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AIBU to listen to but not take MiL's housebuying advice?

(46 Posts)
cirrus29 Wed 08-Feb-17 00:56:39

We are hoping to buy a house with substantial financial help (30-40% of the total cost) from parents in law, so have tried to involve them, asking advice, even taking them along to a few viewings. MiL has taken a shining to a 1930s detached house on a main road and is determined that we should make an offer on that over a Victorian terrace just a few streets away but sheltered from traffic. Perhaps the mistake was involving her in the looking in the first place, but are we bound to take her recommendation if we take the cash? I think we may have already fallen out by accident as she sees my attempts at reasoning with her as adversarial, and I really have no stomach for arguing in general, least of all with her. I now feel too disturbed to continue with househunting at all - perhaps we should just go it alone and settle for a flat?!

bloodyteenagers Wed 08-Feb-17 00:59:38

I would go it alone.
First it's the house you should buy.'
The it's the furniture. The decoration. Them having spare keys and coming and going when they please. The putting up the distant relative or their mates in their second home.

KC225 Wed 08-Feb-17 01:07:19

I would go it alone or at least establish some firm boundaries. Are they offering 'financial help' or 'making an investment'. Maybe try a 'we don't want to fall out over the choice especially when you are offering to be so generous' these may alert them to back off a little but I suspect 'bloodyteenagers' post above is close to the mark.

Good luck OP

Wigbert Wed 08-Feb-17 01:18:11

I think it depends on the basis of the help. Are they (a) gifting the money for the house to you (b) giving you a loan that you pay back or (c) are they going to be part owners?

If a or b then it is totally up to you as the property will be your home. If c then they should have some say in where their money is invested.

In most in law disputes I think you should let your DH deal with them and you should just nod, smile, and do what you want anyway.

JennyWoodentop Wed 08-Feb-17 01:27:41

If you've already fallen out with her before making an offer that doesn't bode well for the future.

As above you need to be very clear about the terms and conditions of any financial input from them & be clear about what rights & privileges they feel that brings them, and if you feel that's worth it for you. She may just be excited, but if she's being controlling & thinks she gets the last word on everything, I'd be thinking about walking away from it

EmeraldScorn Wed 08-Feb-17 01:33:25

Settle for a flat if it means not relying on the in-laws for financial support, honestly if you can't for whatever reason make the decisions about your new home you really would be better buying a property that you can afford on your own.

The mental pain of feeling like you owe them money will take the shine of the excitement of getting on the housing ladder, if she's giving opinions now imagine what she'll be like when it comes to decorating.

You really have to set very firm boundaries or you'll end up in a three way relationship - Start as you mean to go on, don't let them dictate to you, be assertive and make your own decisions at all times.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Wed 08-Feb-17 01:35:32

You need to have a proper sit down conversation about the money, that it's yours to purchase a house that suits you etc. Involve them but not in decision making. Having them involved in the decision making process is a disaster. What will happen when you pick carpets MiL doesn't like or want to patio over a lawn when FIL thinks you need flower beds and a rockery.

FireInTheHead Wed 08-Feb-17 01:40:00

If they pay, they get a say. Heard that said about weddings here and it's true, when someone puts cold, hard cash on the table many of them want to control how it's spent. It's really up to you how big a say you want your ILs to have in your home but given MIL is already dictating terms at the house-hunting stage, you're going to have about as much say as tenants in terms of future home improvement decisions by the time you move in somewhere! I'd definitely try and go it alone if at all possible.

lazydog Wed 08-Feb-17 02:18:00

Go it alone, if you can, otherwise she kind of does deserve a say if they're putting that much money into the purchase. I guess, though, it depends, (as I think someone else may have said?) whether their contribution is meant to be a gift, or whether they're going to be part owners..?

However, having lived in both types of properties you describe, I'd take living in a 1930s detached (which was right on a very major road - the A56) over dealing with our horrible neighbours in a terrace on a quiet street (quiet traffic wise, anyway) any day!!

Trifleorbust Wed 08-Feb-17 04:16:01

No-one has a say in which property you buy, unless they have an ongoing interest (are going to be part owners with you). If the money is a gift or a loan, it is entirely your decision what to buy. However, you might feel morally beholden to her because she is helping, which is why I would suggest declining the help and waiting until you can afford to buy without feeling like this.

