Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: Helping A Family Member Buy A Home in Northern Nevada

Helping A Family Member Buy A Home in Northern Nevada

Helping A Family Member Buy A Home in Northern Nevada

Buying a home in Northern Nevada is an exhilarating experience.  From the realization that a new home is in order, or even possible, to the day you move in, there are many emotional moments.  Such moments are often enhanced by family members, well intended family members.  Their impact on your emotions is unavoidable, it is family after all.  Though they are well intended they can sure twist your perspective at times. 

Family help usually begins with everyone looking at the home.  If you are looking at a home that a family member wants to buy remember your role in the viewing.  Sometimes you are asked for your technical help, you are in the trades and can help assess the condition of the property.  Most often, however, you are invited along to look to reinforce their decision.  No different than when you are asked your opinion about the new car they are buying. “Whaddya think?”
When you are providing the “second opinion” remember that you aren’t the one buying the property.   Just as you didn’t do all the comparison shopping to know whether it was for horsepower, price or the radio that they selected the car they wanted to buy, you haven’t seen all the homes they’ve looked at and eliminated in the process of getting to considering this one.  The home must satisfy their wants and needs or you wouldn’t have been called out so remember that as you provide your feedback.

Don’t give artificial praise for the property, and don’t be over analytical.  They are riding on an emotional high and either one defeats the purpose of your role.  If they haven’t contracted the price they can get too emotionally involved which is a detriment in their negotiations.  If they over analyze they might lose what they really want and what is really the best home for them.  Work to understand how it will work for them.  Kind of like what you did when they decided to get married – its their choice and they have to live with it so make sure there aren’t any obvious serious defects and understand that they are the ones that are going to live with it.

If you are giving financial assistance by co-signing or gifting money to the endeavor you will want to protect your investment and can be more vocal with your analysis.  When you give money, by loan or gift, make sure everyone understands what you are giving and the terms of your involvement.  Keep it on a business level.  Also, don’t “Lord” it over them if you give them something – they will soon hate the home.  A gift is a gift.  Make sure the money is available when they need it to close.

Our Advice:  Buying a home with a “family committee” can be a lot of fun for everybody.  The enthusiasm can be infectious with the event producing fond memories.  The opposite can be true as well if you don’t do your job when assisting.  Just like when your sister asks you why you didn’t tell her that her ex-husband was a Dirty Rotten Lousy when you knew it, you must speak up about the reality of the situation.  Understand when they buy it anyway because they are blinded by the love of the home… like your sister when she married the bum!

We are all different which is why most people call in family help.  They are looking for a diverse opinion to offset and confirm their decision.  Fulfill that role objectively and the right thing will happen.  Help them make the right decision and maybe they’ll forget to call you on moving day as a token of their appreciation.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs ... Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472,

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Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine are the authors of this blog.  Lisa, Jim and Jessie are experts in Carson Valley , Carson City and the tri-county area of Douglas County, Carson City and Lyon County. Call our team anytime at 775-781-5472 or 775-781-3704.  To Search for Homes go to: Carson Valley Listing Book or visit our website at
Comment balloon 3 commentsLisa Wetzel • July 15 2012 07:37AM


Good morning Lisa. This is a complicated topic. Sometimes when money is involved family members are central in the process. When that is the reality, family needs to be involved from the very beginning and must be present for all showings.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 8 years ago

Good post I agree with Sheila,  all showings that at they also know the options the couple had in reaching their perfered home.

Posted by Diane Daley (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Shelia ... Thanks for your input. I appreciate it!

Caron ... Famiy can be very important in this process!  Thanks for your comment!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 8 years ago