Written by Andi (a Gen Y first home buyer)

As the prices of property have increased over the last decade, the pressure on parents to give -- not lend -- their children money to purchase their first home has skyrocketed. So how much are mums and dads really being asked to dish out?

After the recent Banking Royal Commission, you could be forgiven for thinking the shine has really come off all of Australia's major banks. But in fact, after you dismiss the four big banks, Australia's fifth biggest bank is perhaps more shiny than ever!

Which bank? You ask.

Well, it's the bank of mum and dad!

According to financial comparison site, Mozo, Aussie mums and dads are lending, on average, $73,522 to prop up their kids' deposit and help them burst through that seemingly impenetrable door, into the real estate market.

All up, the bank of mum and dad is forking out around $92 billion in home loans (or grants!) each year, which Mozo says, is an increase of more than 40% in just three years.

But just like the real banks, a loan from the bank of mum and dad isn't a sure-thing, as quite obviously, some parents don't have the extra cash to lend, others are never asked, and others say no.

Mozo's research confirms, however, that more than half of parents are in the home loan lending game, with 64% drawing from their savings and 16% their home's equity, to support their kids' endeavour to own a piece of the great Australian dream.

What's really notable here is that 13% of Australian parents delay their own retirement -- some significantly, to help their kids buy their first home. So essentially, while the kids are the ones getting the loans, some mums and dads are working harder and longer, to pay for it.

Parents are also helping in other ways

Loaning their kids money for their first property purchase isn't the only way mums and dads are helping out, with the data reporting 43% of Australian parents are allowing their kids to live at home, rent-free, as they save towards a deposit.

One in ten parents also said they contribute to repayments to ease the day-to-day pressure on their kids to pay back big loans -- and this is despite the almost record-low interest rates the Reserve Bank has set to try to inject some vigour back into the flailing Australian economy.

More traditionally, 14% of parents have acted as guarantor for their kids when they apply to a bank for a loan.

While this option may seem more attractive than handing over wads of retirement money, the catch is that not all banks will actually allow a guarantor and it is also not possible with every loan type.

The bright side is, a guarantor may also eradicate the need for mortgage lenders insurance, which can equate to tens of thousands more in spend than many first home buyers have planned.

All home loans should come with terms and conditions

Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of a loan from the bank of mum and dad is that often, unlike the big banks, the loan isn't subject to fluctuating interest rates, and if a repayment is missed, there is little risk their house will be forcibly removed out from under them.

But this mentality also has its down sides.

According to the Mozo data, most parents lending to their kids never really expect to see the money come back, and of those who do, slow or non-existent repayments are causing rifts.

And why shouldn't it cause rifts?

Unlike the big banks, mum and dad aren't a bottomless vat of money and certainly would like to enjoy their twilight years at some point. Getting their hands on the cash they had saved to get that camper, or take that holiday, or just hang up their office boots, is probably high on their wish lists.

One major take away from all of this data and from the problems this can and is causing in families, is that the bank of mum and dad needs to establish loan terms and conditions, just as the big banks do.

These 'mum and dad' terms may not be as unachievable or tricky to manage as those of the banks, and they may not even involve interest. At minimum, however, if you are lending even small (ish) amounts to your children for their home purchase, you need to put in place an agreed repayment plan to which your children are held accountable.

Your kids need to know there are consequences of missing repayments, and while of course there will be some lenience -- perhaps more than the big banks -- it needs to be clear from the get-go, where that lenience expires.

This is not just important for you, as parents, as you head into those years you are supposed to be enjoying, but it's also important for your kids.

It's important, because in all likelihood, your loan won't be their only loan, and even if it is for now, they will almost definitely take out other loans in the future.

Teaching them -- even as adults -- how to manage their money, whether it's to meet repayments, to financially support a child or just to get by without feeling pay check-to-pay check if they don't need to, is as important life lesson and parental support obligation, if not more, than helping them get their first home.

Similarly, ensuring they understand that compromises need to be made, that the total amount loaned needs to be feasible, and they should not actually be committing to loans they don't have the means to comfortably pay back -- even if that equates to not buying a house -- is a crucial lesson.

If nothing else, know this about home loans...

The rifts these 'slippery' or unwritten loan terms are causing are very real, and you don't want to help nurture a reality within which your kids are so poorly financially-educated they find themselves in trouble that even you don't have the means to get them out of -- you also don't want to risk your relationship right when grandkids are coming into the picture!

The bottom line here is the property market is tough for your kids -- there's no denying. It is tougher than it has been in as long as most can remember.

And while the income-to-mortgage ratio may have been much more accessible when you were younger, that does not obligate you to give away money you may not have, that may mean you cannot retire or that you will struggle, week-to-week if and when you finally do finish working.

Before opening up the bank of mum and dad, really consider your own position, now and down the track, and what you can reasonably afford to offer, if anything.

Once that offer is on the table, make it clear there are strict terms that must be adhered to in order for this loan to be facilitated, and in all cases, put these terms down on paper, with all parties signing, so it doesn't just feel like a real loan, with real terms, it is a real loan with real terms.

At the end of the day, some kids won't be able to afford a house; some parents won't have the money to loan and won't be in a position to even be a guarantor.

But take it from one first home buyer who is eye-ball deep in what is really quite a common or even relatively low debt: renting is totally fine, and renting for longer is also ok.

There are certainly benefits to buying and owning, especially in the long-term, but quality of life can still be great, every day can still be joyful and happy and full of the right challenges, if your kids pay rent each month for now, instead of a mortgage.