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Hi Folks,

Theres so much to the story but I will be brief.

Would you sell your brand new home on 5 acres that you can't even afford to mow to buy a house on the beach and pay cash for it??

Crazy, I know. We made a huge mistake!! My parents graciously gifted us so much to build a house (built by my father) that we are floundering 8 months later! We can't afford the size of it, the lawn mower to mow it, the maintenance and I'm dreading the gas bill we are going to get and the mortgage we have. We were a little pressured to build when we did BUT we should have put on our big kid underwear and said "NO!!!" My dad can talk us in to anything.

We have an option to buy my husbands family beach house out of state and we should be able to pay cash for it. We do have 3 kids. The schools are good, area is nice. The house will be half the size BUT half the maintance right?

My parents are very upset by this (understandably, we are moving their grandkids away), they basically say they will give us money to hold us over, etc, etc……They told us they "invested" in us to be here (2 minutes from them)…Honestly, we cannot accept anymore money from them. Thats a wholeeeeee other thread.

I also want to mention that we are paying them back out of the home equity for the land money and builder fee that they would have lost.

What would you do???
 

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My parents graciously gifted us so much to build a house - -
an option to buy my husbands family beach house out of state
I'll repeat my oft-repeated advice. This based on owning several rental houses over a 35 year period.
"Never rent to an acquaintance, a co-worker, a co-worker's kid, a friend, and never ever to a relative, you need an arm's length formal agreement with a STRANGER". This advice also applies to hiring a realtor, a lawyer, an auto mechanic, or a service person.

As for your specific problem, you are going to have some uncomfortable thanksgiving dinners over the next decade if you leave your new Mcmansion. Plus you will be walking right in to another family mess with DHs family and the beach house.

So make mowing a pleasure - 2 of my farming relatives have John Deeres with 60 inch decks and enough power to go5 mph thru tall grass. They can mow 5 acres in about 2 hours. They have power steering, they wear head sets to listen to the radio and kill the engine noise. If you try to use a little 3 foot mower, it will be slow, noisy, takes over 4 hours, and it will break a lot & not last long. As for the heating bill, close off a couple of the extra rooms (close the air vents and doors).

It sounds like a really nice home - maybe you could cross-fence it and get 3 or 4 ponies? Or a few sheep? Our horse mows about 1 acre for us.
 

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Hi Folks,

Theres so much to the story but I will be brief.

Would you sell your brand new home on 5 acres that you can't even afford to mow to buy a house on the beach and pay cash for it??

Crazy, I know. We made a huge mistake!! My parents graciously gifted us so much to build a house (built by my father) that we are floundering 8 months later! We can't afford the size of it, the lawn mower to mow it, the maintenance and I'm dreading the gas bill we are going to get and the mortgage we have. We were a little pressured to build when we did BUT we should have put on our big kid underwear and said "NO!!!" My dad can talk us in to anything.

We have an option to buy my husbands family beach house out of state and we should be able to pay cash for it. We do have 3 kids. The schools are good, area is nice. The house will be half the size BUT half the maintance right?

My parents are very upset by this (understandably, we are moving their grandkids away), they basically say they will give us money to hold us over, etc, etc……They told us they "invested" in us to be here (2 minutes from them)…Honestly, we cannot accept anymore money from them. Thats a wholeeeeee other thread.

I also want to mention that we are paying them back out of the home equity for the land money and builder fee that they would have lost.

What would you do???
You have provided scant information to be able to comment adequately, but I will give it my best shot. Perhaps you have the possibility to rent out a part of the house, take on a boarder that would help with maintenance etc. Half the size doesn't necessarily mean half the maintenance.....age of the beach house? Moving out of state has its costs, moving the kids can create stress, never mind finding other employment. This is just a start....need more info....
 

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You only present 2 options either stay at the present house which you can not afford or move to the beech house. There is a third which would be my opinion move to an affordable house...if not the beech house somewhere affordable for you.
 

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What are the taxes on the beach house? Waterfront property taxes here are thousands a year even for a medium-size house, compared to the identical house not on the water which would be hundreds. Everyone wants to live on the water, but it's not usually cheap.

Is the beach house in a flood plain or otherwise prone to bad weather such as hurricanes? What's the insurance going to be on such a house if you need a high-risk policy?

How old is the house? How old is the roof, the appliances, the furnace, AC, etc? Will some of those things need to be replaced soon? Will you be able to afford any repairs it needs?

