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In-Laws...A different take, perhaps.

Chiffonade_'s picture

I was going to entitle this thread
i OK, So We're Homeowners...
but I was eventually driven to call it what I did.

i (Read on.)

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #1 of 65)

S.O. and I truly desired to own a home. We're tired of paying such a large lump of money every month toward someone
i else's
mortgage. We examined our financial situation. After several minutes of cursing our bad fortune, we began thinking of how we could get this to work.

As it happened, I found out I could remove $10,000 from my 401K for first time home purchase without suffering any pentalty. So there was $10,000, now where to get the rest for the down payment?

S.O. was discussing this with his mom one day, quite off the cuff. We know she enjoys hearing about our lives, the restaurant, my daughter, etc. When he told her we could come up with $10,000, her response was, "Go look for something and I'll see what I can do." We were stunned.

We looked around for a home and came across a 101 year old "duplex" (this is what they call a two-family residence here - back east it's a "mother/daughter"). The particulars were discussed and we made up our minds. This was the place we wanted to call home.

We spoke about it to S.O.'s mom and came up with the plan that she and I would be on the mortgage as his financial situation was worse than mine. What I lack in financial stability, I make up for in "life" stability - this coupled with MIL's buying power got us mortgage approval. She plans to change the deed to reflect his name once the transaction is complete.

The mortgage company
i did
tack on another 5% because it's a two family dwelling. MIL and I spoke about this and she said it was no problem. During this conversation, I told her my friends were all on their third house but they also had the benefit of marrying well the first time. I told her more dreams have come true for me in the past two years than in the preceding thirty-nine. I'm finally with someone I can't picture my life
i without.
After all my years of dating/marriage/dating/marriage/dating, I feel settled, comfortable and loved. I told her I felt somewhat "behind" because I'm 41 and feel like I'm "just getting settled." She asked me "don't you feel lucky it happened at all? Some people never find that 'soul mate'."

Now for the punchline...S.O. spoke to his mom two days ago and she made the announcement that
i the money used for the house is not to be paid back to her.
She described it as "part of your inheritance, anyway." She has given us a great deal of support, both moral and financial, since I got here in 1998. When S.O. and I met, she was very happy but ambivalent. When I moved here, she was impressed. When we visited for Christmas 1998, I think she finally realized that I was in the game for the long haul and fully embraced my daughter and me. When we opened the restaurant, she was utterly thrilled for us. Now she has helped us to realize yet
i another

It took me 3 tries, but I finally have found a family to join with who are good, kind, loving and non-judgmental. No more psycho MIL's for me!

The next 3 weeks will prove to be crazy I'll visit when I can. My best to all. Hope your Christmas turns out as well as mine is...and it's only November 30.

Wolverine's picture

(post #57235, reply #2 of 65)

Absolute, total CONGRATS, Chiffy! You deserve such good fortune!! Have a great holiday - and keep us posted as you can!! :-)

Jean_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #3 of 65)

You two were obviously meant for each other. Why not make SO's DM's dream come true and make it legal? The third time's the charm, right? Blessings.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #57235, reply #4 of 65)

Congrats Chiffy!

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #5 of 65)

I'm so excited that you are getting to buy a home, but even more excited that you have such a wonderful family in your life. She's right, you know, about
i She asked me "don't you feel lucky it happened at all? Some people never find that 'soul mate'."
Your first home together-it is so romantic. Please tell us all the details about it.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #6 of 65)

i Why not make SO's DM's dream come true and make it legal?
Spoken like the true mother of this board!!! BTW, in California at least, she'd still have to add his name to the deed or it wouldn't be considered community property.

Mer1's picture

(post #57235, reply #7 of 65)

Congrats Chiff! What a fabulous Christmas present! (Not just the house, but seeing what a wonderful family you have now.)

chiqui_new_orleans's picture

(post #57235, reply #8 of 65)

*'s obvious that GOD has truly blessed you with a wonderful SO (future Husband) and HIS wonderful family as don't forget our old fashioned Italian a new broom and sweep the front porch in front of the doorway!!!!!!LOL

May your new home be filled with many blessed years of LOVE, Laughter, and great memories!!!!! It's neva too late to start living a beautiful I am at 50 trying to find mine!!!! Thank GOD we have the priviledge to do so!!

Adele_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #9 of 65)

Sniff, sniff- what a WONDERFUL story Chiff. I feel so happy for you.

SallyBR_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #10 of 65)

What a wonderful post!

Brought tears to my eyes (not that it's THAT difficult to happen... :-)

I think I can understand very well where you are, because my situation is similar. Second marriage happened last March, four days before my 40th Birthday. FINALLY I feel happy, loved, complete. After quite a bit of trial and error....

Your MIL sounds like a fantastic woman, which means your husband gotta be a fantastic man!


samchang_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #11 of 65)

That's fantastic, Chiff! Having a good family is one of life's essential ingredients for happiness. One not-so-essential ingredient is owning a home, but it sure does beat paying a monthly fee that you can't deduct from your taxes. Good time to buy, too: interest rates can only go up! In my mind I see you and SO and DD living in a house out on the high desert, the cliffs of Mesa Verde in the background . . . .

cam14's picture

(post #57235, reply #12 of 65)

How wonderful for you both! Great news. I love reading your posts - you have the most heartwarming stories. I think it's time to put them in a Journal or book form for DD to read and savour later on.

Tracy_K's picture

(post #57235, reply #13 of 65)


What a beautiful story, you truly are blessed, and in many more ways than one! Can't wait to see pics of the new place...


