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Quandry -- SO selling something to help us financially...

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hexed posted 5/19/2014 23:02 PM

My SO and I are in the process of trying to buy a larger house. His DD14 moved in with us and my little house just isn't working well for us. I work from home and gave up my office when she moved in. The house is on the smallish side to begin with when it was 3 of us here full time. Add in a fourth full time and 2 more on weekends and we're not doing so great.

We found the perfect new house for our needs. It was an accident. We were really planning on buying this fall. We can probably get this purchase done but it will be very tight to come up with all of the cash.

SO has a car that he LOVES. He owns it outright. He could sell it for enough to eliminate the money stress and in fact probably help us get a better loan. But he LOVES the car. I have always resisted him selling it when he has mentioned it before but this time I'm giving it serious thought. He brought it up again tonight. I feel awful if he sells b/c he loves it but it would help a LOT.

For me this is a big issue. My X would have sold it and then resented me for it. I would have pushed him to sell it because it was for the greater good of both of us. I'm scared to be involved in this decision.

Would you ecourage selling it?

risingfromashes posted 5/19/2014 23:07 PM

I would not encourage him to sell but rather share your fears/feeling with him. If he is someone you want to purchase a house you should be able to share your concerns.

worried_lady posted 5/19/2014 23:11 PM

Could he get a loan against it to help a little and pay it back to be able to keep it?

DepressedDaddy posted 5/19/2014 23:23 PM

I agree with RFA. Tell him your fears and why those fears are there. Then let him decide. If he wants to do it, let him. You will have told him why you are hesitant for him to do that, but love makes us do things we never thought we would.

absolut posted 5/20/2014 00:38 AM

Yes. Sell it.

I sell stuff for a living (for now, also a student.)

I can't tell you how often I've come across amazing finds at bargain prices. I've wanted to keep something special and rare. (vintage jewelry etc) In the end, I'm always happy when I make that sale and I'm able to take care of whatever bills and responsibilities I have for however long into the future.

These are real responsibilities you two are staring down. Living space for your children. The car is just a car. Want vs. Need. Eliminate stress.

NaiveAgain posted 5/20/2014 06:06 AM

He is wanting to make a sacrifice for your future together. How cool!

Find out how he really feels about selling it. If he is mentioning it but kind of grudgingly and you can tell he is hesitant, I wouldn't let him sell. But if he is somewhat insistent, then let him make that sacrifice. People make sacrifices all the time for the ones they love. It is actually a good, healthy thing (as long as it isn't done with martyrdom as the outcome!) If he is insistent and truly wants to do this for your future, let him and just show your appreciation for his sacrifice. Let him be the hero once in a while.

Williesmom posted 5/20/2014 07:58 AM

Sell the car. It's just stuff. You can always buy another one later when the kids are gone.

A new house is something that can improve the quality of life for the entire family.

Kudos to him for nutting up.

9.10.11 posted 5/20/2014 10:29 AM

Is this car an antique? New? Sentimental value?

hexed posted 5/20/2014 10:36 AM

Sentimental value. Life long desire that he bought 10 years ago. Not an antique. We could replace it but it was a very expensive car new. We would be unlikely to replace it any time soon.

Crescita posted 5/20/2014 10:43 AM

It sounds like he wants the house too so this isn't something you are forcing on him. Come up with a plan that doesn't involve selling the car, if he would rather sell the car than follow the plan that is up to him. He is a grown man making choices to benefit his family, and himself. He would have to be a ridiculous piece of work for resenting that.

Also, you have been sharing and are now planning to sell your home, a much bigger sacrifice than him selling his car.

InnerLight posted 5/21/2014 01:11 AM

I wouldn't push either way, but talk about it and ask open ended questions to better understand his motivation. I guess I would express my concern that he would resent it later.

It is gallant of him. Don't deny him that if he wants to do it. He might like his car but sometimes it feels better to be able to step and provide for the ones you love. If he does do it, don't fret for him as that will take away from his great gift to you. Appreciate his offering by being happy.

[This message edited by InnerLight at 1:13 AM, May 21st (Wednesday)]

NaiveAgain posted 5/21/2014 07:01 AM

Well, another thing...maybe he is maturing a bit. Maybe settling down into a house with you seems more like what he wants right now than collecting cars or something.....

I don't know what type of car it is, but I know with my SO, he had a hot sports car when he first met me. He ended up wrecking it, but now he is going more to something that is more family-like and doesn't take such expensive parts and upkeep and is easier on the is maturation on his part. Part of it, I think, is that he is mentally giving up his single hot rod days and settling down into more of a family type existence because that is what he desires at this point.

phmh posted 5/21/2014 07:05 AM

I tend to be quite conservative financially, but if he needs to sell the car in order to be able to afford the house, it sounds like you might not really be able to afford the house.

Because it's not just the purchase price -- it's the higher taxes and utilities on a larger house, the unknown deferred maintenance on a new-to-you house, etc.

