Author Topic: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal  (Read 6180 times)

jeromedawg

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Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« on: January 22, 2016, 10:44:11 AM »
Hey guys,

Just wanted to get some opinions on the matter... my parents and I currently co-own a condo in Southern California (Orange County) that is fully paid off. I'm planning to relinquish ownership fully back to them so my hands are clean of it (don't want to deal with in-fighting with my brothers and SILs over "fairly" splitting the inheritance etc).
That said, I've been paying them a pretty low amount per month for "mortgage" (which is basically just me buying more 'equity' from them in the place) for the past 8 or so years. Relinquishing ownership would mean them buying me out and essentially paying me back for the down payment I put in plus all the monthly "mortgage" payments. They aren't charging interest either, so that's a huge benefit. Anyway, the buyout would probably end up being in the ballpark of $80k if they were to buy us out *now*. We want to stay put as long as we can here but they keep telling us it's going to be really tight when they visit (we're in a 3br/2bt condo @ almost 1400sq feet). Both my parents and in-laws visit on occasion, stay with us, and will help with the kids. But it's not often - her parents come once a week and spend the night and my parents will come visit for at least 1-2 weeks or more at a time. They currently are occupying our second bedroom (which will eventually be our son's) and I just started a telecommute position in which I've allocated our smaller bedroom/den as office space. Just thinking ahead but aside from all the baby stuff we've accumulated, I think things are going to get even tighter if #2 comes along within the next few years.

We currently have to the tune of $245k in [taxable] investments (mostly S&P 500 funds, Total Market funds, some intl market funds, and ETFs) and about $75k in cash (including 'emergency' funds). I'm really hesitant to make any moves with this but am wondering if it would be 'beneficial' in any way. My parents have said that they'd be willing to help us with a loan (not sure of the amount) towards the new place (I think they might be thinking that since they expect they'll have a place to stay when they visit, they would continue to help any way they can).

Our realtor-friend who helped us buy the current place just had a discussion with them yesterday about what the current place would rent out for ($2300-2400) and what her thoughts our on my parents buying us out and us looking for a bigger place (single family home in a surrounding city - likely Lake Forest or Orange). She said "you would definitely be able to find a single-family home in either of those cities for under $700k" - lol, before that was a 'normal' price range in my mind but now it's pretty ridiculous seeing what I've seen here and in comparison to much of the rest of the country (there are a few exceptions of course). I accept the fact that housing prices are what they are here in Southern California, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous [from a Mustachian POV at least]. Anyway, if we were to make such a move, do you guys think it would be a reasonable one based on the current amount we have saved? I know the market is volatile now and my plan with the $245k was really just to invest it and grow it (a couple years back it was our "home fund" but I had a change of heart and decided I'd rather invest in index funds with most of it). But if push comes to shove, I'm willing to take it out if it makes sense for us to move.  I have thought about moving out of state but not sure we'd be ready for that at this point in our lives... since I'm telecommuting though, and my wife will soon be full-time SAHM, it would open up that opportunity for sure. We just don't want to make it too hard especially for my in-laws as they currently live an hour away (driving distance) and run a business (not sure when they'd retire). But my parents were even talking about finding a place where my in-laws could potentially live with us (I don't think we want that and my in-laws have told my wife they don't want that either... I think it would get crazy).

Sorry this was such a TL;DR. Any thoughts or recommendations?

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 10:52:34 AM »
Ok, so completely avoiding the discussion of whether or not housing is over-priced, your family matters, and general musatchianism: yes, you have enough to buy a $700k house. It seems as though you are doing very well in your saving.

Personal opinion: get the hell outta SoCal, buy a $250k house, cash, and reap the benefits.

If you're set on staying in SoCal for a little longer and then moving out of state, then find a place to rent until that time. It often doesn't make sense to buy a place only to move out in 3 years.

NorCal

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 10:58:28 AM »
You certainly have the cash for a down-payment.  Do you have the income to support the mortgage and a decent savings rate?

Don't worry about the high price compared to the rest of the country unless you're seriously considering moving somewhere else.  If you are, then you need to carefully consider both the income, expense, and family impacts of your alternatives.

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 11:10:11 AM »
Ok, so completely avoiding the discussion of whether or not housing is over-priced, your family matters, and general musatchianism: yes, you have enough to buy a $700k house. It seems as though you are doing very well in your saving.

Personal opinion: get the hell outta SoCal, buy a $250k house, cash, and reap the benefits.

If you're set on staying in SoCal for a little longer and then moving out of state, then find a place to rent until that time. It often doesn't make sense to buy a place only to move out in 3 years.

Thanks, my wife and I really started ramping up on saving not long after getting married in 2010. I definitely wasn't on top of my savings game before that. Really wish I had Mustachian principles instilled in me a long time ago (e.g. right out of college lol). Anyway, moving out of state will be a huge change *if* we decide to. My wife is particularly attached to her in-laws and is always saddened whenever there are discussions that hint towards us moving even further away from them.
The nice thing with our situation is that I think we can continue to "rent" from my parents even after relinquishing ownership, and doing so at the same rate we've been paying them on a monthly basis. If we *can* stay in SoCal, I think that's what we'd prefer. Moving out of state would be a last-resort kind of option if it came down to it (unless my wife changes her mind about her parents or they too decide to move out of state with us... doubt it lol).

