Author Topic: Would you move in with you parents?  (Read 5313 times)

Victoria

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Would you move in with you parents?
« on: December 11, 2014, 09:55:32 AM »
My parents have recently offered to let my family of four move into the three recently empty bedrooms of their home.

We currently pay $1200 for a 1200 sq ft 3 bdrm apartment, which is about $300 below market price for this (cheap, not-good-part-of-town) area (renting from friends).
My parents intend to charge $400-500 a month, which is about what single rooms go for around here. In addition we have the option of taking over the one-a-week maid's job and cooking for everyone a couple times a week in exchange for 0 rent (and their part of the groceries, of course). We don't feel comfortable paying no rent, so we'd probably pay $200 minimum.

That's a $1000 a month savings.

I am a SAHM. Due to a custody agreement we are tied to this very high cost of living area. The only other foreseeable way to slash our housing expenses would be to move back into a tiny two-bedroom. Unfortunately, the two kids are different genders, so that couldn't last too long since the oldest is 7. That could save us up to $300 a month.

The costs to moving in with my parents would be:

-intangible costs of living in someone else's home
-husbands commute would be about twenty min instead of ten
-I could no longer walk to the library or grocery store, the two places that I can go right now without using my car.
-possibly putting furniture into storage at about $90 a month. This would only make sense financially if we were living there for less than two years

Benefits:
-Backyard
-Pool
-No longer living next to freeway
-Opportunity to actually build up savings, rather than using up almost all income every month (we're not living paycheck to paycheck by any means, we've got some retirement and college savings, and three months expenses in the bank, but that's about it)
-Closer relationship with parents and teenage brother

We do get along well with my parents, but of course living would them could bring some complications. So, what would you do? Give up today's independence of living in your own rented place, in exchange for future financial independence? Or decide it's not all about the money and save incrementally?

Zikoris

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 10:06:05 AM »
I don't think it's a bad idea. Would I do it myself? Unlikely, but it would be a possibility if SOLID boundaries were agreed on for privacy, decisions, etc. I think it would be more dependent on the relationships than anything. Did you get along well when you were actually living with them years ago?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2014, 10:10:39 AM »
In those same circumstances, I'd do it for at least a year if not longer to really ramp up the savings (and if I actually liked spending time with my family, that would also be a big bonus). That is a huge cost savings, and even if you'd have to drive (too far to bike?) to the library or grocery, the savings offset the cost of driving somewhere a few times a month.

I'd make sure that all the awkward details with your parents/brother are discussed (like knocking before entering, "borrowing" items, payments on things like food or detergent... and basically treating you both like adults) and your husband is absolutely on board before committing to this tho.

Unless your furnishings are heirloom/antiques that you have had in your family for generations, you should really sell all the stuff that you couldn't use or easily store for free if you moved in with your parents. You can always buy new (or used) stuff once you move out again. Paying to store stuff that is easy to purchase in the future is pretty wasteful. This is also a great opportunity to do some culling and distilling of your stuff - like clothes and toys and shoes and household junk you don't really need.


Greg

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2014, 10:12:21 AM »
It sounds like you are a couple with 2 kids.  I couldn't do that myself, too much loss of privacy, but if you have to or it makes financial sense (and the benefits outweigh the costs) then do it.  Prepare for a lot of compromises etc., prepare to have to make a lot of changes to bedtimes, noise, other behavior you might currently take for granted.

A lot of it might have to do with how how you keep house compares to your folks', i.e. are they super tidy and your family isn't?  This would be a disaster for both sides.  Think it out and be honest in your appraisals.

Good luck.

frugalfedmom

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2014, 11:55:20 AM »
Interesting post, since I just posted about my own struggles living under my parents' roof. Granted, my situation is pretty different in that I'm paying a lot more than your $200, my husband is away at school, so it's just me and my toddler for most of the year. But I think just moving back in with parents, especially after you have your own family, is difficult and requires lots and lots of patience on both sides. Personally, if I were in your situation where you're still making enough to put money away for retirement and college, I wouldn't do it, but if you think the $1k/month would help you reach your goal (what is your goal? buying a house? FI?), maybe do it for 1-2 yrs, then re-appraise your situation. Sharing space with your parents, while a huge benefit financially, sucks in pretty much every other way haha. For example, I hate having my son watch tv, but my parents think that's an acceptable form of entertainment for a 4-year old...I do try to remind them that it isn't healthy for him, but it's hard. Maybe your parents will be better :) Best of luck to you!

Seņora Savings

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2014, 12:09:54 PM »
You say that a 2 bedroom couldn't last long, how long do you think that this will last?  I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it, but I would make sure that all parties involved know the intended time frame.  This could either be your parents long term plan for elder care or their way to help you out for a year or two while you save for a down payment.  Either one is fine, but make sure you know which one it is.

It is also important that you/your parents/your siblings know what will happen to the house when your parents die.