AlmostAJillSandwich Wed 08-Feb-17 04:57:06

I live in a terraced house on a quiet (traffic wise) street that was built between 1886 and 1908 (according to maps available on, it was a field on the 1886 map and the houses were there in the next available map, 1908)
It is INCREDIBLY noisy. My permanent neighbours to the side where we share the front and middle room (and 2 main bedroom) are decent, but he has a constant cough he's had for years, you hear him all night, every night, and downstairs you hear their cuckoo clock (which gets set progressively earlier every time the clocks go back or forward!) and his frequent nose blowing, which sounds like someone playing an actual trumpet!
The house the other side is let out on 6-12 month leases and the noise level is SO much worse. The shared wall consists of the hallway, stairs, upstairs landing, as well as the master bedroom and kitchen. My dad has the master bedroom, and they are forever being incredibly noisy. They mustn't have stair carpet as it sounds like someone running on wood in steel toe caps, they bang about the bedroom every night in the early hours as well as in the kitchen. It actually sounds like they're hitting hammers on the kitchen wall at 4am and it is most nights, same with in the bedroom. In the past 5 years we've had a procession of families with young kids, every time the baby woke in the night, it woke us up too. Every time one family moves out renovations are done, every couple of years they get a trasher and the work is quite extensive, and there's no escaping it. We've had lightbulbs in our kitchen unscrewed by the vibrations of drilling on the shared wall and they fell out smashing all over the floor. Our electricity mains box was also linked up to theirs, and when we needed work doing they had to have the neighbours permission to go and do work in their house on their box too or we would have been stuck with no electricity.
No way in a million years would i ever choose to live in a terraced house again if i had the option of a detached, i'm assuming even modern built terraces aren't any better noise insulated through the walls. At least with a detached even on a main road if it's set back a bit because of a front yard, garden or driveway with decent double/triple glazed windows it would probably be a lot less noisy.

Basicbrown Wed 08-Feb-17 06:25:49

Yeah I'm with MIL on this. But your house needs to be your decision not hers. I think viewing with her was a mistake. Can you leave it a few weeks and see if anything else comes up - if it was me her enthusiasm for that one while discounting that I didn't want to live on a main road would have put me off it even if it was the best option confused😂

Basicbrown Wed 08-Feb-17 06:27:38

I'm assuming even modern built terraces aren't any better noise insulated through the walls

We lived in a 70s terrace and could hear nothing. It was an ex council house though - I suspect that may make a difference.

CaptainHarville Wed 08-Feb-17 06:42:29

I'm in a modern terraced house built 2003 never heard the neighbours and sound insulation is fantastic.

But some people are bothered about different things. For me I would never live on a through road not because of noise from traffic but from safety and security point of view. If my kids or dogs ever accidentally escaped out the front door the chances of it ending tragically are very slim because our road is so quiet.

I don't think everyone expects a say. My parents gave us money but never said anything about how we spend it.

contractor6 Wed 08-Feb-17 06:45:19

Lived in many houses, the best and quietest two where 1930 ex local authority.
Victorian terrace was quiet, but very drafty.
Modern detached is the noisiest house ever, hence currently awake so early!

JanuaryMoods Wed 08-Feb-17 06:55:55

I would choose detached over terraced every time. No need to shush the DCs and have your music as loud as you like.

chanie44 Wed 08-Feb-17 07:01:30

We had help from family with our deposit but we made all of the decisions.

Choosing a home is a personal decision and a home that suits one person, may not be suitable for another.

I would hope that MIL is trying to be helpful, but you need to clarify expectations - who gets the final say.

AllTheLight Wed 08-Feb-17 07:02:39

As others have said, it depends on the nature of the financial support (gift / loan / investment). Assuming it's one of the first two, you need to make the final decision.

When DH and I first bought a house, my parents gave us a contribution towards the deposit. Also DH was living abroad at the time, so my mum cane with me to house viewings. She and I disagreed on which one to put an offer in, but I went against her wishes - after all, she wasn't going to be living there!

Maybe abandon both these options and start again, and don't take them to viewings this time?

Bitlost Wed 08-Feb-17 07:06:13

Go it alone. There will always me many strings attached with such a large gift.

Cakingbad Wed 08-Feb-17 07:10:17

Are you her MIL, Jill?

nannybeach Wed 08-Feb-17 07:11:47

A fatal combination MIL, and cash offer. As the other guys have said depends if its loan, part buy together. Personally, I would always be detached, having had noisy neighbour, of every sort in the past. I love people, dont get me wrong, but noisy kids, all night parties, TV, DIY, dogs, elderly deaf neighbours TV full volumn, er no. I personally wouldnt take anyone else on viewings buying a house is subjective, one mans meat is another mans poison.

toomuchfaster Wed 08-Feb-17 07:13:23

My parents gave us some money towards a deposit. That was the sum total of their input as they aren't local. I discussed things with them, as did DH with his parents, but the decision was entirely ours.
IMO, they only get a say if they are investing and will be on the deeds. If not, leave them out of it as you have to live there and it will be the start of a slippery slope.
Also, I wouldn't ever choose to live in a terrace!! Flats have been bad enough for noise.

BarbarianMum Wed 08-Feb-17 07:14:45

Advice is just that. As you are accepting their help I think you are honour-bound to listen to it. But the decision is yours.

HappyFlappy Wed 08-Feb-17 07:15:31

Got alone, definitely.

If she's like this before you buy, can you imagine what she will be like when you do? DO NOT GIVE HER (or anyone else) POWER OVER YOU!

I've seen similar in my own family - it's not pretty, causes huge discord and much misery.

HappyFlappy Wed 08-Feb-17 07:18:18

*Go it

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