The other thing I was contemplating is my in-law's situation. They run a restaurant business and are in their 70s. I think retirement beckons but they are stubbornly resistant. They're in a good situation though just to walk-away (no contract on their lease currently and the month-to-month is pretty low all things considered). The problem is that they have a mortgage out on a house and have *maybe* half of it paid off by now. They took a loan out back in 2004 and got it refinanced a couple years ago during the housing market crash. I think there's somewhere to the tune of $250ish that is left on the mortgage. I'm wondering if that would be a good opportunity as a rental property (it's 3br/2ba with a decent sized lot in the Chatsworth area. Close to schools and a park in a generally family-friendly neighborhood). They've talked about giving it to us as an inheritance (but my brother in-law might be involved with this too) - we were dodging it at first but it *might* make sense to take it on and rent it out.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 11:24:09 AM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 11:15:04 AM »
You certainly have the cash for a down-payment.  Do you have the income to support the mortgage and a decent savings rate?

Don't worry about the high price compared to the rest of the country unless you're seriously considering moving somewhere else.  If you are, then you need to carefully consider both the income, expense, and family impacts of your alternatives.

I'm not sure about the mortgage and how that would affect our savings rate. With me taking the telecommute job, it was an increase in salary but with my wife stopping her job, we'll actually be at a reduced gross income for the year. My parents have hinted at having her parents live with us upon retiring so they can watch the kids (and thus have my wife go back to work). I know that's a common arrangement especially with Asian families, but I'm not sure that's what we'd particularly want to do (and her parents have expressed that they wouldn't either, but who knows...).

We'll have to run some numbers as far as what I'm making and what the monthly mortgage would be. I'm assuming the more down I can put, the lower the monthly payments would be right? But on the other hand, would it necessarily be better if I were to hypothetically put all that money from the investments into a house + take a mortgage? Or, if I can, should I try to keep a certain amount of that money in the current investments I have? I'm sure the answer would depend on current income and whatever monthly payments I would be able to afford, but if that weren't an issue, which would be more preferable?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 11:25:23 AM by jplee3 »

AZDude

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 11:28:01 AM »
I lived in SoCal for a few years before deciding housing was too expensive and moving back to Arizona, where I'm originally from, because you can buy a brand new 3bdrm home for $200K instead of $700K. I kind of regret that decision, even though at the time it was the smart move(new baby, staring at $1600 childcare payments or becoming single income household).

That being said, telecommuting gives you more freedom even if you want to stay in SoCal. You can live farther out in the suburbs where prices are cheaper, even borderline into the country, and find much cheaper options than closer to the coast. I dont know that area very well, but I know in SD county, houses drop in price spectacularly once you get 15 miles or so from the ocean. So don't think in terms of stay in the same exact spot or move 1,000 miles. Moving 50 miles might make things work better financially, while still being within easy driving distance of family.

$75K plus $80K = $155K. So ~$775K should be the maximum home you buy, since that would be 20% down.  You are in good shape regardless of what you do, and I'm a little envious.

Shane

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 11:31:24 AM »
Have you tried the New York Times' Rent or Buy Calculator?

Buying a house to live in is not an investment. It's an expense, like buying a car. If you run the numbers and it looks like in your situation you'll be better off buying a house, then do it. Otherwise, keep your savings invested in the markets and keep renting.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2016, 11:50:07 AM »
You have $80k in equity in the condo, you have investments of $245 and cash of $75.  That's a total of $400.  If you have the income to cover a mortgage on the rest including purchasing expenses, you can buy a house worth $700k.  Remember to factor in the cost of earthquake insurance, as you are about put all your current money and leveraging your future income into a house in an earthquake zone.

If a part of the intent is to separate out issues of inheritance, you should make sure that the house is in your and your wife's names only, that there is a properly drawn up loan agreement from your parents, and that you are paying a rate of interest that looks reasonably like a commercial rate.  Otherwise you will have the same concerns over inheritance in relation to the house as you currently do in relation to the condo.

I don't understand why your parents are trying to run your parents-in-law's lives for them.  I suggest you stay away from being the go-between/piggy in the middle on that one.

I don't understand what the position is on your parents-in-laws house, other than that they own it subject to a $250k mortgage and both your wife and your brother in law have a potential interest in an inheritance from their parents.  Unless your parents in law make a specific suggestion that your brother in law agrees with, I'd stay away from that one.

lbmustache

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2016, 12:09:15 PM »
Do you need to live in the Lake Forest/Irvine/etc. area? You can find cheaper housing elsewhere (maybe even nicer parts of Costa Mesa? Huntington Beach?), around $500k I think.

Unless you are willing to move out of state or into the boonies (aka Inland Empire or more remote places up north) then I would say $500k+ is the price range you are looking at, Mustachian or not.

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2016, 12:14:13 PM »
You have $80k in equity in the condo, you have investments of $245 and cash of $75.  That's a total of $400.  If you have the income to cover a mortgage on the rest including purchasing expenses, you can buy a house worth $700k.  Remember to factor in the cost of earthquake insurance, as you are about put all your current money and leveraging your future income into a house in an earthquake zone.

If a part of the intent is to separate out issues of inheritance, you should make sure that the house is in your and your wife's names only, that there is a properly drawn up loan agreement from your parents, and that you are paying a rate of interest that looks reasonably like a commercial rate.  Otherwise you will have the same concerns over inheritance in relation to the house as you currently do in relation to the condo.

I don't understand why your parents are trying to run your parents-in-law's lives for them.  I suggest you stay away from being the go-between/piggy in the middle on that one.

I don't understand what the position is on your parents-in-laws house, other than that they own it subject to a $250k mortgage and both your wife and your brother in law have a potential interest in an inheritance from their parents.  Unless your parents in law make a specific suggestion that your brother in law agrees with, I'd stay away from that one.

