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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: megaschnauzer on September 29, 2014, 01:06:33 AM

Title: a house divided
Post by: megaschnauzer on September 29, 2014, 01:06:33 AM
my girlfriend and i own a house together. i want to sell and move, she wants to stay and keep it. she can't afford the house payment by herself. i can't afford paying half the mortgage and rent/house payment somewhere else. is there a reasonable way to work this out?
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: expatartist on September 29, 2014, 02:01:24 AM
Is this your girlfriend, your ex-girlfriend, or soon-to-be-ed-girlfriend?
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: megaschnauzer on September 29, 2014, 09:03:24 AM
i really shouldn't post at 2:00am.
she's a keeper. i've been wanting to move out west for the last 20 years. my job is such that i can do it anywhere so i'm not tied down in one place. i've had the same job for the last 10 years and i'm so burned out going through the same routine that it's starting to affect my health. i could switch jobs and stay local but i'm looking for a change of scenery. my stress relief is cycling but i'm bored riding the same trails and roads so i end up not riding as much as a should which just adds more stress. i make ok money but not enough for two people. we go through a financial planner so we have a good savings plan in place. we're not under water on our house and both cars are paid for. our house has an apartment attached which would be worth about $700-$800 a month but the girlfriend is using it as her office. she is paying rent on it to us but it's with money she's borrowed from her inheritance.

the girlfriend is unemployed or rather self employed but she doesn't make any money. she's got this big concept she's been working on for the last several years and she has the support of a lot of important people but not in the financial way. she has no business sense and doesn't seem interested in learning about how businesses run. her mother left her some money that she's been withdrawing from time to time to keep us and her business afloat. i have no idea how much is left.  to be honest, i don't care if she uses all her inheritance for this business and it never makes money. she's happy doing it but she's also holding me hostage.

i figure my options are: suck it up and be miserable for the next 30 years; run away screaming thus ruining our credit; be responsible and figure some way to get both of us what we want. if she wants to stay here then i think she should buy me out. if she won't willingly buy me out is there a way for me to get out from underneath the mortgage?
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: Greg on September 29, 2014, 10:01:28 AM
I'm sure there's a lot more to this, but it doesn't sound sustainable either financially or emotionally. Time to start the we have to sell the house talk.  If you move will her idea support group follow?
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: megaschnauzer on September 29, 2014, 10:05:31 AM
it's probably more of a couples counseling issue than a money issue.
no, her business concept is entirely local.
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: DoubleDown on September 29, 2014, 04:11:10 PM
If I'm reading this right, it seems the situation has little to do with the status of the house, and more to do with you wanting to move to an entirely different area while she wants to stay. Every time I've ever seen this situation in advice columns, the advice giver always suggests discussing your goals together, and seeing to what extent you can accomplish both your goals as much as possible. The key is to focus on actual goals, and not getting stuck in a position. For example, "I want to earn more money" or "I want to be able to see my family" are legitimate goals, while "I want to stay here" is not -- that's just restating a position.

Once you've laid out and understood each other's goals, then you search for options on reaching them. If a move is the only way to accomplish one person's goals, then you look for ways to meet the other person's goals at the same time. For example, "Okay we'll move, but we'll stay within a 2-hour drive or plane ride away from family, and we'll come back at least 4 times a year to visit them." Or, "We'll move for 3 years to advance your career, then we'll come back to advance mine (or see how things are going then and re-evaluate)."

If, for some reason, you cannot find a suitable compromise that meets both your goals, then you decide what's more important to you: Staying put because she's more important, or heading out because that is more important, and you don't want to stay with someone who can't or won't help you reach your goals. I think the way the conversations go will tell you a lot about where her motivations and reasons lie.

Good luck.
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: MrsPete on September 29, 2014, 04:18:10 PM
Assuming she also considers you "a keeper", I agree that you need to each lay out your goals.  Consider your goals for today, for 5 years, 10 years, and forever.  Then look at how you can each get what you want -- or most of what you each want. 

And you need to help her understand that what she has isn't a job -- it's a hobby. 
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: vagon on September 29, 2014, 08:58:07 PM
And you need to help her understand that what she has isn't a job -- it's a hobby. 


A very expensive hobby. One that hasn't made money after several years of "work". Given this:

she has no business sense and doesn't seem interested in learning about how businesses run.

it probably never will. So what happens when the cash runs out?
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: kite on September 30, 2014, 06:44:42 AM
"Miserable for the next 30 years"   

When did you sign the mortgage?   Yesterday?
Are you running to something or away from something?   That you've wanted to go Out West and didn't. .......for twenty years. ....but instead obligated yourself to pay that mortgage is not insignificant.  It's a cliché.

Take a gap year or sabbatical.  My good friend just did a cross country ride from the east coast to California.   Every year he does a 500 mile ride through a few local states and is planning a Maine to Florida ride for next year.  A few years ago he did the ride across northern Spain.
I think this has less to do with your girlfriend's hobby/lack of income and more to do with your own restlessness.   
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: begood on September 30, 2014, 06:48:10 AM
If your gf runs out of inheritance money to play with, will she expect you to support her business financially?
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: sarah8001 on September 30, 2014, 07:37:04 AM
My advice would be to both look really hard at what's wrong with your life now. She has a major problem; her lifestyle is not sustainable. Eventually the inheiritence will run out, and she will have to give up her concept or work very very hard at two jobs. Unfortunately, you can't make her examine this, you can only ask her to think about it. Your problem appears to be that you are bored with your life now. Moving rarely solves this problem. Wherever you go, there you are. How long will it take to get bored of the bike trails out west? I live out west. For the most part, there's nothing really here that you can't have in Florida except a zipcode and weather patterns. I'd reccomend you try to examine the way you feel, and try to find the real cause. Do you have wanderlust? Will you never be happy no matter where you settle? If that's not it, moving might not help. You might find a great job that's a thousand times better than your job now and allows you to be happy forever, but that's a job problem, not a location problem. Same thing with community, living arrangement, friends, and bike trails. You can change your life without moving. And chances are good that if you don't change your outlook on life, you may not be any happier out west. However, if you don't move, you really need to figure out what GF is going to do when the inheiritence runs out. That is not a sustainable lifestyle.
Title: Re: a house divided
Post by: megaschnauzer on September 30, 2014, 07:54:25 AM
these are all good points. sometimes i get bogged down in my own brain that i can't look at the big picture. that said i have given these things some thought. it's not that moving will be better, just different. it may suck but i don't know unless i go out there.