Author Topic: What would do? relative living with you for a summer  (Read 1795 times)

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 808
What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« on: December 02, 2019, 08:37:44 AM »
My wife has a cousin who is ~15 years younger than us and is studying engineering in college.  We don't know him all that well, but he seems nice enough and his parents are friendly.

Anyways, he is looking to do internships as most engineers do, and is interested in doing one at my wife's workplace.  The topic came up of him potentially staying in our house for the summer if he gets an internship at my wife's workplace.  I am not really crazy about the idea of having a guest stay with us for an entire summer.  A few weeks, sure, no problem, but the entire summer is quite a bit of time.  We are both introverts, and this would impact our privacy. 

What would you do in this situation?  What is reasonable?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 08:43:41 AM by Case »

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16362
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 08:53:23 AM »
Having a renter is certainly an imposition.  Do you have areas of the house where you can escape to if you want to be alone?

If you plan to do this, I'd lay out a set of ground rules covering important stuff first.  Make sure that these cover:
- Rent
- Cleaning
- Laundry
- Dishes
- Cooking/meal preparation/fridge usage
- Friends over
etc.


If it turns out that the expectation is that you will be feeding, cleaning up after, and letting this child live rent free in your home for four months . . . I'd politely decline.

LifeHappens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8575
  • Location: SnowBirdLand
  • Downshifting from 5th to 3rd Gear
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 08:59:29 AM »
My family took in a few strays (ie relatives) for summers when I was growing up. In a couple of situations it was a great help to the guest and also built some strong relationships that last to this day. If I was in your position I absolutely would host this student. Laying down ground rules and expectations is great, but in the end 3 or 4 months is not very long to help someone get a good start at life.

Luap595

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 08:59:57 AM »
Howdy! We've let a couple of relatives stay with me and my family over the years for extended periods of time (up to about 6 months), most of the time completely rent-free, and with no implication that there would be any trade-off.

My wife was actually the one that started us on this. She's very extroverted. I'm not. So I was pretty unsure about the idea, and had a sensation that we were getting taken advantage of before we ever did this.

Each time it was because a relative was working toward a specific goal and needed a place to stay for a bit (this sounds like your case) or was going through a rough patch and needed a place. There was some friction each time, as I think there almost always is when you live with someone, but long term I look back on those times and smile.

I can also see that each time it had a tremendously positive effect on the lives of the people that we let live with us. It makes me feel "wealthy" that I was able to offer space to someone. So personally, I'd say go for it. It won't always be easy and comfortable, but I think long term you'll feel like it was the right choice.

reeshau

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 860
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 09:05:17 AM »
Is your cousin new to the city?  Are you far from your wife's workplace?  Is the cousin also an introvert, or quite social?

I could see a few possibilities here:

1)  Cousin may spend most evenings of the summer being active / exploring a new city:  summer sports leagues, running / biking / hiking, spending time with other interns.  So, he may be less of an imposition than you think, simply because he isn't there a lot.

2)  With legitimate reasons not to fully engage with him (house isn't really set up for another person / wife's schedule is not consistent / differs from yours / etc) you could help him around the edges:  Stay with us for 2/3/4 weeks until you find another intern to room with, or sublet in town close to work / what you want to do; or have your wife contact the intern coordinator with HR, and see what the interns typically do.  If he's lucky, maybe there are corporate apartments available for those out-of-town, or maybe they have a list of interns he could contact to look for roomies.

3)  If there is nothing through work, is there another situation that you see you could make a match or otherwise help?  Local college with lots of summer sublets available cheaply / church or other social unit where you could ask if someone is looking to let out a room, or house sit for a season, etc.

You can be very helpful without going all out.  There is nothing wrong with having limits.  Have him over for dinner a few times, though.  Just helping him get settled will help him make his internship a success, which is the whole point.

If he is really having a hardship paying for summer accommodations, you could consider more.  That really shouldn't be an issue with an engineering internship, which should be paid fairly well, particularly these days.  But if he is paying for college on his own, he might also be looking to save up money for the rest of the year, too.