What jobs are available at the new place, and do you qualify for a well-paying job there? Is the beach house in an area of economic growth (IOW, are companies hiring there) or is it in an economically depressed area where jobs are tough to come by?

If you sold the new house, IMO the right thing to do would be to pay back your parents for whatever they put into the house. Would the house sell for enough to do that and then provide enough money to get into the beach house?

I'm guessing from your sig that you're a nurse. Jobs should be available for you most anywhere, from my understanding of that career, but don't assume you'd be able to work full time and/or make as much as you may be making now. From what I've learned, which isn't a lot, some places pay very well but others pay nurses next to nothing.

It sounds to me like you need to get out from under the new house, rent something a lot cheaper, and get your financial situation under control before making any decisions. If you can't even afford to have a lawn mowed, I don't understand how you can even think about leaving your jobs, paying for a move, paying for another house, etc. It sounds like you have no savings to fall back on. It also seems unlikely that if you renege on the deal you made with your parents, they might be pretty reluctant to bail you out if you've left them in a lurch, left the state, and then expect them to help you out of more bad decisions.

I may be missing some important details that weren't in your sketchy description, but you did ask for opinions.
 
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Spirit deer, I don't mean to sound sketch, I just wasn't sure how much detail to go into to be honest!

Our previous home (prior to building) was about 1700 sq ft and affordable (for us). It was about 5 minutes from my husbands very flexible job and decent paying. I am a nurse and worked about 20 minutes away (flexible as well!). We have 3 children. 7, 5, 2 years old. My husband is the sole provider and I typically work weekends. We made the stupid mistake of buying a new truck years ago and had a $450 car payment which stated to hurt us when we started to pay for preschool for our two oldest. However, we were close to paying it off so kept it but things were tough for us. I took a full time position prior to my youngest being born but once I had her I quit that position because paying for daycare/nannies for 3 kids was too much…after this my husband became a home inspector and was working occasionally with my dad. That helped.

My parents have land in which my father develops and builds houses. Now he has always talked about giving me and my brother land to build on one day. My brother declined (thanks to his wife, lol, smart) but we reluctantly agreed to build. Our thinking was we love the land, the schools are better and my husband will get a job closer and do home inspections on the side. Ok, none of this has happened. We live an hour away from my husbands work. There are no jobs out here. He hardly has time to do home inspections because he's lost 10 hrs a week in commuting time. We have 3 children. I can't do it all around here so when he is home he's helping me, doing the maintenance and spending time with the kids. I began working more to help cover the bills but we sacrifice a lot of family time. The cost of our bills were grossly underestimated. Even tho we got a killer deal with "free" land and early inheritance money with our positions we can't afford it. We definitely need to downsize for sure.

So as far as moving to the beach house - we are very familiar with the house and area as we have been going there for 10 years and we actually almost bought it from my mother in law prior to having kids but knew it wasn't smart for us financially. The house does need some updating but nothing my handy husband can't handle. My husband already has his home inspection license there and hopes to build a business. We both understand that can take a while and it can be inconsistent BUT thankfully me being a nurse I can get a job in a blink. Insurance and taxes I think would be about the same maybe a little cheaper at the beach house because the house is much smaller. We'd be going from 3500 sq/ft on 5 acres to 1600 sq/ft on a small lot.

After we sold our current home - after we payed my parents back, bought the beach house, paid the bank, realtor, etc. We would have about $70000 left over. We figure we pay taxes, insurance for the year and just have electric, water and normal bills.
Assuming I work weekends or 3 weekends a month I would probably make about $2000 after taxes a month and then whatever my husband brings in initially. I would obviously work more to supplement our income as needed until my husband gets going.

So, we have also considered selling our current home and moving back to our old town closer to my husbands work but honestly we were there for 10 years and we are not sure if thats were we want to spend another 10. We were planning for our new home to be our forever home but we built 10 years too soon. In our old town the schools are blah. We can buy a home in a good neighborhood for about $250,000 range but we would have to end up getting a small mortgage which would be doable to pay off in 5 or 10 years.

What we think about and stress about is our kids future and college for 3 children back to back and having enough for retirement.

Sorry this is so long. But I appreciate your advice!!!!
 

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As always in such situations, lots to think about.

I would suggest checking on the pay rate for nurses in the area of the beach house. The reason I'm suggesting that is because I have a friend in MA that's an RN and we got to talking about the pay rate where she is and the idea of her moving to SD, where the pay rate is much, much lower, making the move an impossibility for them. All things are not equal, and a lot depends on location sometimes.