Thanks for the reminder on being in an earthquake zone - maybe I should move to Phoenix after all LOL. As far as inheritance issues, that's why we're planning on relinquishing ownership of the current place back to my parents. And yea, the new place would definitely only have our names on it (not my parents). Considering how my parents have helped my brothers in the past (with free rent for one brother for many years as well as helping with a down-payment with my other brother), I think them offering a reasonably portioned loan (sorry, to clarify it would be a 'loan' for down-payment) to help us would be fair at the very least. If anything, I'd imagine that loan would definitely be a smaller portion in comparison to the rest of the down-payment we put down. As far as putting all our taxable investments into a down-payment for a house though, is that generally a good idea?

My parents, while very sociable and likable (in general), have the tendency to get over-involved with things they really shouldn't. This is something my brothers and I have always had issues with. I don't know why they do this - maybe because they just feel like they "need" to help people and this is how to help them? They often give their unsolicited advice to people head-first. For example, my dad was just telling us how he met this random kid at a bus stop, ended up talking with him, and is now acting like he's his mentor... all this in the course of a week. I mean, I think that's great, but he wouldn't stop talking about the kid and kept talking about his work experience and other things that, frankly, we don't really care about.

Anyway, there has been talk about having my parents rent out the place we're in to my in-laws if they retire so that they could live closer to us if we do stay in the area. I think that is definitely an option. Both sets of parents have a good relationship (and have even traveled on vacation together). 

The tidbit on my in-laws' house w/ mortgage was just something I interjected as I was thinking about all of this. I think it would be messy especially if her brother were to be involved. But if not, I'm contemplating if it would be a good option and long-term opportunity for rental income.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 12:23:19 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 12:19:48 PM »
Do you need to live in the Lake Forest/Irvine/etc. area? You can find cheaper housing elsewhere (maybe even nicer parts of Costa Mesa? Huntington Beach?), around $500k I think.

Unless you are willing to move out of state or into the boonies (aka Inland Empire or more remote places up north) then I would say $500k+ is the price range you are looking at, Mustachian or not.

That's certainly an idea - while we've "gotten used to" and enjoy the immediate area, I also wouldn't mind living even closer to the beach as well, that's for sure :) And it would be a closer trip for her parents.

Another consideration is logistics with a remote office location I'm currently still trying to sort out with the current employer. I can work from home OR a remote office location - having the remote office location would be good in case of outages or if I just need space. But first, they need to allocate a space for me. And if I were to move, we'd possibly have to go through it all over again. I just want to make sure that whatever location it is, I'm not gonna end up commuting to it if I decide to go in a few times a week or what not.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 12:21:52 PM by jplee3 »

Shane

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 12:27:14 PM »
As far as putting all our taxable investments into a down-payment for a house though, is that generally a good idea?

Financially, probably not. Leaving your money invested in index funds will almost certainly yield more money for you, but apparently money is not the only factor you're considering. Have you run the NYT's Rent/Buy calculator for your situation? That might help you to decide which would be the best choice for you?

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2016, 12:33:09 PM »
As far as putting all our taxable investments into a down-payment for a house though, is that generally a good idea?

Financially, probably not. Leaving your money invested in index funds will almost certainly yield more money for you, but apparently money is not the only factor you're considering. Have you run the NYT's Rent/Buy calculator for your situation? That might help you to decide which would be the best choice for you?

Yea, that's the other thing holding me back from this. Or at least, if I do make a down-payment, I'd lean towards *not* pulling all the money from the current investments out. I did run the calculator but not sure how helpful it is because what I'm paying to my parents for "rent" right now is so low that it will *always* look better for us to rent. LOL! EDIT: err, I misread that the comparison is not for what you're currently paying rent for but specifically "If you can rent a similar home for less than $X" - I guess in our case, it's not a fair comparison because we'd be looking for an upgrade. It just doesn't help that the low rent we're paying skews our expectations of what rent actually is.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 12:35:10 PM by jplee3 »

cloudsail

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2016, 12:51:51 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2016, 01:03:11 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

LOL, yea it's a lot of craziness... our parents drive us crazy at times but we do love them. We were thinking about a 4 bed house or something that has a "guest" room for when parents, relatives, or friends visit, they have a place to stay. I think we talk about having her parents live in with us but both sides agree that we actually wouldn't want that (mostly because her parents would make a mess of things and drive my wife, who is especially OCD, pretty crazy). For telecommuting, I have this preconception that I need a dedicated room that acts as my office... I'm pretty sure that doesn't have to be the case, but it probably depends too - I think I need a door either way. Decluttering is definitely on the list of things to do, especially with the loads of baby items we've inherited :( In the meantime, I've been slimming down on my own excess (mostly dumb gadget purchases from the past) but will have to start going through and reevaluating "core possessions" and what not.

My parents like to talk a lot, and her parents are always full of these grandiose ideas. But we generally don't let any of that affect the decisions we make. My main concern is that I don't want to pick up a mortgage that will make us compromise on our savings and contributions towards retirement... I don't want my wife or I looking at our budget and saying "uh, so we have about $10 left to put into our savings for the month."
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 01:10:55 PM by jplee3 »

okits

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2016, 01:56:06 PM »
Your 1400 sq ft condo sounds like a mansion compared to our 2 bed 1 bath 860 sq ft apartment (where DH works full-time and we are going to eventually fit a second child.) Right now, all of us sleep in the master bedroom, second bedroom is a dedicated office.  When we have a second kid the office will be 50/50 older kid's room and office (DH's work hours and her sleeping hours do not overlap.)  Later, both kids can share a bedroom and we'll carve out space in the master bedroom for DH to work, or in the living room (once the kids are old enough it doesn't need to be a child-proof fortress of safety.)

