Would you pay towards your friend’s house?
Are you attending a wedding this year? If you’re thinking about getting the happy couple a gift,then forget going to the Bay or Kitchen Stuff Plus orWilliam Ashley.
It’s not about the punch bowl that will never get used or the blender that will collect dust in the cupboard. The new trend in gifts is something that you know they’ll use.
Why? It’s because they’ll be living in it. Instead of giving the couple appliances, you can now contribute to their down payment.
The idea itself isn’t new. Some cultures mean that cash is given at weddings so the couple can set up their household, including buying their first home. A new company, created by Victoria-based real-estate agents Christian Carrick and Patricia Kiteke, called Home for the Honeymoon is streamlining the process from receiving cash at the wedding to choosing a real estate agent to buying a house.
Now instead of getting married then buying a home, a couple can choose the option of registering for their down payment.
Here’s the concept. The couple is planning their wedding and they would like to buy a home. StatsCan shows that Canadians are waiting until they’re older before they get married – 28.5 years for women and 30.5 for men. In fact, most couples may have already set up their household with all their stuff and the next step is the home.
Couples can set up their wedding site through Home for the Honeymoon and keep their friends and guests up to date on their home search with pictures. They can also use their own real estate agent or one chosen from the company (carefully vetted).
Home for the Honeymoon will also help the couple determine your down payment and work with them to help raise that amount. There’s even a ‘thank you’ tab for the wedding guests who contributed to the down payment. The company does take a seven per-cent cut of the contributions.
So are Canadians willing to help pay towards a friend’s home? When I posed the question to my friends, all who have attended many, many weddings, they agreed that it was a good option. As one friend asked, “Umm, what’s the difference between cash and registering for what you want people to buy?” Or as another friend pointed out, “There are certain cultures where envelopes of cash are the norm.”
Some people did feel that asking for a down payment was a bit on the, well, tacky side. As Angelica Moreno said, “It might be okay if there are separate registries so people have options between traditional and pure cash.”
Carrick and Kiteke have taken this into consideration. In an email interview, they explained how the company addresses the potential awkwardness of asking for a down payment.
“We have found that as long as the couple properly communicated their reasons for wanting to register with Home for the Honeymoon that the guests have enjoyed helping the couple achieve their dream of home ownership. Registering for the down payment on your mortgage provides a unique gift-giving experience for guests, who will know that they are contributing to a gift of true and lasting value where the new family can thrive and grow.”
Overall they’ve found that all parties involved were happy to have this option, especially guests who liked the idea of contributing to something useful. As Lisa Yeung said, “As an avid-money giver I am down with it. Better I pay for a few bricks in their new home that give them another fondue set they don’t need. Although, who doesn’t love fondue?”
Well, that might be the gift for the first anniversary. In the house the wedding guests helped buy.