GizmoTX

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2014, 12:22:47 PM »
I hate having my son watch tv, but my parents think that's an acceptable form of entertainment for a 4-year old...I do try to remind them that it isn't healthy for him, but it's hard.

Just a suggestion to avoid the TV struggles: make what content is acceptable to you available for those times when the grandparents provide TV. Not all TV is garbage, but we never allowed our son to watch whatever happened to be on or to search for content himself. We pre-recorded programs that we screened in advance & provided videos that had educational value for his level. We also discussed what he viewed. One of his favorite video series was about jobs & equipment, like road construction, the post office, driving a truck, a car factory, rockets, being a pilot, all sorts of real world things that were presented in a very entertaining way.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 12:35:15 PM »
I've seen this work out fine for many families for extended periods of time.  Are your parents pretty easy going?  That seems to be the common thread I see in these types of arrangements.  Only you can say if it will for you or not.  Could you stomach the 2 bedroom if everything blows up?  I have an uncle that went through a divorce and had to live in a small place with my 2 teenage cousins, one boy and one girl. He divided the room with a temporary wall for privacy.  Each "room" ended up being pretty small, but it worked. 

TerriM

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 12:39:26 PM »
What's your relationship with your parents, and do you think this would improve it, stress it, or you're all mature adults and it would simply be a loss of privacy for everyone?  I think a lot of the question would hinge on that. 

As for the 2BR, I hear you on the gender issues, but I know others who've made the same decision in a very high COL area, and the kids are going to keep getting older while sharing a room.   I'm not saying it's a great arrangement, but some families have made that decision for the long haul, so don't feel weird about it. :(

RFAAOATB

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2014, 01:07:53 PM »
Go for it.  Kids love grandparents, and reducing both your and your parents cashflow pressure is mutually beneficial.  If my wife and mom would let me, I would move back in.

FLBiker

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2014, 01:16:14 PM »
I agree with all the folks that say it depends on your relationship with your parents.  When I was 30 (and single) I lived with my folks for about 5 months, and it was great.  Now that I'm married (and expecting) I wouldn't be as interested.  Plus, I live in another state.  And (no offense to whomever might read this) I could never live with my wife's parents.  Her dad and I are just too different.  (Or maybe too similar?)

If everyone gets along really well, though, it seems like a good plan.  The 20 min vs 10 min commute (to me) doesn't seem like much difference.  And, if you were game for cooking / cleaning, I think going rent free seems reasonable.  One thing I've had to learn as a financially independent adult was to let my parents help me when they wanted to.  For example, a few years ago my dad flew me and my wife up for my mom's birthday.  We could certainly have afforded it, and I initially resisted, but then I realized I wasn't being fair.  People like to help those they care about.

MicroRN

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 02:04:44 PM »
No.  As much as I love my parents, my mom and I need some separation to get along.  However, I've had friends who did it and it worked out great.  None of them had small children though.  Imagine your parents...imagine the worst interactions you've had with them...and now imagine not being able to get some distance.  Will they try to step in and conflict with you on child raising?  Will they nit-pick your decisions?  Do they make little passive-aggressive comments?  These things will all get much worse with close proximity.

If you have a great familial relationship, then it could be a really good option financially.  I wouldn't consider the longer commute an issue since you'd be cutting so many other costs. 

sobezen

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 03:46:45 PM »
Would not be a problem for me at all.  My parents would love the idea of me returning.  As the OP mentioned there are significant financial savings and the proximity helps bring the generations closer and bond.  YMMV and greatly depends on how much "space" you feel you really need.

As for furniture, consider selling as much as you can and cull down to the essentials.  Here are good resources http://www.theminimalists.com/packing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theminimalists%2FHztx+%28The+Minimalists%29  and http://www.theminimalists.com/leo/ and http://zenhabits.net/simple-wasteless/ and http://zenhabits.net/clutter-answers/ and http://zenhabits.net/declutter-guide/ You will be amazed at how little you really need to be happy.  Less IS really more.  Be creative the cleansing process/experience can be rewarding and amazingly fun too!  Try making it a family experience so the children can see how much stuff is not needed in your lives to be happy.  :)

Now if I was in the OP shoes, I'd try it for at least one year and then revisit your situation afterwards.  Your family is young and this time with your parents will help carve memories that will shape their childhood.  IMO priceless.  Also, this experience IMO can be a fantastic learning experience for both you and your husband and your children.  Your children will learn to share better and appreciate how blessed they are because in some countries people share much tighter living quarters and still function, remain respectful and happy.  Consider showing them pictures of Hong Kong apartments and how entire families live in them if they need a photo reference. http://petapixel.com/2013/02/19/cramped-apartments-in-hong-kong-shot-from-directly-above/ I personally have relatives in HK who live in shared living quarters for over 40 years and raised their five children from birth to marriage!  In Cantonese culture the children typically do not move out until marriage.  And now the parents are retired and happy grandparents living in the same apartment 40+ years later!  Again YMMV but I know one reason why it worked for them is because my relatives worked hard to make it work and stopped comparing to what they felt they deserved versus what they really needed.

