Money Moral Dilemma: What's the fairest way to help our children on to the property ladder?

This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

We're in the fortunate position to be able to give our children money towards property deposits. However, one of them is looking to buy in London while the others are looking elsewhere, where it's much cheaper. Should we give them all the same amount or take into account the differing property prices?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value. Remember that behind each dilemma there is a real person so, as the forum rules say, please keep it kind and keep it clean.

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Replies

  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
    22K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    You take into account the children's situations. One might have a very well paid job for example. Being fair to both, isn't always the same as treating them identically. 




  • LauraCV21LauraCV21 Forumite
    11 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker PPI Party Pooper
    It doesn't matter where they're setting up home - treat them equally and give them the same amount. It's up to them where they buy and what they bit. Why should someone who works in a cheaper town/city because it's where the business is based be treated any differently than someone who works in a more expensive area (whether by choice or work location).
  • CapeTownCapeTown Forumite
    21 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Giving one child more than the other says "I love you more". As another poster said it will create tension. My mother in law gave one of her son's £100k over the years  ... It has lead to intolerable rifts between the children lasting over 20 years.
  • REJPREJP Forumite
    257 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Give them the same amount.
  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    How’s this for a novel idea…..
    no money for any of the little darlings?
    Teach them a life lesson that money doesn’t come for free or always relying on the bank of mum and dad!!!!
    I bought my first small property in 1998 at age 25 after working, on my own, non stop every day for 2 years (no holidays, weekends or days off- all highly illegal but threatened the sack if I couldn’t work/was ill etc) from 7am to 11pm, and then doing sleepovers (so still on duty) in houses filled with highly dependant (and aggressive) disabled adults that regularly injured me. 
    I had no-one to give me money and parents wouldn’t help. The day I walked into my first home, knowing I had got it through sheer hard work which was exhausting, was a real sense of achievement.
    Give your children the same self respect and use your hard earned cash for yourselves, as you never know if/when you might need that and regret giving it away. We are all only ever one pay day away from losing everything, as I did when I was made disabled and unable to work again.
    If you have got so much spare cash then I would suggest donating to homeless charities for people who genuinely need help and shelter.
    Any other option will only cause arguments between the siblings, asking how much each got and what they spent it on.
    golly, ok - I bought my first property at that age too - legally working loopy hours but occasionally got home to stay there. Over the years the values of our property, pension and inheritance has gone up and despite having worked hard for it, we are quite happy for our spare cash to go to the kids (who genuinely need help and shelter), not much else to spend it on!

    to the OP - give the same to each child, I have bought first child a house and will spend the same for the second as soon as we can work out where they are going to live.
  • SheepsterSheepster Forumite
    118 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    No offence but (there’s always a but huh) if you’re in the position to help them with what will be a huge amount of money (if this dilemma example is even real, I wonder with some of these), then surely you’re successful people who have probably built a business and will be really intelligent.
    This being the case why on earth would you even need to ask randoms on the internet what you should do.

    That said I can only echo what others have said. The only fair way is to give them equal. It’s their choice where they buy and nobody is forcing one of them to contemplate buying in one of the worlds most expensive cities, one which is almost a country within a country the economics are so stark.
  • gloriouslyhappygloriouslyhappy Forumite
    515 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    As just about everyone else has said so far, give them the same. Ultimately the London property will be worth more so fairer to treat everyone the same now, and it will save arguments later.
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