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 808
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 09:29:33 AM »
Is your cousin new to the city?  Are you far from your wife's workplace?  Is the cousin also an introvert, or quite social?

I could see a few possibilities here:

1)  Cousin may spend most evenings of the summer being active / exploring a new city:  summer sports leagues, running / biking / hiking, spending time with other interns.  So, he may be less of an imposition than you think, simply because he isn't there a lot.

2)  With legitimate reasons not to fully engage with him (house isn't really set up for another person / wife's schedule is not consistent / differs from yours / etc) you could help him around the edges:  Stay with us for 2/3/4 weeks until you find another intern to room with, or sublet in town close to work / what you want to do; or have your wife contact the intern coordinator with HR, and see what the interns typically do.  If he's lucky, maybe there are corporate apartments available for those out-of-town, or maybe they have a list of interns he could contact to look for roomies.

3)  If there is nothing through work, is there another situation that you see you could make a match or otherwise help?  Local college with lots of summer sublets available cheaply / church or other social unit where you could ask if someone is looking to let out a room, or house sit for a season, etc.

You can be very helpful without going all out.  There is nothing wrong with having limits.  Have him over for dinner a few times, though.  Just helping him get settled will help him make his internship a success, which is the whole point.

If he is really having a hardship paying for summer accommodations, you could consider more.  That really shouldn't be an issue with an engineering internship, which should be paid fairly well, particularly these days.  But if he is paying for college on his own, he might also be looking to save up money for the rest of the year, too.

To your questions:
We don't live in a city but rather the suburbs.  We live ~1h commute (due to traffic) from the workplace; I guess my wife would carpool with the cousin?  I'm not sure if that affects whether or not he'd even want to live with us, because probably other interns would live closer.  There are sort of limited details at this point and we don't even know if this will happen.  I don't know whether he is an introvert or extrovert, as we don't know him well.  I would guess introvert.  We have a general impression that he is clean cut.  We have some interest in fostering more of a relationship with him, because we don't have much family... just not sure if I'm ready to give up that much of my privacy.  The way our house is set up, the guest room is right next to the master, and we don't have separate wings of the house that create different areas.  We do have a basement where we have a entertainment area (couch/TV/etc), but you probably wouldn't spend all of your time there as its a little isolated and doesn't really get sunlight.

BECABECA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Huntington Beach, CA
  • Retired since July 2017, not bored yet!
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 09:36:58 AM »
I had my cousin stay with me for the summer when she did an internship. Granted, she’s only 7 years younger than me and I know her pretty well, but it worked out nicely for both of us: she got a free place to stay, I got to reconnect with her, and I got to take some weekend trips while she provided free pet sitting.

The younger generation nowadays is much easier to have as roommates than in the past: they’re used to entertaining themselves on their devices, so they’re much more likely to spend their free time quietly doing that in their room instead of monopolizing your TV in the common space. And someone coming into a new city for the summer won’t have a a bunch of friends yet that they’re wanting to bring to the house. Also, summer internships are often much shorter than you realize... my cousin’s was a month and a half. She was gone before I knew it.

LifeHappens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8575
  • Location: SnowBirdLand
  • Downshifting from 5th to 3rd Gear
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 09:43:10 AM »
Would it be possible to set up your basement as a temporary guest suite? That would give you all some separation.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 11:06:01 AM »
Does your wife's workplace have multiple interns & offer housing? With work being ~ 1 hour away, the intern would be isolated from others, plus would likely be dependent on your wife for transportation. Living with you sounds like a money saver for him, but it would greatly reduce the quality of the intern experience.

Our DS obtained a summer engineering internship in Austin & stayed at our lake house, which was a commute of 30-45 minutes each way. He was invited back the following summers, & by the 3rd one was sick & tired of the commute. He chose intern housing that summer, which was in an off campus UT dorm. He had to pay (a reduced price) for it, but this was offset by the greatly reduced commuting time. He also learned what it was like to live downtown. After he graduated, he accepted a full time job with this company, & it didn't take much urging for him to select housing 4 minutes away from his workplace.

