house, here are three ways to make the most of their generosity.

Take advantage of local employer, community and lender programs that offer extra help and incentives to buy in certain areas. Down Payment Resource offers a comprehensive list of programs.

Work with the IRS rules about gifts to make sure that your benefactor doesn’t accidentally get a tax backlash.

Estimate the extra costs associated with buying and moving and see if potential donors would be willing to pay for something specific, such as a new dishwasher or cable television and internet costs for the first couple months.

And don’t forget to say thanks, with a housewarming party in the New Year!