If sleeping in a room that's normally something else (office, kid's bedroom) is "roughing it" for guests, your ILs can tough it out for only one night a week.  For the longer visits with your parents, if they have a guest room, go to them.  Your wife is a SAHP to an infant and can do that at your parents' place; you telecommute and can work from anywhere. 

Our parents also think buying a house is a great idea.  We could get a house for $800k in our neighbourhood.  A shitty house.  I don't even want to rent a house due to all the extra work it would entail.  And sinking a huge chunk of our net worth into one illiquid, undiversified, leveraged asset?  The investor in me isn't interested in the risk associated with that.  I know not having a house for your kids and not having one bedroom per kid is counter-culture, but so is ER. 

In my situation, for our age, the opportunities we've had, and our stage of life I think we've accumulated an okay amount of assets, not bad but more would be better.  Our household income has dropped as I am devoting more time to parenting, and we want a second kid (so add incremental child expenses and longer lower income period for me.) Those are already two strikes against further wealth accumulation so we are working hard to make our living situation (with below-market rent) work for as long as possible.  The last thing our savings rate needs is higher accommodation costs.  We have had incredible flexibility to attend to medical concerns and provide eldercare because we have slack in the budget, even with my reduced income.  Living a little cramped has been worth the other things we've gained by keeping our expense low.

cloudsail

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2016, 02:07:04 PM »
Everything okits said above.

Where you live, I would definitely not entertain the idea of a dedicated guest bedroom. Find a local library for telecommuting. 3 bedrooms isn't even necessary. Even if you don't want children sharing rooms, your first baby is only 5 months. It will be a loooong time before your second baby (when/if you decide to have one) will need their own room.

I think it's fine (though wasteful) to buy a bigger house than you need for the long term if you live in a LCOL area, but where the housing costs are insane, it can be disastrous financially.

And ultimately, if we did not buy a house a few years ago, I would not be trying to buy one now, because of how much our local market has risen. We would probably just choose to rent.

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2016, 02:23:19 PM »
Yea, I'm pretty sure there are tons of people living in places smaller than we're in and with more kids but are making it work. Our place is actually quite workable from our own perspective. And I think my parents would actually be fine with it when they visit, even if it means staying out in the living room. In fact, we've been considering buying a new couch from Ikea that pulls out as a full bed so that we can accommodate them once we move our son into his own room. The problem though is with her parents - they are especially uncomfortable because it's not their own place, and then they feel restricted if they're here and having to sleep in the living room. Her dad doesn't care so much - it's really her mom who has the most issues (her brother is like this too, go figure) and needs to "sleep in full comfort and privacy" lol. One time we had both sets of parents here and that got even more cramped and awkward.

Anyway, I really do like the area we live in (except for the growing amount of traffic) - we're within walking distance of stores and restaurants and within 10-15 minutes of even more of the same. And less than a few minutes from a major freeway. It's just a really convenient area. Anyway, I guess we'll see how things pan out. I'm just thinking ahead and trying to lay out different possibilities. I really would prefer to stretch out staying here as long as possible.

Your 1400 sq ft condo sounds like a mansion compared to our 2 bed 1 bath 860 sq ft apartment (where DH works full-time and we are going to eventually fit a second child.) Right now, all of us sleep in the master bedroom, second bedroom is a dedicated office.  When we have a second kid the office will be 50/50 older kid's room and office (DH's work hours and her sleeping hours do not overlap.)  Later, both kids can share a bedroom and we'll carve out space in the master bedroom for DH to work, or in the living room (once the kids are old enough it doesn't need to be a child-proof fortress of safety.)

If sleeping in a room that's normally something else (office, kid's bedroom) is "roughing it" for guests, your ILs can tough it out for only one night a week.  For the longer visits with your parents, if they have a guest room, go to them.  Your wife is a SAHP to an infant and can do that at your parents' place; you telecommute and can work from anywhere. 

Our parents also think buying a house is a great idea.  We could get a house for $800k in our neighbourhood.  A shitty house.  I don't even want to rent a house due to all the extra work it would entail.  And sinking a huge chunk of our net worth into one illiquid, undiversified, leveraged asset?  The investor in me isn't interested in the risk associated with that.  I know not having a house for your kids and not having one bedroom per kid is counter-culture, but so is ER. 

In my situation, for our age, the opportunities we've had, and our stage of life I think we've accumulated an okay amount of assets, not bad but more would be better.  Our household income has dropped as I am devoting more time to parenting, and we want a second kid (so add incremental child expenses and longer lower income period for me.) Those are already two strikes against further wealth accumulation so we are working hard to make our living situation (with below-market rent) work for as long as possible.  The last thing our savings rate needs is higher accommodation costs.  We have had incredible flexibility to attend to medical concerns and provide eldercare because we have slack in the budget, even with my reduced income.  Living a little cramped has been worth the other things we've gained by keeping our expense low.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2016, 03:16:20 PM »
The problem though is with her parents - they are especially uncomfortable because it's not their own place, and then they feel restricted if they're here and having to sleep in the living room. Her dad doesn't care so much - it's really her mom who has the most issues (her brother is like this too, go figure) and needs to "sleep in full comfort and privacy" lol. One time we had both sets of parents here and that got even more cramped and awkward.