We also made our lake house available to a nephew who was attending community college. We supplied a bedroom of his own & expected him to keep it & the common areas clean & uncluttered, with mixed results. We weren't there all the time, so there weren't privacy issues. In fact, what we objected to was that he kept his distance when we were there. We finally told him to leave when he stopped attending classes.

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 808
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 07:23:07 AM »
Does your wife's workplace have multiple interns & offer housing? With work being ~ 1 hour away, the intern would be isolated from others, plus would likely be dependent on your wife for transportation. Living with you sounds like a money saver for him, but it would greatly reduce the quality of the intern experience.

Our DS obtained a summer engineering internship in Austin & stayed at our lake house, which was a commute of 30-45 minutes each way. He was invited back the following summers, & by the 3rd one was sick & tired of the commute. He chose intern housing that summer, which was in an off campus UT dorm. He had to pay (a reduced price) for it, but this was offset by the greatly reduced commuting time. He also learned what it was like to live downtown. After he graduated, he accepted a full time job with this company, & it didn't take much urging for him to select housing 4 minutes away from his workplace.

We also made our lake house available to a nephew who was attending community college. We supplied a bedroom of his own & expected him to keep it & the common areas clean & uncluttered, with mixed results. We weren't there all the time, so there weren't privacy issues. In fact, what we objected to was that he kept his distance when we were there. We finally told him to leave when he stopped attending classes.

I think the internship program heavily recruits from the local university.  If kids are commuting from dorms, it would be maybe 20 minutes drive for them.  I assume some just live at home.

SKL-HOU

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 575
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 10:49:44 AM »
Do you have kids? Maybe he can occasionally babysit onthe weekends for you in return.

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 808
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2019, 02:07:08 PM »
Do you have kids? Maybe he can occasionally babysit onthe weekends for you in return.

Only a cat, so not really.

socaso

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2019, 03:51:34 PM »
If you have some household projects that you could use some help with then maybe the kid could be a useful extra set of helping hands in exchange for staying? I have a bunch of engineers in my family and they are all pretty handy people.

Jesstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 198
  • Location: CA
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2019, 12:21:19 AM »
My husband's work would have summer interns (all engineers) and we had one live with us every summer for about 4 years as housing in the area was hard to come by and expensive.  We'd charge less than half market rent for about 3 months all utilities included.  Didn't meet any of them before they moved in.  All ended up being awesome and we still keep in contact to this day.  Helped that they had their own MIL apartment with a separate entrance and all but one ended up working at the company when they graduated.  Also, my husband was the boss so not likely to get someone looking to get up to much trouble staying with the boss and his family, ha!  It was great fun taking them with us on adventures like hiking and kayaking.

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1266
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2019, 03:12:37 AM »
I would absolutely do it, if I thought the kid was OK. I would welcome the chance to build a closer relationship and help the kid out, and we are both pretty introverted. My college kid has lots of friends who are international students and we've taken some in over the 5 week semester break.

I would lay down some rules and expect him to comply. Yes, it would impose on my privacy and in some ways be awkward, but I'd survive and the couple of months would go by.

Lmoot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • Journal
Re: What would do? relative living with you for a summer
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2019, 06:41:09 AM »
I am an introvert. I feel good about helping family even if it’s begrudgingly, especially if I can make an impact and it’s appreciated and not taken advantage of.

You can help this student get a head start and have a promising future and contribution to society. If he is new to the area, being around family would probaly make him feel secure. And not having to deal with possible roommate drama I am sure will help him with his studies.

If you create a situation where you decline to help family for no good reason, you may find yourself needing help one day and will either not receive it, or may feel too ashamed to ask.

You can have one summer of mild annoyance, which may actually end up being a good experience for all involved. Or you can be the one keeping your hand behind your back in situation that would probably help a young family member more than it would inconvenience you.

I know a lot of engineers, and they are great people to have in your circle. Especially if you need advice on fixing things. And not to get in your business, but I don’t know if you and your wife plan on having kids, but if not it might not be a bad idea to foster a relationship with the younger members in your family, especially if they are proven to be good and responsible people.

I can totally relate though and glad you are thinking it through. I just hope whatever decision you make you don’t regret it.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 06:44:31 AM by Lmoot »