Author Topic: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)  (Read 2745 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« on: July 03, 2018, 09:15:21 AM »
My dad asked me last night whether my wife and I would be interested in buying his house (the house I grew up in).  We didn't talk details or numbers or anything, but I got a strong sense that they would sell it to me on the following basis:

-Private sale via land contract
-Very minimal interest rate (3%)
-Some type of discount on the price (I bet they could sell it for $225-240k, but they'd give it to us for about 10% less)

For the record, my dad's house is a GREAT house, as my dad and his wife have spent the last decade re-doing everything.

-Essentially move-in ready
-2,500 square feet (compared to current 1,100 square feet...somewhere in the middle would probably be just right)
-2.5 baths (as compared to our current 1.0)
-4 bedrooms (as compared to our current 3)
-Master suite with huge closet, vanity, and full bath (none of which we have)
-First floor laundry (don't currently have)
-Four seasons room (something my wife and I were thinking about adding)
-Half-acre lot, with great concrete driveway and front/back yards (neither of which we have now)

Bottom line is that it's a tremendously better house that we could get at a great price, great interest rate, etc.  It would be a steal.  The only obvious concern is that this will increase our cost of living by a bit.  My calculations are that it would increase cost of living by about $400-450 per month.  My wife and I could easily fit that into our budget (last year's income was about $120k, and we are pretty frugal with everything else). 

I'm trying not to have sentiment override logic, and I think it's easy to tell which way I'm leaning, but I'm wondering if I'm being crazy here.  This seems too good to pass up--the house is better in almost every respect, and I would LOVE to raise my kids (God-willing) in the house I grew up in.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Lady SA

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 09:24:03 AM »
I don't have much to add on the financial aspect, but I do have a question. This might get a little weird, relationship-wise, with your dad. Do you think he and his wife would respect boundaries and treat the house as YOUR house after the sale, or might they consider you the custodian of THEIR house, if that makes sense? As in, dropping by unannounced to "check up on the place" or being nosier/more intrusive than otherwise. You can have the best relationship in the world with your parents, but that can quickly deteriorate in the face of crossing boundaries.

If you aren't concerned about that at all, wonderful!  But that is the first thing that I thought of, that there could potentially be emotional downsides to this.

former player

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 09:28:43 AM »
Do you have siblings?  Because if so, you need to be sure they are on board with this arrangement too, both from a financial and sentimental viewpoint.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 09:28:47 AM »
Couple of things to consider:

If you don't currently have children, buying a house that is much larger on the idea that kids are gonna fill it might be a bad move. Sometimes kids don't happen or as many kids as you planned end up not being the plan 1 kid in. Then you're stuck rattling around a giant space that you will either fill with junk or feeling terrible about "what might have been." Don't lock yourself into a large investment on the chances of a "maybe someday" type of thing.

What happens if you or your wife decide you hate the paint color/cabinets/fixtures whatever that your parents put in and change it? Will your dad get upset about your changes? Will he care? Because it's always going to be "his" house and if he's the type to get upset over y'all rejecting his taste, that could get uncomfortable. You either leave it alone and have yourself or worse your wife have to live with something you don't like to not hurt feelings, or you hurt HIS feelings. Not saying that this is a definite, but something to think over also.

What happens if you find something that is really messed up? Something done not up to code, something fails, undiscovered bug/damage/whatever? Same thing as above, it complicates the relationship if there are any sensitivities in the relationship.

Why does he want to sell? Is it just too large for him now?

Bottom line, make extra-super sure that your wife is totally and completely fine with this idea, because the whole "buying the childhood home" and all the baggage that comes with it may mean she feels it will never really be her home if y'all aren't on the same page. Sure, you're super into the idea, your dad likely would be happy, but she needs to be totally comfortable too and not just talked into it. Not saying that is the situation at all, but again, just an outsider's view of things you may not think of initially.

nwhiker

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2018, 09:31:48 AM »
A couple of questions that you need to ask yourself. First is do you want to move? Stated a different way prior to this conversation did you and your wife have any plans to move? Is the house in and area you would want to live in and what does it do to your commute time.