Don't make assumptions about the real estate taxes. That varies widely between states and within different locations within the same state sometimes. Less square footage may help, but even a small lot on the water can be much more costly than you think. We live on a lake in Minnesota, and we know what we're spending per year for real estate taxes here. We've also been looking at housing in town recently, not on the lake, and know what taxes are there for houses similar to ours. And of course location matters a lot. The lake we're on has property values much lower than the lake next door, for example.

If a state gets much of its revenue from real estate taxes, you might be shocked what that bill would be. It might be more than you're paying now. We got slammed when we moved from MN to SD years ago. The realtor lied to us and assured us we would be eligible for a real estate tax credit and get a refund each year. As it turned out, no such thing existed. Because SD has no income taxes, real estate taxes were insane. They also charge taxes on food, clothing, and medications, which MN does not. We ended up paying a lot more in taxes overall while living in SD vs. what we paid in MN, even including paying some of the highest income taxes in the USA in MN. Be sure you look at details like sales tax rates and don't assume anything, because it may end up costing you a lot of money overall.

I guess the bottom line for me, as I understand your situation, is that you have to figure out what the best thing is for you emotionally, financially, and every other way. I would not buy the beach place without a loan that would completely remove your FIL from the financial equation. It's much easier to deal with an emotionless bank than to put familial relationships into the mix. It seems like you might have learned that lesson already due to the housing situation you're already in. No matter what you decide now, your parents have been hurt emotionally by your 'rejection' of their generosity.

I would also get on realtor.com and find some comparable properties to your FIL's house. It pays to be educated about the real estate market where you want to move. If the only reason to move is FIL's house, proceed with caution. The area needs to offer the things you want for your life and your family.

If I was in the medical profession right now, I'd be very concerned with what's going on with health insurance right now in Washington. No matter which way things go, big changes are coming to health care, and the way it sounds, smaller hospitals are going to get hit especially hard. If you have some seniority where you are, that might give you some job security because you wouldn't be last hired and therefore first fired. :(

As I said, much to think about.
 

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You are looking at this as a black or white choice. Must choose farm house or beach house, but there are shades of grey. Setting aside the houses for the moment, where do you actually WANT to live? That's what should drive your choice.

Sell the house you cannot afford.

You can move to a different house within a reasonable distance of your family. You can move to the beach house (but do you have jobs lined up there?). You can go somewhere else entirely.

Reframe the conversation you are facing. It's not an either/or question.
 

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You are looking at this as a black or white choice. Must choose farm house or beach house, but there are shades of grey. Setting aside the houses for the moment, where do you actually WANT to live? That's what should drive your choice.

Sell the house you cannot afford.

You can move to a different house within a reasonable distance of your family. You can move to the beach house (but do you have jobs lined up there?). You can go somewhere else entirely.

Reframe the conversation you are facing. It's not an either/or question.
I soo agree! It is not an either/or question! It is what is best for you and your family. I would hate for you to purchase the beach house and 6 months in decide it is also NOT where you want to be. I would also look into nurse salaries as in many areas of the country there is NOT a nursing shortage and salaries are low.
 
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Hi Folks, It's been a while but just thought I'd update on our decisions. We have kind been thru a whirlwind the past few months.
We have been somewhat indescisive on what the best decision for our family is but the one thing we can conclude is that working our asses off and sacrificing time with our children to own a house is not what we want.
I have since "lost" my job because I was not able to work the shifts required. My husband has been working his full time job and a part time job to support our family. We have gone thru our savings to supplement our income. I had recently accepted a full time position and when I was to start the contract was canceled. Yep, sucks. I am regretful that we had an offer on our home which was much lower then we would have liked so we passed on it to wait for a hire offer. Now we are in "dire straights". It really sucks.
Our house is still for sale and we have lowered the price, made some improvements etc. I pray it sells tommorrow and I'm totally at peace with that decision.
Someone mentioned never mix business and family. That is the truth!
My heart is not here. The financial stress has effect my husband and my children. All for a stupid house!
As soon as we sell we will rent while my kids finish school and then we will decide if we move back towards my husbands job or to the beach. Honestly at that point we'd be able to afford both so we just might do that.
Advice: if you are on the fence about whether you can afford something DONT DO IT!
 

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So sorry to hear this...I hope the house sells....
 
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