Buyer’s often hear from Real Estate agents that they should get pre qualified before they start looking for homes and there are several reasons for this including planning properly if you will be getting assistance from parents or relatives. The timing of the “gift”, the way the money is transferred, the tax implications are all things that should be looked at and doing it at the last minute after you find a home you love can create last minute issues.
In a National Association of Realtors survey of people who bought homes from July 2011 to June 2012, about a quarter of first-time buyers relied in part on gifts from relatives. “Typically, that’s the Bank of Mom and Dad,” said Walter Molony, a spokesman for the association. But mortgage lenders closely scrutinize cash gifts.
It is always a good idea to get information from the mortgage professional you plan to use but this article from the New York Times, To Givers of Down Payments, will help give a understanding of some of the issues you will come across.