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My husband and I bought our late neighbor’s foreclosed home. My stepdaughter moved in — then the problems began

My husband and I bought a neighbor’s house that was foreclosed upon after his death.

I agree to buy a house with my husband if we both pay half. I paid most of the cost of the house. The plan is to fix it up and rent it out or sell it. My husband did most of the housework by himself. We want to split 28 acres of land to add to our property. We have owned the house for two and a half years.

My stepdaughter wants to rent a house. I told her she would need a roommate or two to be able to afford it. She said there would be no problem. She moved in in March 2020, paying $600 a month and didn’t want a roommate. Now she pays $800 a month. The home can be rented for $1,500 a month and sold for about $200,000. She is 35 years old and will get her PhD in one to two years.


‘I’m really angry. I want her to move out and I want to sell the house. ‘

I am really angry. I want her to move out and I want to sell the house. I said if she worked on landscaping and projects on real estate to offset the rent, I would agree to that, but she said, “I don’t do that.” It has caused a lot of controversy. My husband pissed me off when he said, “All you care about is money.”

I care about money, especially when it’s mine. I am being taken advantage of. I want to sell the house. My husband can help my daughter pay for an apartment if he wants to, but I don’t want to pay her to live in a house. I have no debt and save a lot for retirement. I’m 62 and hope to retire at 64. I work full time at night as a nurse. I appreciate your advice.

Wife and stepmother

YYou can email Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions regarding the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear stepmother,

If she has had a bad roommate in the past, find another roommate. Playing loosely with someone else’s property, or their money, is not right. A person’s discomfort with a roommate does not take away from their responsibility as an adult to keep their word and stick to the original agreement. She agreed with a roommate before moving in.

It’s not her home. When she has a house of her own, she can decide whether or not to have a roommate. She can pay the mortgage, or not pay the mortgage. She can do whatever she likes because she – and she alone – will suffer the consequences. It’s easy to change your mind when you’re not paying the bills.

Take emotion and personality out of the equation. If your husband wants to support his daughter, who broke his promise to him, it’s up to him. You get half of the $1,500 market rent of $750, and your husband gets the remaining $50. You’ve got a deal with him and his daughter. Not that you broke it.

Of course, it’s also $750 that isn’t your general retirement. If both are angry, this messy situation will affect their feelings more than the deal is broken. The implicit statement – “she believes I’m greedy / I believe she has the right” – will become stronger than the truth. Stick to the latter and stay calm.


Take emotion and personality out of the equation. If she has had a bad roommate in the past, find another roommate. Playing loosely with someone else’s property, or their money, is not right.

When family members move into housing, they usually have two things in their favor: 1. trust, which usually means they don’t sign a lease, and 2. leverage. They know the family dynamics and can play them like a neighbor blowing their stereo at 3 a.m., leaving everyone feeling overwhelmed and tired.

Renting to a family member who uses their relationships as a way to change the tenancy creates a constant chaos. Exhibition A: The woman who rented to her niece before her sister also moved in, refused to pay the agreed-upon rent and stayed for many years. Their motto is one of opposite hospitality: “Tu casa es mi casa.”

This looks like a sequel to the B-movie for TV, the unreleased “Kramer vs. Kramer”. So what do you want to do now? Tell your husband and stepdaughter that it’s not a good idea to combine business investment with family, and your stepdaughter has reverted to having roommates.


She may be a hard-working, kind, wonderful person, but you’ve got a deal. You can’t let her take advantage of her relationship with her father to play Princess Dr.

Your stepdaughter is playing tricks on you, relying on your old “evil stepmother” trick to get cheap accommodation. If she was allowed to change her words now, what precedent does that set for your family, and what lesson does this teach her about how the world works?

You are paying for this lost rent. You work to financially support your husband and your future. You’ve paid most of your down payment, and now you’re working long shifts, some of which supplement your stepdaughter’s rent. You can’t let her take advantage of her relationship with her father to play Princess Dr.

Yes, it’s about money. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s also about keeping your word and showing respect for your family, and now it’s about approving bad behavior. She chose not to accept a roommate in a house she couldn’t afford. Give her a deadline to move out after your state’s eviction moratorium expires.

I don’t believe the current arrangement is respectful or a solid foundation for a healthy relationship. She may be a hard-working, kind, wonderful person, but you’ve got a deal. This house is a huge financial liability, and she is benefiting from it – and taking advantage of it.

Even without a lease, she broke the social contract – not you.

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More movies by Quentin Fottrell:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/my-husband-and-i-bought-our-late-neighbors-foreclosed-home-my-stepdaughter-moved-in-then-the-problems-began-11626193496?rss=1&siteid=rss

Hung

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