Just something to think about -- ideally a larger house would be better, but for how long will you have the extra people, is there something more enjoyable you'd rather do with that money, are you going to be able to sleep at night knowing how close to the edge you're cutting it, etc.? You've been able to make this house work so far, can you continue to do so? Maybe a smaller house will make you even closer as a family since you'll have to actually interact with each other and not hole up in separate rooms. Will the increased financial pressure of a more expensive house and possible stress on him from selling a beloved item put additional relationship pressure on you, which will complicate things -- buying real estate together as unmarried persons?

Not to rain on your parade -- I just have a live below your means mindset so that you can be prepared in any emergency (when I bought my house, I put 25% down and had another 25% of the purchase price in easy to get at investments -- I could have bought a better house, but I didn't want to be house-poor.)

Good luck with your decision!!!

ETA: I'm about to head out the door to work, but started to worry about the tone of this. I feel like I'm frequently being a debbie downer, but I just have seen so many of my friends struggle financially, including losing their houses when they bought more than they could afford, that I wanted to make sure you'd looked at things from all angles.

I felt this way even before, but after the A even more so, that financial security is paramount, and that you never rely on the other person's income. You don't want to wind up being stuck in a terrible relationship (not saying yours is, but none of us thought we'd ever be in one) due to financial reasons. So now I am extra, extra cautious!!!

I know it was a different era, but my parents raised 4 kids in a 900 square foot house, and I really think the physical closeness helped us to be such a close family now.

[This message edited by phmh at 7:37 AM, May 21st (Wednesday)]

cayc posted 5/21/2014 08:15 AM

I'm with phmh for two reasons.

First she's right about the house poor metric. Especially if you're only upsizing for kids from whom in less than a decade you'll want to downsize. House money - if it's going to get you anywhere as an investment - has to be held on to for decades. It doesn't sound like from a larger housing perspective that you need it for 50 years.

Secondly, gear head here. Houses are really only places to keep your cars and motorcycles, kidding! Well maybe not. But cool cars that you love are fun to have. And hard to replace when you short sell them to be responsible. And more so, since I've moved around a lot I've fallen into the trap of selling/giving stuff away and I always live to regret it. Buy and hold works for stuff too.

hexed posted 5/21/2014 08:32 AM

I tend to agree on the house as an investment.

The monthly cost of the new house is similar to the cost of my house. On a monthly basis it won't make us "house poor" as the saying goes. Its the upfront cost of the purchase that is challenging us right now. We just paid off a lot of major bills so we're thin on savings at the moment.

Regarding the smaller house. I know people did and do it. However for me that is my own personal living hell. I am an only child. I like space. My hobbies mostly include being away from people. We HAVE to move. I HAVE to have an office. Not having one was somewhat the cause of me making a mistake that led to me losing a job and a side contract in January.

I definitely agree on the live below your means mindset. For us on a monthly basis this house would actually have lower utilities. Taxes are lower. The value of the house is actually slightly less than mine. Its larger but in a more rural area. I will break even on this house.

We have very little in the way of monthly bills or debt outside of household bills. Vehicles are paid for. Minimal credit card debt. Monthly bills will actually be dropping substantially in the next few months when the child support adjustment comes in for my SO. He will see a SUBSTANTIAL reduction in CS since he has custody of DD.

I burned through some of my savings with 3 months of no paychecks. We also paid off some larger debts just before that. That's why the savings is lower than it should be for house buying.

In reality, we really had not planned on buying until the fall when we were a little more prepped for it. This particular house just happens to suit EVERY requiremnt. Location is good. Size is perfect. Price is excellent. Meets a potential business need for SO as well as my office needs.

9.10.11 posted 5/21/2014 15:28 PM

Sounds like you have a man rather than a boy. He can see what is more important to the family.

Who doesn't have to sacrifice for the better of the family? Everyone does to some degree.

Weatherly posted 5/21/2014 16:53 PM

One of mine and Aussie's biggest fights to date has been him and his Jeep.

We had some major bills come around. He was in love with his Jeep. I said "we'll find something" he said "I'm trading the jeep". Getting rid of the car payment AND lowering gas bill. I kept saying no, he kept saying yes. He traded it anyway.

It did free up a lot of money. He still looks longingly at Wranglers for sale. But, ultimately I think I'm more upset about him trading it than he is.

I would not encourage him to sell it. But, I would tell him your thoughts, and then make sure he knows the decision is on him, ultimately. And, from experience, be prepared to hear "The second we don't have kids living at home, I'm selling the house and we'll live in a Jeep." (or whatever said car is).

cayc posted 5/21/2014 17:17 PM

Sounds like you have a man rather than a boy.

If the family were homeless, or couldn't meet their goals a few months later as planned, this might be true. But if he's sacrificing to speed up the inevitable, I wouldn't be able to support my SO taking such a penalty or asking one of me.

thyme2go posted 5/22/2014 00:40 AM

Do not do this if you are not already putting 10% of your income into a 401K or something similar for your retirement. Future first.

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