Can I Sell My House to My Child for £1?
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Can I Sell My House to My Child for £1?

Selling your house for £1 may sound unrealistic, but many people are investigating the possibility. Whilst you would normally look to sell a house to the person putting in the highest offer, selling to your child for just £1 helps give them a head start in property and helps you avoid the fees you may otherwise encounter during a quick house sale.

Selling a house to your child for just £1, or gifting your house as it may also be known, is more common than you may think. However, it is something worth researching carefully before going ahead with.

Our guide below will help you understand the legal processes and the financial implications behind selling your house to your child for just £1.

Selling a house to a family member

Selling a property at well below market value may be seen by some as an underhanded way of doing business. Some may even see it as a little bit dodgy. It is completely legal though. If you wish to sell your house for £1 below market value or sell it for just £1 you can! There are no legal restrictions on how much you sell your house for.

First time buyers have found that buying property has been significantly difficult over the last few years. The deposit levels being asked of tending to be too high for many. As a result, there has been a growing trend in parents helping their children take the first steps on the property ladder. Whether this be through helping fund the deposit, buying a property, or selling their current one for just £1.

If you own your house outright, selling it for £1 is relatively straight forward. If you still have a mortgage though, you will have to clear that before making the sale.

With any property transaction though, there are a variety of costs associated with it. Despite the low selling price of the house, there will be stamp duty, capital gains and inheritance tax to cover too.

What are the costs of selling a house to a family member?

As mentioned above, there are a few costs to consider before selling your house for £1. We have listed the most common ones below:

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax (CGT) can make a real dent in your finances depending on the level of income tax you pay. In many cases, you will not pay any CGT when selling your main home, but you will face a tax bill if it is a second home, a buy-to-let property or if your home is partly used for business. If you currently pay the basic-rate level of tax, you will find that you pay 18% tax on any gains made from the property sale. If you are in the higher-level tax bracket, you will pay 28%. This should be looked into before you sell, as selling for £1 will result in you having less money to pay the CGT.

Stamp duty and inheritance tax

If you are the only owner and have no mortgage, then you do not need to worry about stamp duty when selling your house for £1. If you have a mortgage, though, it is a little different. If the amount owed is more than the current stamp duty thresholds, you will be liable for the tax. Always look for the current rates so that you are aware of the potential costs involved. If you decide to gift your house but die within 7 years, the person you have gifted the property will have to pay inheritance tax if it exceeds the current threshold of £425,000.

Income tax

If you have sold your house to your child for £1, income tax may not apply. However, should they start to earn money from renting the property, they may move into a higher tax bracket and end up with a larger tax bill.

Mortgages

If there is a mortgage outstanding on the property, then the sale value must be in excess of that. If you are looking to sell for less than the mortgage amount, then you will need to remortgage the property. This could result in early exit fees and the cost of the new mortgage, too.

Legal fees

Selling your property to your child means that you need to register the handover of property deeds. This will put the property in your child’s name. For this process, you will need a solicitor.

Is it a good idea to sell my house to my child?

Despite there being some additional costs to be aware of, there are positives to selling your house to your child for £1.

Lowering your tax bill

Spreading any assets you own across family members could see a reduction in the tax you have to pay. However, this can only be done via the guidance of tax specialists as if done incorrectly, it could constitute tax avoidance.

Additional income

By gifting your property to your child, you give them the opportunity to generate additional income by renting it out.

First steps on the property ladder

Helping your child get a foot on the property ladder is a goal of many parents. It helps them gain a little more financial security and increases the potential for a substantial savings fund further down the line.

Are there any risks to selling a house to your child?

Any property transaction is prone to risk. Usually, those risks are financial, but when selling your house to a family member for just £1, those risks are replaced by some that are more family-related.

Eviction

If you have gifted your property to your child but continue to live there yourself, you stand to be evicted should a dispute arise. Legal ownership now sits with your child and not you.

Tax

Tax can be a tricky subject, and with the potential taxes you or your child may be liable for, it is imperative that you seek the proper advice.

Marital issues

If your child is married but then proceeds to divorce, there is the risk of the property being sold and the proceeds being split across both parties.

If you are considering selling a house, then speak to the team at SOLD. We are the leading online estate agent in the UK and can sell your house quickly and free. Should the idea of selling for £1 be a little too cheap for you, get a free online house valuation with us. You might discover it’s worth more than you think.

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