Wedding Woes

NWR. Are FI's finance opinions odd to anyone else?

Sorry this is looooong.

So this one was new on me. FI and I have been house hunting. I am moving from 100 miles away to his city. He lives on the street where he grew up, and his brother owns (and rents out) their childhood home which is 3 doors down from our house. It is a nice neighborhood, but it is full of old people and couples with young children. We don't want kids. We would like to be closer to midtown where all of the restaurants and other things we like to frequent are located, and there are more young professionals. He has just stayed in that part of town because all of his family lives within a couple of miles of there (and he says that he was just too damn lazy to mess with moving). We also need more room if I am to be able to move any of my furniture in.

So last Sunday we FINALLY found a house we both loved. We spoke to the lender about the details and we were preparing to make an offer. We didn't hear back from the Realtor right away so we were going to finalize the offer on Monday. Monday he came home from work and announced that he didn't want to buy another house. He just didn't think it was a financially sound move, because he "didn't have the cash to cover it if something bad happened".

WTF?

We were not planning on selling the existing house, but instead to do as his brother does and pay the mortgage with the money from renting it out. I guess I should add that the current home is paid off so we would not be risking having 2 house payments if we should find ourselves without a renter for a time. Credit score is not an issue either.

He basically said he would feel "irresponsible" borrowing more money than he could immediately pay back, and since he just had to replace his car in May, $24k of his savings is earmarked as backup for the car financing so he wouldn't even be comfortable pulling out the down payment that he would want. So, every house I have purchased in the past was irresponsible because I didn't have the money sitting around pay it off? I'm sure that my mother will be delighted to hear how irresponsible her mortgage is.

Is it just me or isn't the idea of a mortgage to be able to buy something without having to have the $$ to just pay for it outright? I have a feeling that my FILs may have had something to do with his change in attitude, because I know he discussed it with them on Monday at work, and he made sure to justify his opinion with "well my parents and my Grandmother could pay off their homes if they needed to". I know they aren't excited for us to move (alllllllll the way across town...15 minutes) but seriously? Convincing him that we need to have the cost of the house in savings in order to buy it?

I know that wedding expenses are stressing him out since we are paying for much of it (except my dress that my Mother wanted to buy and the RD & groomsmen's attire his parents picked up). However, we will be coming in WELL under our original budget and his end of year profit-share will cover it several times over.

On the bright side, his father did suggest that he should be less hesitant to getting rid of some furniture and letting me redo part of the house so that we can both feel at home there, rather than me having to put all of my things in storage and live a bachelor pad until we do get around to moving. I'm fine with that, I was just wondering if anyone else thought that this was kind of crazy?

Re: NWR. Are FI's finance opinions odd to anyone else?

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
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    Yes, that's weird to me. I understand not wanting to get into financial trouble, but does he intend to save up, say, $200,000 before you can buy a new house?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Umm yeah this literally makes no sense. The point of a mortgage is to lend you money for something very expensive when you don't have the cash up front. Also, if you had the cash to pay for it in full, why wouldn't you just do that to avoid paying the interest?
    [Deleted User]
  • edited August 2015
    Yes, @AddieCake , that is the way it is looking. We were looking in the 150k-250k range, and the one we loved was 190k (the ONE benefit to living in OK...reasonable housing). I'm not going to bitch about it because we have a perfectly nice roof over or heads while many do not, but seriously? He has lived in this home for 6 or 7 years and paid it off, so he does not see this as a problem. I do not care to wait that long to move, so I just wish he would at least agree to sell this one and have a small mortgage on a larger one.

    @abl13 He would get tax deductions on the interest, while the cash sits and earns additional interest while invested.
  • While your FI's view on his finances maybe a little odd, there could be other factors at play.  Your FI clearly prefers having financial security to having some sort of convenience.  The question is, why?  Is your FI self-employed or a private-contractor? Is his job significantly affected by seasonality in an industry?  Did he experience a period of unemployment? Or did he experience a lack of financial security at some point in his childhood or adult life?  All things to consider that may give you more insight as to why he values financial security so much.

    Think of it as purchasing a car.  When purchasing a car, different people value different aspects.  Some choose a vehicle based upon price.  Some prefer purchasing for safety features, while others may prioritize the vehicle's capability or gas mileage.  In order to have one, you may make concessions about others (4WD and side airbags with seat warmers vs. cheaper with great mileage).

    It sounds like you desperately want to move closer, and I do not expect that it is just for space for your things and proximity to the excitement.   Meanwhile,  it sounds like it just might be along the lines of "it would be nice to be closer," for your FI, not exactly a need or want for him.

    Totally get it.  You want a place that is not "his," but yours, closer to what interests the both of you, and maybe a little further away from his family.  As unfortunate as it is, you may not get what you want/need, because it does not seem to align with your FI's wants or needs.  You're going to need to make a strong case about why the location itself is your need (proximity to his family perhaps?)

    Have you considered talking with a financial planner about your finances?  Maybe that could help level your playing field a bit.