Also do you fit comfortably in your current house? Any kids or plans to have kids? My wife and I lived in a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom 1,000 sqft condo with two kids for a while. It was a little tight but doable.

I think you need to figure out if you have a need to move. If you are happy with where you are at and don't see a need to get a bigger place then I would probably pass.

FIRE@50

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2018, 09:32:31 AM »
When you see something that you don't need is on sale, do you buy it just because it is on sale?

TVRodriguez

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 09:38:13 AM »

Bottom line, make extra-super sure that your wife is totally and completely fine with this idea, because the whole "buying the childhood home" and all the baggage that comes with it may mean she feels it will never really be her home if y'all aren't on the same page. Sure, you're super into the idea, your dad likely would be happy, but she needs to be totally comfortable too and not just talked into it. Not saying that is the situation at all, but again, just an outsider's view of things you may not think of initially.

This.

A friend and her husband bought his childhood home from his parents in a similar situation to yours (good deal, pre-kids, house in good condition).  Ten years in, she still didn't feel like it was ever HER home, so they wound up gutting it and doing a full renovation to make it "theirs."  Not a bad outcome, and they did a lot DIY to keep costs down, but just something to consider.

Dragonswan

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 09:43:31 AM »
QUICK - but it before your father changes his mind.

But yes, make sure your wife really wants it too, any siblings are OK with it, and your dad will respect boundaries. Then BUY IT!  And don't worry about it being too large, even if you never have kids.  I have 2700 sq ft for just me and it's just right.

Noodle

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2018, 09:55:06 AM »
This is one of those situations that really depends on the emotional relationships involved. If you have healthy emotional boundaries, it can work well, but if not it will not be worth the money you save.

We had a similar situation in my family--a grandparent sold their longtime home to a grandchild who was newlywed and in need of housing. It got to be somewhat problematic because a) Grandparent got pressured into giving grandchild a low price on the house because of "financial need," and then got upset when grandchild spent on things seen as frivolous and b) the other adult children weren't thrilled that the money that was supposed to go toward Grandparent's residential care (and eventually be their inheritance) was reduced to benefit one grandchild who was fairly capable. The parent of said grandchild decided to take on the job of cleaning out the house for his kid (grandparent had become sort of a hoarder in old age, although not the gross kind) and threw out a lot of sentimental items and family heirlooms that his siblings would have liked.

If you are an only, it would be much easier.

ysette9

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 10:03:04 AM »
What is a four seasons room? Is that like a sunroom? Just curious as I have never heard of that term.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 10:11:51 AM »
Do you think he and his wife would respect boundaries and treat the house as YOUR house after the sale, or might they consider you the custodian of THEIR house, if that makes sense?

My dad and I have a great relationship, and I have zero concerns that this would be an issue.  He was very enthusiastic about keeping this house in the family, and I think that means significantly more to him than me changing a few things.

Do you have siblings?  Because if so, you need to be sure they are on board with this arrangement too, both from a financial and sentimental viewpoint.

My twin brother is 1,000,000% on board and may even live with us for a bit.  My older brother may be a bit bothered by it, but he just bought a house and is moving in about two weeks from now.

If you don't currently have children, buying a house that is much larger on the idea that kids are gonna fill it might be a bad move. Sometimes kids don't happen or as many kids as you planned end up not being the plan 1 kid in. Then you're stuck rattling around a giant space that you will either fill with junk or feeling terrible about "what might have been." Don't lock yourself into a large investment on the chances of a "maybe someday" type of thing.
...
Why does he want to sell? Is it just too large for him now?

Dad wants to move because he's 64 and doesn't at all need a 2,500 square foot house.  He's looking to downsize.

I appreciate your point about family planning.  We don't have any kids yet but are hoping for two.  But, this transaction isn't going to happen immediately.  I think it would happen in about two years.  By then we should have a better idea about things.

