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Opinions please!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My parents have just bought a house that is much closer to my sister and they are going to put their house up for sale. It is 5 minutes away from where I currently live and they have asked if John and I want to buy it. They say that they would give use a "deal", but an amount has yet to be discussed. If they sell on the open market, they could probably get between $320,000 and $350,000 for it. I would have to sell my house and I would only get about $220,000. I can't really see them giving us too much of a deal, because they will still need money to live (my dad is retiring withing the next few weeks). Right now I only owe about $90,000 on my mortage - we have excellerated the payments and if we stay here our hous could be paid off in less then 12 years. If we buy there place it will drastically increase my payments and we are back to probably a 20 year mortage. I love the house we are in, but I also love the house where I grew up. Their house is much bigger and in a slightly better neigbourhood. Please if we decide to turn around and sell it we will be getting alot of money back. I am worried about moving with Sugarly and her emotional problems. If I can't get pregnant and we don't have a child, then it is not worth it to move into this bigger family house - it is too big for just John, the cats and I. Another thing is, if we buy the house will it always still be considered "theirs". If they need to come to town, will they always expect to stay over at our house (they are moving over an hour away). When they move will they clear every thing out or say "we'll get it latter". John is leary of doing business with family - he is afraid that someone always gets hurt.

What do you think?
(sorry for the long post).
post #2 of 8
Ady, I think a lot depends upon how much the home means to you.

I think John is right to be leary of doing business with family. We like to extend that thought to friends, too! I also think you will encounter problems with your parents still considering it "theirs," even if not intentional. And if they do cut you a deal, and then there's any kind of problem after retirement - well - it just doesn't sound like a winning situation to me, and it sounds like it could lead to problems.

My best advice is always to follow your heart. And I don't read the positives of moving outweighing the negatives in what you wrote.

But if you really love the home, and it's like "the perfect" place if you are able to have children, and you AND John don't mind having them over or potentially thinking of it as their home (perhaps with some of their things in it), then..... I'd consider doing it but only without a deal. Buy it at the price they'd be willing to sell it to a non-family member, and structure it just as if they were selling it to a non-family member. I think that's the only way to avoid the pitfalls of doing business with family.

Hope that helps some.

post #3 of 8
Oh - one last thought. If you buy it at a "deal" price - then turn around and sell it for a nice profit, you might have real family problems on your hands!! I don't know how upset your parents would be - but your sister might be upset. Something else to consider....
post #4 of 8
You know I'm going to answer this one!! I always break things into two lists. My wants and My needs.

First, you have everything you need right now. You are on your way to paying off your current house and you have enough room. Basically, right now, you do not need this home.

Second, I have always tried to avoid dealing with financial matters with family. Like you said, you might have to expect your parents to see it as their family home. So you may have problems separating your property right to the emotional right to this house.

Third, the real estate economy in Toronto is finally levelling off. Interest rates are at an all time low and will eventually rise. If you took on the house, let's say with a 5 year mortgage, could you afford to renew if interest rates were say 8 - 10% (instead of 4-5%) 5 years down the road? No one knows what is going to happen with the economy, especially with the problems of war. Make sure you can handle these payments and don't become house poor because you want to hang on to the emotional aspects of this building.

Fourth, there may be stress all around once you own this family home. Maybe family stress, financial stress, etc.

I co-own my family cottage. We have had this family cottage for 70 years and it is a big emotional attachment. From this experience alone, I would never take on such an emotional purchase. There are too many fingers that always 'seem' to be stepped on no matter how hard you try to make everything work out.

Just my Canadian 2c!

post #5 of 8
my opinion is that it depends on your relationship with your parents. my husband lived in his parents' house until we got married last spring. he lived there through his first marriage and wanted to live there when we got married. however, his parents came and went as they pleased even though they didn't officially live there any more. they would show up in the middle of the night when he was married before and just walk right into the house without knocking.

his sister lives in the house his grandmother lived in and they treat that house the same way -- coming and going as they please. they also complain about any little change she makes tot he house and hires contractors to do the changes they want. his siter has bought 2/3 of the house, but apparently it is a "silent" 2/3.

so, when his parents started talking about selling us their condo that hubby used to live in, i told him, "tell them they should sell and use the money toward thier retirment costs."

i am not suggesting the csame would happen to you, but if you aren't sure it will ever be "your" house, it is definately something to think about.
post #6 of 8
My advice, dont do business with family members. (i know of what i speak, long story) Its asking for trouble. Just let your parents sell for full value and have the money, they deserve it.
post #7 of 8
Ady...., this is a tough choice but...I have to agree with all of the advice here. Plus.......just picture you trying to redecorate or change anything! No matter what you do, and no matter how much they assure you that they will not interfere, they will. It's just human nature. It's like with my MIL - she'll say things like: I used to do things this way (for my hubby) After 9 years, I'm still getting advice on how to do things 'properly'. I can imagine what you will go through if you put new wall paper up or, God forbid---tear down a wall. The house will never really be yours. It will always be "this is our family home" in their eyes.

Besides, just imagine....in 12 years: No more mortgage!

My advice: Unless your home is falling apart and needs $150,000 more in repairs, I'd stay there. You have too many 'what ifs' to worry about. Besides....you said it yourself. You love the house you are in!

Whatever you decide, I hope you make the right choice for you and hubby, and not for the sake of making others happy.
post #8 of 8
Ady, that is a really difficult decision! I am not sure what to tell you....I wish I had some wonderful advice, but it sounds like you have gotten alot of good advice here already.

I can understand being leery of doing business with family and possible hard feelings....but yet if this is the home you grew up in and you really want to buy it, then you should follow your heart.

Either way please know you are in my thoughts and keep us posted on what you decide. I am sure you will make the right decision.
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