Then it sounds like you have to decide how much her being mildly annoyed is worth to you.  I think you really need to lay out the pluses and minuses of a new house, and what it gives you that your current place doesn't.  Then figure out what the extra costs will be, and see if it's worth it.

If you come up with a list of pros like:

*MIL doesn't like sleeping in living rooms
*Having a separate office and guest room instead of an office/guest room combo
*My parents want me to do it

That's going to be pretty tough to justify spending $700,000 (written out fully to emphasize amount) on.  If there are real benefits that are worth it for you, then it's worth considering. Anyway, it sounds like you've got all sorts of motivations and pressure coming in from different directions, so breaking it all down into a list will probably help you sort out the noise.

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2016, 03:19:20 PM »
The problem though is with her parents - they are especially uncomfortable because it's not their own place, and then they feel restricted if they're here and having to sleep in the living room. Her dad doesn't care so much - it's really her mom who has the most issues (her brother is like this too, go figure) and needs to "sleep in full comfort and privacy" lol. One time we had both sets of parents here and that got even more cramped and awkward.

Then it sounds like you have to decide how much her being mildly annoyed is worth to you.  I think you really need to lay out the pluses and minuses of a new house, and what it gives you that your current place doesn't.  Then figure out what the extra costs will be, and see if it's worth it.

If you come up with a list of pros like:

*MIL doesn't like sleeping in living rooms
*Having a separate office and guest room instead of an office/guest room combo
*My parents want me to do it

That's going to be pretty tough to justify spending $700,000 (written out fully to emphasize amount) on.  If there are real benefits that are worth it for you, then it's worth considering. Anyway, it sounds like you've got all sorts of motivations and pressure coming in from different directions, so breaking it all down into a list will probably help you sort out the noise.

Thanks! I think my wife will like this approach as well - she has always been a fan of bullet points and what not. I had to create a "list" of bullet points for her to go over with her manager in terms of giving her resignation and trying to negotiate part-time work (it didn't work out in the end but that's another story)

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2016, 03:27:48 PM »
I would not move into a bigger house to have space for parents to visit. My office is our guest room and it has never been a problem.  If it becomes one put them up in a motel. That would be much cheaper then moving.

GorgeousSteak

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2016, 03:59:10 PM »
So, I actually purchased a house in the OC for about 700K about 2.5 years ago, I'm like the ghost of one your potential futures or something.  In hindsight, not a terrible move, housing prices have done well in that time frame, so we're now probably pretty easily over 800K.  If I was making the choice now though I wouldn't do it unless I was pretty sure I was going to stay for a long time.  I was actually just looking up rentals in various areas deciding if getting out was a good move and I think I'd have no problem finding a decently sized house (1500-2000sqft) in several areas for less than 3000/mo.  As you continue considering this, also make sure to include property taxes (including mello roos if applicable) and HOAs in your calculations.  The best case scenario for a 700K house, is a 7000/yr property tax bill.  Worst case is probably more like 17000/yr going to property taxes and HOAs.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2016, 04:03:18 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

LOL, yea it's a lot of craziness... our parents drive us crazy at times but we do love them. We were thinking about a 4 bed house or something that has a "guest" room for when parents, relatives, or friends visit, they have a place to stay. I think we talk about having her parents live in with us but both sides agree that we actually wouldn't want that (mostly because her parents would make a mess of things and drive my wife, who is especially OCD, pretty crazy). For telecommuting, I have this preconception that I need a dedicated room that acts as my office... I'm pretty sure that doesn't have to be the case, but it probably depends too - I think I need a door either way. Decluttering is definitely on the list of things to do, especially with the loads of baby items we've inherited :( In the meantime, I've been slimming down on my own excess (mostly dumb gadget purchases from the past) but will have to start going through and reevaluating "core possessions" and what not.

My parents like to talk a lot, and her parents are always full of these grandiose ideas. But we generally don't let any of that affect the decisions we make. My main concern is that I don't want to pick up a mortgage that will make us compromise on our savings and contributions towards retirement... I don't want my wife or I looking at our budget and saying "uh, so we have about $10 left to put into our savings for the month."

Unless you have an extremely healthy relationship with your parents and in-laws, I would strongly advise you to not have a guest room at this stage in your life. My cousin has a 4 bedroom house and her in-laws feel like they can stay with them as often as they want.

GorgeousSteak

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2016, 04:17:01 PM »
Also, I don't think anyone else mentioned this yet, you need to consider the opportunity cost of your down payment.  Like, if you've got a 200K downpayment, you need to consider that you won't be getting the 5/7/10% (whatever you expect based on where you have it allocated).  Even if you use a fairly conservative number like 5%, thats 10K a year on that kind of stache, and you also having closing costs both on buying it and selling it, and also responsible for insurance and maintenance, and also the property tax and possible mello roos and HOAs I mentioned in my previous post.  Your house would give you a tax break and also hopefully appreciate some amount, so it has some things in its favor.  Theres probably some other factors i'm not thinking of off the top of my head, its really a pretty complicated to do a thorough financial analysis on these things imo.  Anyway, like I previously said, if I didn't think I was going to be there fairly long term and/or there wasn't something very compelling about home ownership to my situation, I don't think I would be buying in the OC right now.

jeromedawg

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2016, 04:43:31 PM »
Also, I don't think anyone else mentioned this yet, you need to consider the opportunity cost of your down payment.  Like, if you've got a 200K downpayment, you need to consider that you won't be getting the 5/7/10% (whatever you expect based on where you have it allocated).  Even if you use a fairly conservative number like 5%, thats 10K a year on that kind of stache, and you also having closing costs both on buying it and selling it, and also responsible for insurance and maintenance, and also the property tax and possible mello roos and HOAs I mentioned in my previous post.  Your house would give you a tax break and also hopefully appreciate some amount, so it has some things in its favor.  Theres probably some other factors i'm not thinking of off the top of my head, its really a pretty complicated to do a thorough financial analysis on these things imo.  Anyway, like I previously said, if I didn't think I was going to be there fairly long term and/or there wasn't something very compelling about home ownership to my situation, I don't think I would be buying in the OC right now.