    My FI wanted to purchase a house right away, and I had to sit down with him and pour over our finances.  He didn't understand that you just can't magically go out and buy a house. We had to reconcile that for me to feel secure, we would need to put more down and have enough to cover a year's mortgage payments in the bank. We established our own financial plan.  We discussed what we needed/wanted, how much we would need, and put ourselves onto a savings timeline.  Having a timeline for when it will happen helps tremendously.  I moved back in with my parents, and he got a roommate so that we could get there sooner.

    Without an outside party discussing finances with you both, it seems that your FI more than likely will not budge on the house issue.  Discuss honestly why you want to live in another neighborhood. Suggest that you sell the house instead, and use that as the deposit.  If that doesn't work, try to make the best of the current situation.

    The good news for the bad news:
    It sounds like your FFIL understands that the place needs to be yours too.  He is convincing your FI to purge some of his things.  If financial security is as important to him as it sounds, suggest that you list your duplicates on Craigslist, and put the money into an "our house" fund.

    If you can't move, and he is willing to let you do some remodel, DO IT!  Take it on as an opportunity to increase the resale value.  Adding storage (built-ins) is a great way to do that, and if your FI does want to rent the house later, he will need to be able to do some minor construction.

    You'll still only be about a 15 minute drive to your sources of entertainment. Is it walking distance, no, but it is doable. 

    There are benefits to living in an older neighborhood, especially if the neighbors have reached retirement.  I live in a mostly retired neighborhood.  Just about every man owns a riding lawnmower with an attached plow.  It is not uncommon for someone cutting their grass to cut ours because "it's supposed to rain later today and for the next 3 days," or for someone to help shovel/plow our driveway in the morning. It may be harder to find commonality with them sometimes, but it doesn't mean that they can't be absolutely wonderful neighbors.

    Take advantage of your FI's family all living in the same neighborhood. While it is definitely trying, there are benefits.  Need help moving furniture around or fixing something? They are moments away, hopefully....

    For being soooooo far away, your FIL's will get used to it.  We grew up down the street from both grandparents.  My parents moved about a 30 minute drive to be closer to jobs.  My grandmother still stops over at least once a week.  Still unannounced, at the worst possible times.  She adjusted and lived, as will your FIL's.

    Also, with combined incomes, it will be much easier to save for the new place!

    Hang in there.  Hopefully you will be moving into your new home soon.
    TheCheeseWench[Deleted User]
  • It's "Old money" vs. "New Money"...  While his idea sounds foreign, it's actually VERY common for individuals who are successful at building wealth for the long term that instead of paying someone else interest (some forms of interest there's a tax benefit to having in place that's higher than the ROI of savings/investments), they get paid to save the money because of being eligible for higher interest rates on savings, then pay cash instead of paying someone else interest money.  For this - while it may seem annoying and a foreign concept, it's actually REALLY great for your retirement fund and financial future. 

    That said - you two need to come up with a plan and discuss such financial matters and work things out ahead of time including living arrangements.  IMO, it sounds like there's a slight disconnect in he wants to remain that close to family and you want to be close to the city for priorities..  Life has a way of changing suddenly and wants you financially protected should the unexpected happen.  So, you save up for the next few years then when the finances are in order and life at a normal as a married couple, then consider looking based on how your life is then.  I think it's a good compromise to use the information you've gotten for the time being then when life has settled a bit and you've got a "norm" then look again in the future.  It's all good!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    TheCheeseWench
  • He keeps it all in cash? In a bank?? The FDIC only insures $250k so if he is planning on keeping $190k in the bank that's fairly close to that limit, especially with the $24k for the car. I would also talk to him about finding someone who can invest that at a higher interest rate than the bank can offer. While it's nice to have a stockpile of cash, investing can offer significantly higher returns which can grow that money significantly faster. I would interview portfolio managers as I previously worked for a portfolio manager and a financial advisor and the portfolio manager was much more successful for her clients. 

    PupatellaTheCheeseWenchMesmrEweAprilH81
  • While your FI's view on his finances maybe a little odd, there could be other factors at play.  Your FI clearly prefers having financial security to having some sort of convenience.  The question is, why?  Is your FI self-employed or a private-contractor? Is his job significantly affected by seasonality in an industry?  Did he experience a period of unemployment? Or did he experience a lack of financial security at some point in his childhood or adult life?  All things to consider that may give you more insight as to why he values financial security so much.

    Think of it as purchasing a car.  When purchasing a car, different people value different aspects.  Some choose a vehicle based upon price.  Some prefer purchasing for safety features, while others may prioritize the vehicle's capability or gas mileage.  In order to have one, you may make concessions about others (4WD and side airbags with seat warmers vs. cheaper with great mileage).

    It sounds like you desperately want to move closer, and I do not expect that it is just for space for your things and proximity to the excitement.   Meanwhile,  it sounds like it just might be along the lines of "it would be nice to be closer," for your FI, not exactly a need or want for him.

    Totally get it.  You want a place that is not "his," but yours, closer to what interests the both of you, and maybe a little further away from his family.  As unfortunate as it is, you may not get what you want/need, because it does not seem to align with your FI's wants or needs.  You're going to need to make a strong case about why the location itself is your need (proximity to his family perhaps?)