Bottom line, make extra-super sure that your wife is totally and completely fine with this idea, because the whole "buying the childhood home" and all the baggage that comes with it may mean she feels it will never really be her home if y'all aren't on the same page. Sure, you're super into the idea, your dad likely would be happy, but she needs to be totally comfortable too and not just talked into it. Not saying that is the situation at all, but again, just an outsider's view of things you may not think of initially.

I'm glad you brought this up.  I actually witnessed this first-hand when my dad re-married.  His wife moved in and was never comfortable until they basically changed every last thing in the house. 

Having witnessed it, I certainly will give my wife a lot of liberty.  She's very low-maintenance anyway, but she loves the house and is excited about the opportunity.  That said, the basement (just like our current house) is my domain.

A couple of questions that you need to ask yourself. First is do you want to move? Stated a different way prior to this conversation did you and your wife have any plans to move? Is the house in and area you would want to live in and what does it do to your commute time.

Also do you fit comfortably in your current house? Any kids or plans to have kids? My wife and I lived in a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom 1,000 sqft condo with two kids for a while. It was a little tight but doable.

I think you need to figure out if you have a need to move. If you are happy with where you are at and don't see a need to get a bigger place then I would probably pass.

Dad's house is about a mile from my current house, same school district.  My wife and I weren't planning on moving, but we were planning on eventually building a home addition.  She's adamant about wanting more space due to the way she grew up in very tight quarters.


I really appreciate all the feedback so far.  Biggest takeaway so far is making sure I'm not taking advantage of my relationship with my dad and my wife, especially my wife.  She's the greatest and I will make sure she's on board with everything before we make any final decisions.

skuzuker28

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 12:03:16 PM »
We recently (April) bought my childhood home from my parents, and a lot of good points have already been brought up.  Biggest difference is we already have two kids and are expecting our third any day now, so we could immediately appreciate the extra space.  We also got a conventional mortgage for the purchase instead of a owner-carried note.

Would it be possible for you to get a conventional mortgage for this purchase?  It could prevent future family and estate drama, and interest rates are still low.  Your dad could still "gift" equity, but then he'd have the liquidity to equalize the gifts among your siblings (assuming that is his wish) either now or at a later date. 

bortman

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 12:21:47 PM »
Dad wants to move because he's 64 and doesn't at all need a 2,500 square foot house.  He's looking to downsize.

Have you considered selling/swapping your 1100 sq ft house to your father? This could address potential issues with your older brother (i.e. does he have a small-ish house to swap with your father?), and you would save even more on sale-related expenses. Maybe it's pretty far-fetched .. then again, maybe you would start a wave of parent-child house swaps!

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2018, 10:27:46 PM »
Yes! Id do it in a heartbeat. Win win for everyone. Trust both your heart and gut here.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2018, 10:10:55 AM »
Dad wants to move because he's 64 and doesn't at all need a 2,500 square foot house.  He's looking to downsize.

Have you considered selling/swapping your 1100 sq ft house to your father? This could address potential issues with your older brother (i.e. does he have a small-ish house to swap with your father?), and you would save even more on sale-related expenses. Maybe it's pretty far-fetched .. then again, maybe you would start a wave of parent-child house swaps!

Interestingly enough, we brought this up with my wife's parents and they are now interested in buying our house.  They also have contemplated downsizing and they love our house, which they could pay for in cash, which we could then use to pay for my dad's house. Seems like it's going to be a win-win for everyone.

To all, I really appreciate the advice.  I know this seems like a "why did you post if you already made up your mind" type of thread, but a lot of you brought up points of which I will make sure I am hyper aware and sensitive if this progresses.

The most important of these that I probably underestimated is the emotion of all this.  I need to make sure my dad and his wife understand my intentions, that my older brother doesn't feel too jaded, and most importantly, that I allow my wife to make it also feel like her home.

Thanks again to everyone.  I'll perhaps post an update here in a year or two.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2018, 08:51:00 AM »
Update:

Had a pretty detailed talk with my dad and his wife yesterday while we were over for the 4th.  Turns out that the timeline is much longer than expected -- they are thinking 5-6 years.  This allows them to both retire and live in the house for a bit after all the work they've done.