Full-fledged's picture

(post #57235, reply #14 of 65)

Sometimes dreams to fall out of the clear blue sky. Is your jaw off the floor yet?


Cissy_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #15 of 65)

What a loving and generous person you SO's mother is. I wish you the best of luck in this new adventure -- and owning a house is an ongoing adventure. It's certainly a fantastic beginning to the holiday season!

SandraM's picture

(post #57235, reply #16 of 65)

Congrats, Chiff. You do realize, I hope, that one definition of a century home is that it's a hole in the ground into which you pour money? (&8;-) )

Sounds like you have an angel for a MIL, and you deserve nothing less. I am happy for all four of you (you, DD, SO & MIL)and the assorted four-legged furry critters who tag along with you.

Will your behemouth stove fit into the new/old kitchen? It's early days, I know, to think about renos/redecos, but if you're looking for some good, cheap-chic decorating books, check your local library for any of Terence Conran/Jocasta Innes' books -- DIY With Style, Conran's Kitchen Book, and the Conran Book of Soft Furnishings are particularly excellent both for ideas and for assuming that you probably have more taste than money. One nice thing too is that a lot of the ideas don't even take much time to achieve.

Keep me in touch with what you're doing -- it's one of my life dreams to reno a century house, and since I'll not likely do it myself, I'd love to live the experience vicariously through you guys.

kai_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #17 of 65)

i it's one of my life dreams to reno a century house, and since I'll not likely do it myself, I'd love to live the experience vicariously through you guys.

Ditto, Sandra!

And WTG^5 Chiff!

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #18 of 65)

i it's one of my life dreams to reno a century house, and since I'll not likely do it myself, I'd love to live the experience vicariously
Oh, where were you when we owned our incredibly beautiful but rattletrap Victorian a while back? It was so drafty that my hair would blow at the kitchen sink in the wintertime, and there was the episode w/ the 22 gas leaks from capped off gas lights / wall heater. It did have all of its original windows, mouldings and round glass doorknobs-so what's a little gas in the walls!

As DH was fond of saying, the next old house I buy to fix up will be with my next husband.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #57235, reply #19 of 65)

AOFTM. Congratulations. However buying an old house can be interesting. Rent the movie "Money Pit"

samchang_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #20 of 65)

Well, with all that gas in the walls you must have been glad that the house was so well ventilated!

Michael_P.'s picture

(post #57235, reply #21 of 65)

Now the 'puter screen has gone all blurry.
Congratulations. Get subscriptions to Old House Journal, Old House Interiors, and Renovators catalogue. There you can have access to all the info you'll need.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #22 of 65)

It happened a week after we bought the house-we called PG&E because we smelled gas. They red-tagged the house and shut off our gas.The wiring was a nightmare-one spark and a whole wall would have ignited. Previous owners paid for repairs.

and that was only the beginning...

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #23 of 65)

Congratulation, Chiff and SO! We just bought our first house 4 years ago (it's 119 years old). I know what you're going through (or will be going through). We almost completely renovated the house in the first three months (can you say stressful? and I was pregnant at the time, too). Good luck!

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #24 of 65)

c OK, so I'm getting ready to prep 100 baklava for the Hooterville Chamber of Commerce...

And the phone rings. "This is the Mark and Brian radio show, we'd like to put your voice on the air." "Sure," I tell them, "go ahead."

Mark and Brian are two psycho DJ's who have a radio show out of California. It's syndicated all over the west. They are known to help people play jokes on friends and also to help deliver bad news. I guess they think getting a phone call from them will soften the blow for the "bad-news-recipient." We listen to the show every morning, so I was intrigued.

"We have (S.O.) here, and he has something to tell you." The next voice I heard was S.O. saying, "Honey, I think I left something in the oven overnight." We sometimes keep food warm in the oven and if you don't remember it's there, it becomes the next day's science project. "Oh, really?" I ask. "Could you look for me?" he says "It would be the left oven."

Juggling the phone, I open the oven door and remove a full sized sheet tray on which I find this message:

c Will you marry me?

in bread dough.

"Oh, my God...Oh, my God...I have to lean on something," is all I can get out. One of the DJ's says, "So what's your answer??" "Of course I'll marry you," squeaks out. "Good," S.O. says, "I'd be really embarassed if I made an ass out of myself in front of millions of people!!"

I tell S.O. "You know, this rarely ever happens but I'm rendered speechless." "Yes," he says, "That would be a first."

Rebecca's picture

(post #57235, reply #25 of 65)

Chiff - that is the best (and most romantic, of course!) story I have heard in a long time (and maybe ever...congratulations! wow.......

Messy_Cook's picture

(post #57235, reply #26 of 65)

Oh Chiff
How Wonderful!

My eyes were watering enough with the 1st story.

Best wishes to the both of you and many long happy years together.

Your fiance and MIL sound great
I'm blessed with a great MIL and hubby too.
Life would be perfect if we could do something about
the wicked witch of the east (his sister)
Oh well at least she live 2000 miles away.

All the best!

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #27 of 65)

Congratulations again, Chiff. You deserve the best. Wishing you even more happy times....

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #57235, reply #28 of 65)

Still more great news Chiff! Yet another wonderful event to celebrate this season.

Cissy_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #29 of 65)

Oh, sniff. Chiff, your latest message was cause to run for the kleenex box.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #57235, reply #30 of 65)

You MUST write a book, what a charmed life you lead...