I was actually asking about this earlier on but in the context of whether it's better to use all the money towards a downpayment or if I should only take some (as needed) for a down payment but try to maintain most of it in the investments that it's already sitting in. I wouldn't want to sacrifice year over year growth for a larger home at least right now. Maybe once the stache has grown a bit more. I think staying long-term around here would be the first preference. Second would be to move further away or perhaps out-of-state if we feel it's just too expensive here. I probably take much for granted though living down here.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2016, 04:49:06 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

LOL, yea it's a lot of craziness... our parents drive us crazy at times but we do love them. We were thinking about a 4 bed house or something that has a "guest" room for when parents, relatives, or friends visit, they have a place to stay. I think we talk about having her parents live in with us but both sides agree that we actually wouldn't want that (mostly because her parents would make a mess of things and drive my wife, who is especially OCD, pretty crazy). For telecommuting, I have this preconception that I need a dedicated room that acts as my office... I'm pretty sure that doesn't have to be the case, but it probably depends too - I think I need a door either way. Decluttering is definitely on the list of things to do, especially with the loads of baby items we've inherited :( In the meantime, I've been slimming down on my own excess (mostly dumb gadget purchases from the past) but will have to start going through and reevaluating "core possessions" and what not.

My parents like to talk a lot, and her parents are always full of these grandiose ideas. But we generally don't let any of that affect the decisions we make. My main concern is that I don't want to pick up a mortgage that will make us compromise on our savings and contributions towards retirement... I don't want my wife or I looking at our budget and saying "uh, so we have about $10 left to put into our savings for the month."

Unless you have an extremely healthy relationship with your parents and in-laws, I would strongly advise you to not have a guest room at this stage in your life. My cousin has a 4 bedroom house and her in-laws feel like they can stay with them as often as they want.

I agree, and I think in order to be able to set this kind of precedent, whether or not we get a house with 3 or 4 bedrooms, we'd have to make sure *not* to take any loans or assistance from them. I learned the hard way after co-owning the condo here - I mean, they aren't super presumptuous about this kind of stuff but since they *do* own a majority of it, it's not like we can say "You can't stay here" when they tell us they're coming down to visit. On the other hand, even if we didn't take a loan, because of the current precedent, both my wife and I would feel pretty cold turning them down a place to stay (it would be more unreasonable if they asked to stay with us for more than 2 weeks though). I don't think it would come down to this because the only reason they've stayed with us for this long (it will be a month or so come Feb) is to help watch our son while my wife wraps up work. And in fact, my mom was staying at a hotel for the first week since she had a teacher/administrator event to attend in the area. I think in general, both sets of parents understand that we all need our own space. I mean, they've seen how high-strung we can all get when everyone is around each other too much... then again, my parents often say things, in passing, like "I wish you guys were closer. Then we could see baby ALL the time!!!" (which is totally unfair to my in-laws who are also here in SoCal. My parents are in the Bay Area and have 4 other grandchildren to occupy them anyway)
If we were looking for homes though, I assure you they'd have a lot to say (in the negative) if we were like "yea, we're just gonna get a simple 3br/2 or 2.5ba place" (which I'd be fine with) lol... "what about us?!" hahahha
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 04:52:59 PM by jplee3 »

tj

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2016, 05:04:13 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

LOL, yea it's a lot of craziness... our parents drive us crazy at times but we do love them. We were thinking about a 4 bed house or something that has a "guest" room for when parents, relatives, or friends visit, they have a place to stay. I think we talk about having her parents live in with us but both sides agree that we actually wouldn't want that (mostly because her parents would make a mess of things and drive my wife, who is especially OCD, pretty crazy). For telecommuting, I have this preconception that I need a dedicated room that acts as my office... I'm pretty sure that doesn't have to be the case, but it probably depends too - I think I need a door either way. Decluttering is definitely on the list of things to do, especially with the loads of baby items we've inherited :( In the meantime, I've been slimming down on my own excess (mostly dumb gadget purchases from the past) but will have to start going through and reevaluating "core possessions" and what not.

My parents like to talk a lot, and her parents are always full of these grandiose ideas. But we generally don't let any of that affect the decisions we make. My main concern is that I don't want to pick up a mortgage that will make us compromise on our savings and contributions towards retirement... I don't want my wife or I looking at our budget and saying "uh, so we have about $10 left to put into our savings for the month."

Unless you have an extremely healthy relationship with your parents and in-laws, I would strongly advise you to not have a guest room at this stage in your life. My cousin has a 4 bedroom house and her in-laws feel like they can stay with them as often as they want.

