Friday, February 24, 2006


So the House of Gina has a perplexity. Or is that a perplexion? How's about a dilemma? Yeah, we'll just stick with that.

You see, many moons ago, my parents inherited a house. It is next door to them. Their neighbor and good friend put it in a trust for them, and they were quite shocked when they found out.

You see, the house has not had hardly anything done to it since perhaps the 60's. Original kitchen and bathrooms, original carpeting, (what's left of it, anyway) original drapes, (same thing) paint, you name it. The only two things that have been done to it are a new roof and new plumbing.

Those many moons ago, talk was that Hubba-hubba and I could move into the house. Details were sketchy, timelines non-existent. I am not sure if my parents thought that by just ignoring the whole thing it would just go away. I had tried talking to them about it, but got nowhere and gave up.

Not too long ago, my mom springs on me, "So, do you want to move in here?"


Now, we love where we live. We love the city, we love the schools, we love the parks, the shopping, everything.

But we don't like our townhouse.

It is too small, it has no backyard, and only two bedrooms. We have decided that having another child in this house would not really be feasible, since we would basically be stuck here because I would not go back to work anytime soon. With real estate prices the way they are here, we could take our almost 300,000 in equity and be able to go NOWHERE.

My parent's neighborhood, not as good as it used to be. Their immediate neighborhood is great, but go a bit outside of it and it is not so hot. The schools suck, the parks are mediocre, and the shopping completely bites.

Not to mention the state of the house itself. It is so overwhelming to walk in there because there is nothing that can stay. It all has to go, and none of us is eager to take on the time and expense of fixing it up. Not to mention the damn pool. It has an empty pool. But you see, this pool was featured in Architectural Digest eons ago. My mom is a bit insistent that the pool stays.

We don't really want a pool, we want a backyard.

But we would be living life on the fairly cheap, and have free babysitting next door. Neither Hubba-hubba or myself has an issue living next door to my parents. Living there would enable us to do lots of things we cannot do right now, and it is so very tempting.

And yet not.

Thanks to everyone for your advice. It seems that even people outside of this situation are having a bit of a tough time, so I feel a bit better for my wishy-washiness. I'll give you an update whenever we manage to pull our heads out of our butts and figure things out.


Liz said...

Hmmm, since I haven't lived anywhere near my parents since 1984, I'd find it very difficult to live next door to them. Since that's not the issue for you...

Can they sell it, and combined with the sale of your house make it so you can move close to them but in a better school district?

It doesn't sound like this house has any redeeming qualities except the free babysitting.

chichimama said...

Hmmm. I have to agree with Liz. If the schools suck and you won't be doing private, and thee is a pool with no yard I would think you would just end up being resentful, even if it is free. JMTC. Good luck-

Suzanne said...

I think the "con" side of the argument is a stronger. I was thinking something along the lines of what Liz said -- essentially "flipping" the house by renovating it and then using the proceeds to buy a better house.

Gina said...

I WANT everyone's two cents!

Chichimama- we actually would be sending Mr. P to private school if we lived there.

Liz and Suzanne- They seem to be a bit resistant to that idea. It has been bandied around, but has never seem to stick. That would also make the most sense to me, but for whatever reason, they don't see it as an option. And as they would be doing me a favor by helping me in any way, I don't like to push. My sister is cool with us living in the house, but I'm not sure she is ok with them giving us the proceeds of the sale. And I don't want her to be resentful, either.

Liz said...

Ooh, good point about the sister. I wasn't thinking about possible siblings in this scenario. That's a tough one.

WordsRock said...

We bought an old house in a condition much like you have described, minus the pool and the Architectural Digest mention... lol. Think long and hard. It's a more of a commitment than having a kid.

But sometimes one has to compromise in the interest of financial gain, which is not a bad thing. Plus the benefit of your folks being such a close part of Mr. Personality's life.

Maybe flip a coin? Kidding. Kind of.


tab said...

If they just let you live in the house....who is doing(paying for) the repairs/fixing up to it. Whatever improvements/updating you do will help the value. I'm guess what I'm getting at is...if you put x-dollars into this house what happens later on down the road? (parents pass away, you move, house sells, whatever).

My sis for example....her and dh lives in one of his parents homes (rentfree). Her dh has/does general maintenance to the home. He is to inherit the house whenever his mother passes away. They would love to add onto the house, but are not really doing anything other than general maintenance because in doing so will add to the "value of the home"....and when it comes to it, they know that the siblings will want that to come out of his inheritance even though they paid for the adding on/updating(so they would be losing what money they put in it--flipside is they are paying no rent). And of course if there's any bickering going on one could not rule out that the house would be sold instead which would leave them out of the money they invested and of course no equity and w/5 other siblings who knows if there will be anything left.

IMO...I would have to say that if you do NOT want a pool....this would have to be figured out and everyone "ok" with before you move in. Pros and cons.

Now here's something for you to wrap your brain around. Our house is bought and paid for---it's a 2 bedroom on 4 acres and we only paid 30,000 for it (no typo). We're in the process of adding a master bed/bath to it which we estimate will cost about 30,000 to do.

Piece of Work said...

But if you moved in there--you would have the $300,000 that you make on the townhome to put in the bank, no? And you'd never have a mortgage payment. ANd the free babysitting, not to mention the relationship between Mr. P and his grandparents. It actually sounds good to me.
I do think you should discuss the pool thing with your parents first.
It's nice to have it as an option, anyway.

Mel said...

You are facing the American dilemma: too many choices. Count yourself lucky!

(I'd move, fix the house and put that equity to work, I think.)