TO BUY WITH FAMILY OR NOT TO BUY WITH FAMILY? THAT IS THE QUESTION.
There are a variety of reasons why people choose to share the purchase a home with their immediate family or in-laws. Multiple generations living under the same roof can help ease finances every month because there are more adults contributing to the bills. It also helps to be close to parents as they get older and may need additional care, but is it a good idea?
Whatever your reasons are for making a joint-purchase of a house, there can always be some hiccups you may want to be aware of. Let’s be honest, at some point you will probably get on each other’s nerves, and there will be times when everyone needs more privacy or independence.
When I’m showing houses for sale to potential families that are looking to make a joint-venture, I stress how important it is that the home needs to meet everyones needs in order to be a win win situation for all parties involved.
Below are some of the most important ways you can make living with family easier for everyone.
1. SET AND FOLLOW HOUSE RULES
Before moving in together, it’s a good idea to talk about what the new arrangement is going to look like and discover everyone’s expectations. Come up with some basic ground rules for everyone to follow. Will household chores and maintenance be shared equally? How will regular purchases like groceries and toiletries be divided up?
Discussing the finances can be a sensitive subject and if the running costs of the home are to be shared, it is very important to have all parties present to decide how that will be done. Do not leave anything up to assumption.
If you start off on the right foot it will make for an easier environment. Coming up with a strong plan of how responsibilities will be divided up is imperative to a successful purchase and easier living conditions.
2. RESPECT EACH OTHER’S PRIVACY
When shopping for a home that meets your extended family’s needs, it’s important to consider private areas. Will there be an in-law suite that is physically separate from the main living space? If your parents/in-laws have their own living quarters with separate kitchen/bathroom/living spaces will that be a benefit? Will there be a lot of shared space that everyone makes use of on a daily basis?
Having private areas where you and your spouse can retreat to without being disturbed by everyone else is essential, even if it’s just a master bedroom away from the rest of the home’s living areas.
3. TOLERATE THE GROWING PAINS!
Remember that everyone’s lifestyles are different. Some may be used to eating dinner in front of the TV every day, while others prefer to sit down with family around the table.
There will be a transition period after you all move in together where you’re getting into a rhythm, and getting used to each other’s habits. I always tell my clients this is normal and to be expected. So go easy on each other.
4. BENEFITS OF A JOINT VENTURE
There can be some great benefits to living together. You can all save money and help each other. When you’re working late, perhaps your mother/mother-in-law will cook dinner. Maybe your father/father-in-law will fix the dishwasher or pick up the kids from school.
Maybe date night for you and your spouse can become a weekly event considering you have live-in babysitters. Things certainly are easier if the family and in-laws are able-bodied and can pitch in. It will also give them purpose which is known to extend their lifespan and contribute to mental wellbeing. The biggest positive is that you all soon become a tight knit family.
I have had the pleasure and the stress living with my in-laws as we were fortunate enough to have a home that provided us with our own bathrooms, kitchen and family rooms, but we made a point of dining together every evening.
It’s only now that I can say that the time spent with them has strengthened our relationship, and my daughter has many found memories that she will forever carry with her, long after they are no longer here.
When you consider all of the positives, a little planning beforehand can make this living situation work well.