Buying A Home
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Nervous about Neighbors

Hello everyone,

       My boyfriend and I are in the process of house hunting. We are not engaged/married. We haven't really felt the urge to take that step even though we have been living together for quite some time. But we'd like to buy a home because the market is so good and we have the opportunity at this time. We have found two that we really love, but they are in an area that is largely an older demographic. I'm 25 and he's 31 so we aren't super young. But, living in an older (read more conservative) area in the south, I'm beginning to be concerned that we might be looked at as that "young unmarried couple living in sin." I've learned to ignore it when people give us a strange look when we mention buying a house before we get married, but I'm concerned about what it might be like to live with it every day. How would you suggest dealing with a neighbor who has that attitude, or one who gets rude about it being against their upbringing, or worst of all the ones who might start pushing us to tie the knot before we decide to????

 Thanks,

Not-the-Mrs.

Re: Nervous about Neighbors

  • Ignore the comments - that is their problem, not yours.  Why does it bother you if you are solid in your being OK with the situation as it stands?  Come up with a reply that you can whip out as needed  -

    As for buying a house together - I would tred lightly and wisely.  Set up a plan as to how you will handle the house should the relationship end.  You have fewer protections without marriage.

    You do not have to be friends with your neighbors, just do your best to be civil and respectful.  Choose friends among those who accept you as you are.

  • It doesn't bother me so much in terms of making us uncomfortable in the relationship, but everyone wants to get along with neighbors :)

    As far as buying the house, we have discussed those things and have a plan just in case (nothing wrong with a contingency plan.) We are also aware of the headache that would be, but we feel that this is the best move at this time. We are financially fit for this step, and (luckily) got pre qualified for a really great rate.

  • I would advise drawing up an agreement on what happens if you break up. Seriously. I have a friend in a really crappy situation right now bc they didn't do that. And they were even engaged. It's not just a headache. It's litigation and a complete nightmare keeping him tied to her after she cheated on him.

    As far as what your neighbors think, I think you just need to do what is right for you and not worry about what they think. 

  • We are in the process of paperwork, I assure you all we are not going into that part of it lightly. As far as neighbors go, I guess I feel sort of intimidated by the 55+ set because that is my parents' age and it is often difficult for me to tell them to buzz off.
  • The neighbors need to mind their own business. When you decide to be married is your business. But, they are entitled to their opinions. You cannot prevent that. You can just choose how you want to deal with it.

    However, I would strongly encourage you to rethink buying a home with someone you are not legally tied to as you would be in marriage. It gets very, very messy if you split up. And, generally, the MM advice isn't to comingle finances unless you are engaged or married anyway. It's so complicated if you split up. You have no recourse against someone you're dating, at least not the same kind married couples would have.

    Yes, I know it can be complicated if you're married too and get divorced, but the break up stats are in married couples' favor against not breaking up.

    Are you okay running the risk of your personal/individual future finances, retirement, credit rating, being harmed IF this relationship doesn't work? Because if it doesn't and the house tanks in a short sale or a foreclosure, all of your future will be ruined at least for 10-15 years.

    Can you rent...you'd still be living together?

    The housing market will be depressed for a long while. It is slightly going up in some markets, but not overall and foreclosures will continue to hit the market. All signs point to not rushing.

  • image lisakae44:
    But, living in an older (read more conservative) area in the south, I'm beginning to be concerned that we might be looked at as that "young unmarried couple living in sin."

    Groan.  Did you have to say that?  You're new, so you don't know about the regional prejudice on here.  The nest is predominantly northeasterners, a good number of whom believe we southerners are running around barefoot and toothless.  You've just fed fuel to their fire.  Sigh.

    I've lived in the south my entire life and I've never encountered anything like you're describing, not even when, yes, I lived with my boyfriend in college.  I think you're projecting your own insecurities onto others.  You're not exactly pushing social boundaries a la Loving v. Virginia circa 1967. Do a little introspection and see if you're really happy with not being married.

    Besides, I don't know where you live, but in my south, people are too polite to ever dream of saying a word.  They might think it, but I don't know a single person so lacking in manners as to actually say something.

    And allow me to add my voice to the chorus urging you not to buy a house together.  For starters, two unmarried people on one loan will not get as good an interest rate because the bank views it as an investment, not a primary home.  That means if you want the great rates, only one of you can get the note.  That means the other will be paying the one rent.  Is that really what you want?  Of course not. Like MommyLiberty said, rates aren't going up any time soon.  Rent isn't "throwing money away" - you're going to have to pay for a roof over your head no matter what, so just sit tight.  I, too, have seen "oh, we're never breaking up" homeownership situations go to heck in a handbasket.

  • DH and I moved into an older community when we moved a neighbor came over and told us do not be shocked if people did not talk to us. We are Black the neighborhood was majority white, only one other Black guy that lived there. After a while everyone was saying hi and super nice. It takes people time for change. I think you should do what is best for you and your SO, but make sure you protect your butt. I would say that even if you were married. 
  • sounds like you're being responsible with the pre-married house purchase.   As for the neighbors....kill em with kindness.  be cheerful, helpful, courteous to them, etc.  friendly people are harder to hate -- even if their upbringing and opinions are opposite of yours =)

     


  • Wow.  I think you're confusing the generation of these older people.  Most people who were young in the '60s and '70s were "living in sin" at one point or another.  I very much doubt they're going to be upset about your doing it now.  Nostalgic, maybe.
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