    Have you considered talking with a financial planner about your finances?  Maybe that could help level your playing field a bit.

    My FI wanted to purchase a house right away, and I had to sit down with him and pour over our finances.  He didn't understand that you just can't magically go out and buy a house. We had to reconcile that for me to feel secure, we would need to put more down and have enough to cover a year's mortgage payments in the bank. We established our own financial plan.  We discussed what we needed/wanted, how much we would need, and put ourselves onto a savings timeline.  Having a timeline for when it will happen helps tremendously.  I moved back in with my parents, and he got a roommate so that we could get there sooner.

    Without an outside party discussing finances with you both, it seems that your FI more than likely will not budge on the house issue.  Discuss honestly why you want to live in another neighborhood. Suggest that you sell the house instead, and use that as the deposit.  If that doesn't work, try to make the best of the current situation.

    The good news for the bad news:
    It sounds like your FFIL understands that the place needs to be yours too.  He is convincing your FI to purge some of his things.  If financial security is as important to him as it sounds, suggest that you list your duplicates on Craigslist, and put the money into an "our house" fund.

    If you can't move, and he is willing to let you do some remodel, DO IT!  Take it on as an opportunity to increase the resale value.  Adding storage (built-ins) is a great way to do that, and if your FI does want to rent the house later, he will need to be able to do some minor construction.

    You'll still only be about a 15 minute drive to your sources of entertainment. Is it walking distance, no, but it is doable. 

    There are benefits to living in an older neighborhood, especially if the neighbors have reached retirement.  I live in a mostly retired neighborhood.  Just about every man owns a riding lawnmower with an attached plow.  It is not uncommon for someone cutting their grass to cut ours because "it's supposed to rain later today and for the next 3 days," or for someone to help shovel/plow our driveway in the morning. It may be harder to find commonality with them sometimes, but it doesn't mean that they can't be absolutely wonderful neighbors.

    Take advantage of your FI's family all living in the same neighborhood. While it is definitely trying, there are benefits.  Need help moving furniture around or fixing something? They are moments away, hopefully....

    For being soooooo far away, your FIL's will get used to it.  We grew up down the street from both grandparents.  My parents moved about a 30 minute drive to be closer to jobs.  My grandmother still stops over at least once a week.  Still unannounced, at the worst possible times.  She adjusted and lived, as will your FIL's.

    Also, with combined incomes, it will be much easier to save for the new place!

    Hang in there.  Hopefully you will be moving into your new home soon.



    He is somewhat self employed, in the sense that he is a partial owner of a family business that has been around since the 1940's, but he receives a regular salary, and then a share of the company profits at the end of the year that usually equals his annual salary. ( @futurecptkirk thankfully he does not keep cash lying around in the bank, he re-invests into the company and earns additional interest on it from there.)
    I think it was just the way that he was raised. His grandparents were very financially responsible, as are his parents. They have taught him very well, it just seems a little overboard to me to think that it would be "irresponsible" to have a mortgage without the money to back it up. That is one of the reasons I think his family might be involved in this sudden change of attitude on the house. His mother is the bookkeeper for their business, and since he is invested in it, he had to go thrive her to get it. I suspect in the past perhaps in trying to teach him financial responsibility, she has instilled in him a bit of fear of wanting to spend his own money.

    As for the desire to move, a lot of it really is space and trying to fit both of our "existing lives" functionally into one house. We are both 35 and each have quite the surplus of furniture. I have a great deal of family heirlooms (we are European antique junkies) and his family business is contemporary furniture, so this combo is going to be interesting enough even with extra room! :) There will have to be some things sold on both sides.

    I actually don't mind living near the family, we have dinner at his parents house every Sunday night with the whole family, about 13 to 15 people usually. They are absolutely lovely, & I feel very fortunate to be a part of that. That aspect of it will not change if we move to the other side of town. Fi's 81 year old Grandmother showed up yesterday and kidnapped me on her way to run errands. It was nice of her to want to get me out of the house. The draw of living in Midtown where more things are happening, is partially for my work. I'm a restaurant critic/culinary instructor. I host a show and write a column about food and booze, and am hoping to resume teaching classes once I get settled into my new city. It's just easier to get out and about more when I'm not so far into the burbs (another mile or so and we are in the next town). Also, since I was hot by a semi earlier this year I cannot drive. It will probably be about 18 months before I am healed to the point where I can, so working is much easier if I am closer into town. I work with people who can help me get from place to place, but it is extremely inconvenient to ask them to make a 30-40 minute round trip to get me. Also, the move would put FI 5 minutes from work rather than 20.


    Thank you for the input ladies. Like I said, I just thought it was a little odd and wondered if it was a concept I was completely missing. I am absolutely going to take advantage of the opportunity to make some changes in the house (adios carpet). We have enough going on right now that will keep me plenty busy until next year when we can revisit the issue, but in the meantime I'm going to make that place look a little less like a bachelor pad and more like a joint residence. I have picked up my job (I'm going to split my show 50/50 between the two cities) and left my hometown, my family, my friends and my professional network to move where he lives because my career is far more portable than his. I'm just ready for it to feel a little more like home :-)
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