Good luck!  Keep us posted with your decision either way.  Cheers! :)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 03:57:26 PM by sobezen »

Victoria

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2014, 12:08:51 AM »
Thanks for the replies. To answer some questions: we all get along well. My parents are reasonable and understand the need for space. They are also very much of the mentality that children come first. They offered to let us move in because they are concerned that we will not be able to afford to buy a house.

My parents are young, in their 50s, so elder care shouldn't be a problem until the kids are all grown up.

The hesitation is little bit a control thing for me I think. I would have less control over what my kids are exposed to living with others. And of course privacy. We're still deciding at the moment. My husband works so dang hard, I want to have some fu  money so that he feels like he can walk away from his at times crazy stressful job if he needs to, besides saving for a downpayment. I'm leaning yes right now, but I go back and forth.

myrax

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2014, 08:05:46 AM »
Keep in mind that multi-generational housing is incredibly common throughout the world, and becoming more common in the US as well. IF everyone gets along, it can make a lot of sense, as it allows grandparents to spend more time with the grandchildren, and it allows the parents to get a little bit of spare time. It also saves money and reduces the environmental impact of the household, as everyone is generally sharing the same appliances, there is less square footage per person to heat, etc.

TerriM

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2014, 09:12:35 AM »
I hate having my son watch tv, but my parents think that's an acceptable form of entertainment for a 4-year old...I do try to remind them that it isn't healthy for him, but it's hard.

Just a suggestion to avoid the TV struggles: make what content is acceptable to you available for those times when the grandparents provide TV. Not all TV is garbage, but we never allowed our son to watch whatever happened to be on or to search for content himself. We pre-recorded programs that we screened in advance & provided videos that had educational value for his level. We also discussed what he viewed. One of his favorite video series was about jobs & equipment, like road construction, the post office, driving a truck, a car factory, rockets, being a pilot, all sorts of real world things that were presented in a very entertaining way.

The TV thing would be a deal breaker for me.   Both my parents and my inlaws have TVs in the living room and watch them quite a bit (for my parents, the TV is on constantly, inlaws not so much).  Now, I'm not going to pretend to be some super-mom and lie about the fact that my kids are just right now playing Wii, but the content my parents and inlaws watch is not appropriate for the kids.  I don't want to curb their living style, but we would not be able to move into either house.  My dad watches Sci-fi which right now borders on horror (Dr. Who and some show involving time-travel and dinosaurs chasing and killing people plus whatever else is out), and the in-laws watch the nightly news which may not be as explicit, but is just as violent in its content.    Whenever we get together for the holidays, we've had to shuffle the kids up to bed before the news. :(

I think there's quantity, quality, and content.  If the fight is just over quantity, you can lose without it being too much of a loss (I actually grown to like Blue's Clues, Curious George, and Fetch), but if the question is content, that would be the real friction between us and the parents.

When my eldest was maybe 5 or 6, my MIL wanted to show him Mamma Mia.  Having never seen it, I looked it up, found out it was PG-13, and said "no."  She said "Why?  It's got great music!"  My kid's actually pretty smart, so from the description, I figured he'd come back asking about things I just didn't want him thinking about, and a PG-13 rating isn't given lightly nowadays.  She was pretty upset that I nixed it.   I was pretty upset that she couldn't understand that PG-13 meant a kid was supposed to be 13 years old--or at least a little closer than 5--before the content would be age-appropriate (and I'm not sure I believe that some of the content is ever really age-appropriate, but that can at least be something reasonable people agree to disagree on).  I also saw the teenage Disney crap that her daughter watched (big age gap between DH and SIL), and so help me I'd ground any kid that talked the way the girls talked on those shows.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »
Not a chance... The luxuries you enjoy of the library and stuff would be to important to me. I think you rent the 2 bedroom and figure a way to make it work and save.  Maybe get a part time job as well.  I would give a shot at an alternative first.

thricesplice

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Re: Would you move in with you parents?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2014, 11:46:55 AM »
It's a personal choice, but for me, absolutely not.  I love my parents and love spending time with them, but for the brief periods I've lived with them (since leaving for college a decade ago), I've found that there is a large benefit to living separately.  I'm out there on my own, and live a more independent life.  Since you have a family, I think this would magnify this (spouses can usually only take so much of the in-laws... not because the in-laws are bad, just because the effect is multiplied when it's not your direct parents).  I guess a potential benefit is that you have parents right there whenever needed to take care of the child.

If you could have completely separate living quarters that are separated by walls and doors, then it might be different (e.g. you in a basement / separate floor, where opening that door is generally off limits). 

For me, though, there are other ways to save money that don't involve sacrificing the independence... all extensively documented throughout this site. 

Again, it's a personal thing, and if it works for you, that's great.  But for me, and I'd think many others, absolutely not. I understand it makes sense financially, but this is an area i'd skimp for only in dire circumstances.