I agree, and I think in order to be able to set this kind of precedent, whether or not we get a house with 3 or 4 bedrooms, we'd have to make sure *not* to take any loans or assistance from them. I learned the hard way after co-owning the condo here - I mean, they aren't super presumptuous about this kind of stuff but since they *do* own a majority of it, it's not like we can say "You can't stay here" when they tell us they're coming down to visit. On the other hand, even if we didn't take a loan, because of the current precedent, both my wife and I would feel pretty cold turning them down a place to stay (it would be more unreasonable if they asked to stay with us for more than 2 weeks though). I don't think it would come down to this because the only reason they've stayed with us for this long (it will be a month or so come Feb) is to help watch our son while my wife wraps up work. And in fact, my mom was staying at a hotel for the first week since she had a teacher/administrator event to attend in the area. I think in general, both sets of parents understand that we all need our own space. I mean, they've seen how high-strung we can all get when everyone is around each other too much... then again, my parents often say things, in passing, like "I wish you guys were closer. Then we could see baby ALL the time!!!" (which is totally unfair to my in-laws who are also here in SoCal. My parents are in the Bay Area and have 4 other grandchildren to occupy them anyway)
If we were looking for homes though, I assure you they'd have a lot to say (in the negative) if we were like "yea, we're just gonna get a simple 3br/2 or 2.5ba place" (which I'd be fine with) lol... "what about us?!" hahahha

I wouldn't be so sure that lack of financial assistance might prevent extended family from expecting to stay with you all the time. In my cousin's case, her parents helped them financially. It's the other set of parents that comes in as they please.

if it was me, and I had parents or in-laws that were struggling, I'd continue to live in the smallest place possible for my family, but put the extended family in hotels (My parents could easily afford their own hotel though)


That's a ton of capital you'd be putting in a larger house just to accommodate extended family...not to mention higher property taxes, electricity, water, etc.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2016, 05:31:53 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

LOL, yea it's a lot of craziness... our parents drive us crazy at times but we do love them. We were thinking about a 4 bed house or something that has a "guest" room for when parents, relatives, or friends visit, they have a place to stay. I think we talk about having her parents live in with us but both sides agree that we actually wouldn't want that (mostly because her parents would make a mess of things and drive my wife, who is especially OCD, pretty crazy). For telecommuting, I have this preconception that I need a dedicated room that acts as my office... I'm pretty sure that doesn't have to be the case, but it probably depends too - I think I need a door either way. Decluttering is definitely on the list of things to do, especially with the loads of baby items we've inherited :( In the meantime, I've been slimming down on my own excess (mostly dumb gadget purchases from the past) but will have to start going through and reevaluating "core possessions" and what not.

My parents like to talk a lot, and her parents are always full of these grandiose ideas. But we generally don't let any of that affect the decisions we make. My main concern is that I don't want to pick up a mortgage that will make us compromise on our savings and contributions towards retirement... I don't want my wife or I looking at our budget and saying "uh, so we have about $10 left to put into our savings for the month."

How often would they stay?  Our families are on the East Coast.  We bought our 2BR/1BA, 1100sf house.  They don't come to visit often.  They squeeze in when they do.  They also don't stay long.

Housing is so overpriced that it is cheaper for me to pay for a hotel for the one week out of 4 years that a larger family wants to come and stay - than it was to buy a bigger house.

GorgeousSteak

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2016, 06:09:35 PM »
I'm consistently impressed when I hear of families living in small houses around here, particularly when visiting guests are a concern.  We're currently at 2350 for a family of 4, and its obvious at this point that its bigger than necessary, but I wouldn't say we feel like we have oodles of extra space or anything.  We will probably be moving  in a few years and my current thought is to try and go for more like 2000.  Basically the perfect place I think would have 3 bedrooms, and a nicely sized modern open kitchen / dining area, and have a pretty good sized loft or basement that sort of triple dips as den, entertainment area (tv and playroom), and guest quarters.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2016, 06:17:43 PM »
All this stuff with parents and in-laws is making my head spin.

The one advice I'll offer is don't buy a bigger house because you feel like you need to make room for when parents come to visit/stay. Unless you and your wife strongly desire to live full time with either set of parents in the near future, which I don't think is the case. I did this with my first house, and it was a huge waste. Also, in a HCOL area in a climate where it doesn't rain all the time, figure out the least amount of indoor space your core family (meaning you, your wife and kids) would be comfortable with and look for homes in that range. Don't think about where you'll put all your stuff. Declutter if necessary.

Try not to let your parents overly influence your decision. I come from an Asian family too, and when we were looking for a house in the Bay Area, my in-laws were trying to convince us to buy a house in the $1.2 million+ range. They were offering to help out with the down payment, but that doesn't change the fact that we would have been on the hook for the huge mortgage. I'm sooooo glad we kept our heads and didn't go that route.

LOL, yea it's a lot of craziness... our parents drive us crazy at times but we do love them. We were thinking about a 4 bed house or something that has a "guest" room for when parents, relatives, or friends visit, they have a place to stay. I think we talk about having her parents live in with us but both sides agree that we actually wouldn't want that (mostly because her parents would make a mess of things and drive my wife, who is especially OCD, pretty crazy). For telecommuting, I have this preconception that I need a dedicated room that acts as my office... I'm pretty sure that doesn't have to be the case, but it probably depends too - I think I need a door either way. Decluttering is definitely on the list of things to do, especially with the loads of baby items we've inherited :( In the meantime, I've been slimming down on my own excess (mostly dumb gadget purchases from the past) but will have to start going through and reevaluating "core possessions" and what not.

My parents like to talk a lot, and her parents are always full of these grandiose ideas. But we generally don't let any of that affect the decisions we make. My main concern is that I don't want to pick up a mortgage that will make us compromise on our savings and contributions towards retirement... I don't want my wife or I looking at our budget and saying "uh, so we have about $10 left to put into our savings for the month."

How often would they stay?  Our families are on the East Coast.  We bought our 2BR/1BA, 1100sf house.  They don't come to visit often.  They squeeze in when they do.  They also don't stay long.

