My family and I have decided that we are going to purchase my parents’ home and build them an addition to live in, while we will take over the main house. So far, the only difficulties we have encountered are things we just did not expect.
Hurdle #1: getting a mortgage for construction. Our circumstances are a bit unusual, in that I am the breadwinner in the family and my husband is the stay-at-home parent. Nevertheless, our finances and credit history are rock-solid. So, I never would have guessed that our biggest hurdle to getting a mortgage would be revealed when a banker asked me pointedly, “Where is the husband in all of this?” Meaning, of course, that he could not figure out why I was the one co-signing a mortgage application with my parents, why my husband has no income to report, and how it is possible that I could be the parent to move to a new city in advance of my family. Maybe this banker stayed up too late watching a marathon of Mad Men and forgot what year this is.
Hurdle #2: everyone thinks that the only reason we could possibly have for making this choice would be a crisis of some sort, whether health- or job-related. This is just not so, at least not for us. Aren’t there any other families out there who have made this choice because it was just the best choice for the family, for long-term finances, and to make a plan for how to care for aging parents in years to come? Aren’t there any sources of advice on, say, how to share a kitchen with your parents? In all fairness, I have found a small handful of references to this kind of information, but to say they are limited in number would be an understatement.
I’m extremely glad we’ve made this choice, but I just did not realize that we would be considered “pioneers.” I don’t really have any desire to be a pioneer in this area! Nonetheless, we will tread on without fear, with love in our hearts, and hoping that we make good decisions on our family pioneer trek.