This is a little longer than I would have liked, but it works out great for us.  This gives us a lot of time to save for this, but also allows my wife and I to hopefully have a family by then; and if that happens, we will be able to use the extra space, and if we have problems, we know the house wasn't meant to be.

Waiting is going to be the hardest part -- I'm already dreaming of converting the front room to an office, painting the wood paneling in the basement, etc.  But oh well -- this really lets us get all our ducks in a row.


skuzuker28

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2018, 09:20:54 AM »
Update:

Had a pretty detailed talk with my dad and his wife yesterday while we were over for the 4th.  Turns out that the timeline is much longer than expected -- they are thinking 5-6 years.  This allows them to both retire and live in the house for a bit after all the work they've done.

This is a little longer than I would have liked, but it works out great for us.  This gives us a lot of time to save for this, but also allows my wife and I to hopefully have a family by then; and if that happens, we will be able to use the extra space, and if we have problems, we know the house wasn't meant to be.

Waiting is going to be the hardest part -- I'm already dreaming of converting the front room to an office, painting the wood paneling in the basement, etc.  But oh well -- this really lets us get all our ducks in a row.

I need to laugh at this, because this sounds EXACTLY like what we had arranged.  That 5-6 years turned into 5-6 months pretty quick in our case, but maybe your parents will actually hold out that long.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2018, 09:21:52 AM »
I need to laugh at this, because this sounds EXACTLY like what we had arranged.  That 5-6 years turned into 5-6 months pretty quick in our case, but maybe your parents will actually hold out that long.

Ya, my wife and I talked it over and we are definitely saving at as fast a pace as possible just in case my dad and his wife jump the gun. 

Case

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Re: Opportunity to Buy Dad's Home (House I Grew Up In)
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2018, 02:24:31 PM »
My dad asked me last night whether my wife and I would be interested in buying his house (the house I grew up in).  We didn't talk details or numbers or anything, but I got a strong sense that they would sell it to me on the following basis:

-Private sale via land contract
-Very minimal interest rate (3%)
-Some type of discount on the price (I bet they could sell it for $225-240k, but they'd give it to us for about 10% less)

For the record, my dad's house is a GREAT house, as my dad and his wife have spent the last decade re-doing everything.

-Essentially move-in ready
-2,500 square feet (compared to current 1,100 square feet...somewhere in the middle would probably be just right)
-2.5 baths (as compared to our current 1.0)
-4 bedrooms (as compared to our current 3)
-Master suite with huge closet, vanity, and full bath (none of which we have)
-First floor laundry (don't currently have)
-Four seasons room (something my wife and I were thinking about adding)
-Half-acre lot, with great concrete driveway and front/back yards (neither of which we have now)

Bottom line is that it's a tremendously better house that we could get at a great price, great interest rate, etc.  It would be a steal.  The only obvious concern is that this will increase our cost of living by a bit.  My calculations are that it would increase cost of living by about $400-450 per month.  My wife and I could easily fit that into our budget (last year's income was about $120k, and we are pretty frugal with everything else). 

I'm trying not to have sentiment override logic, and I think it's easy to tell which way I'm leaning, but I'm wondering if I'm being crazy here.  This seems too good to pass up--the house is better in almost every respect, and I would LOVE to raise my kids (God-willing) in the house I grew up in.

Any thoughts appreciated.

I'll say what is apparent from your post and follow up responses:

You posted here with your mind almost made up, and don't want to seriously entertain the concerns people have brought up.  You are VERY clearly making an emotional choice, and not factoring everything in in a logical way.

 Waiting 5-6 years for a house:  HAH!  Who in their right mind can predict where/when they will be 5 years from now?  Maybe revisit this in 3-4 years when it's a bit closer and more certain.

Anyways, my comment is a little harsh, but you should give this more time and thought before making a choice... in this regards, the 5-6 years is perhaps a good thing.