Housing is so overpriced that it is cheaper for me to pay for a hotel for the one week out of 4 years that a larger family wants to come and stay - than it was to buy a bigger house.

For my parents it's likely several times a year and her parents generally try to visit once a week overnight and during the day. They overlapped their stays one time and after that her parents complained that it was too crowded and have avoided visiting when my parents are in town (I guess that settles that at least). When my brothers visit, they opt to stay at hotels, knowing that the place is already crowded as it is. They've stayed with us in the past but now that we have a kid, are more considerate about asking if they should stay at a hotel versus just assuming they can stay at our place.

Addendum: I just learned that my dad took my outdoor sandals/slides that I use to walk around in out in our small yard and packed them in his gym bag and uses them for showering at the gym.... I don't know what to make of it. I'm debating if it's better because now he's getting them "clean" as my mom says or if it's even worse because there's probable athlete's foot and other crap all over them... they were for "outside" anyway, but now that I've associated with my dad using them in various gym showers, I'm a bit irked. Maybe I'll just tell him to keep them... ugh

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2016, 06:22:35 PM »
I'm consistently impressed when I hear of families living in small houses around here, particularly when visiting guests are a concern.  We're currently at 2350 for a family of 4, and its obvious at this point that its bigger than necessary, but I wouldn't say we feel like we have oodles of extra space or anything.  We will probably be moving  in a few years and my current thought is to try and go for more like 2000.  Basically the perfect place I think would have 3 bedrooms, and a nicely sized modern open kitchen / dining area, and have a pretty good sized loft or basement that sort of triple dips as den, entertainment area (tv and playroom), and guest quarters.

Ditto, it's definitely something I want to aspire to the more and more I hear about it. We have friends that were in an 1800sq ft place (newer development in Tustin) that moved into a 2900sq ft place but it's pretty far out there (Foothill Ranch). We just visited them in the new place and now they're talking about moving to Irvine and downsizing back to 1800sq ft, lol. I pretty much agree with your perspective on room numbers. The open space area (den/office/guest room/etc) would be most versatile. I'd probably look for a 2.75-3 bath in that case.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2016, 08:02:04 PM »
If kid 1 is under a year and kid 2 is theoretical, what about a 3bed? 1 master, 1 kid bed, 1 office/guest room? You could plan to add a second bedroom or dedicated office (office/guesthouse?) when it becomes necessary. (If you bought as opposed to rented). Seems slightly more flexible than buying (at great expense) for unknown future needs.

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2016, 08:58:47 PM »
If kid 1 is under a year and kid 2 is theoretical, what about a 3bed? 1 master, 1 kid bed, 1 office/guest room? You could plan to add a second bedroom or dedicated office (office/guesthouse?) when it becomes necessary. (If you bought as opposed to rented). Seems slightly more flexible than buying (at great expense) for unknown future needs.

This type of setup, is close to what we have now except for the fact that it's a condo vs single family home. It just feels cramped and not our own space when our parents come over to stay. When you say "add a second bedroom or dedicated office" are you saying so in the context that we have a single family home and actually build out an extra room? That's not as ideal here in SoCal (probably because it would be expensive for what you get, and what you'd probably end up with in most limited sq ft homes is a more cramped house). But yea, it's probably not the best idea to go overboard on the home (e.g. let's go for the 6 bed 5 ba one just in case!). This is actually what one of my friends recently did but I'm guessing they can afford it and know what they're doing since his wife is a financial advisor and they seem to be doing pretty well. They upgraded from their 3 bed place to a 5 bed 4 bath 3 car garage single family home worth over a million, I believe. Pretty insane... I guess they're planning on having a ton of kids + all their parents staying with them or something. At first, I kept seeing all these Facebook posts from my buddy bragging about how he installed ceiling fans in every room, and then DIYed the landscaping in their backyard... that's a lot of ceiling fans to install for rooms that will probably be vacant for a long time!

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2016, 02:27:52 PM »
Apologies if I have repeated as I have not read beyond op.

Having just bought a house of similar value after renting 25 years ..mainly cheap rent till we moved to socal 6 years ago. In those 6 years we spent 140 k in rent on a modest but dreamy house with views.....we took the plunge because
1 one above average income is made in this city.
2 we have made some very dear friends who have become like family and it takes time to create these bonds.
3 We are in a great school district..to justify the 650 a month property taxes...our son loves school
4 we are mostly incredibly happy living in the area, beach, mountains, wilderness all close by

So we did the math and rent was becoming the same as a home loan.
We hope to stay here till kids are through college.....some of the best and most well funded community colleges are here in California...we will encourage our kids along this,route.

The big down side is our family are 5000 miles away but at almost 80... we can't make choices around that anymore.
 
If I could have family one hour away.....it's son no brainer. Stay if your family will be in socal. If you get on with the m, hAving that connection will be enriching. Paying your mortgage is like saving....socal is I believe always going to maintain value unless some catastrophe happens..... which can happen anywhere. You can always pull out ten years from now and downshift when your parents retire.
I am for buying
..crazy as it is in this area.

Midcenturymater

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Re: Parents encouraging us to buy a house... in SoCal
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2016, 02:31:42 PM »
I personally think 1400 ample even with guests
 We had 1250 and guests stay 6 weeks...it was fine. The house we found ended up being 1700 but we were looking for 1100 to 1400.... it happened we got our house for the same price as a smaller one as it was modernised.

Most if our friends live in 1000 and less. They manage fine with two kids whilst. kids are small.