Post # 1
Perhaps it is just my wife’s culture. Currently we are renting and it is difficult for me to save. She doesn’t work as much and doesn’t contribute to the bills. All of the money she saved occurred before she met me ans before we moved to Australia. Now her parents are living in poverty back in China and her whole family want to pitch in the 20% deposit for an apartment signed in her parents name here in Sydney.
At first she told me that she will work hard to make sure that the repayment will be met. Then if I want to stay there, I must contribute to the bills. Of course I was upset with her talking like that at first. But I said I would help out as long as she regarded this house as a place for us to live until we get on our feet and save up for another home of our own.
When I first got married, I honestly thought we would be saving together for our first home but the situation is such that she has substantial savings to contribute, meanwhile I’m unable to contribute to the deposit money due to my lack of funds.
She proposed an alternative that we buy this property and rent it out to others while still keeping it signed in her parents name and we can rent somewhere else.
I’m not sure what to do. My work is not enough to save for a house and I am concerned about being treated like an object that is just trying to set up her and her parents. I know it is wrong to think about the worst situation, but I am worried about her parents trying to kick me out and tell me to get going once they have a house. Let their daughter stay and pretty much tell me, the sucker, to get lost. Then I’ll be out of pocket for however much I contributed towards their mortgage.
Any thoughts or opinions on this?
I am just trying to protect myself from being used. I feel like whatever I work for should be part of my future and not belonging to someone else.
The only positive thing I can think of is that it gives my wife’s parents a nice place to stay, a better life, we have a place to stay, she has her mother with her instead of in another country and her parents can help us save money by cooking nice meals for us. This last part is particularly important as my wife struggles with he Western food here.
So maybe I’m being too apprehensive. I just feel like I want to protect myself and at the same time consider our future for a family. I’m 30 soon and want to settle down and have kids. But first I need a stable income and direction.
Post # 3
It’s a nice thought but it sounds like you need to be working on your own housing situation. I would never contribute to a mortgage if I wasn’t listed as the owner.
Post # 4
It’s smart to think about these things in advance. Real estate can be a tricky situation that ties people together for a long time, and I think it’s a good sign that you’re thinking seriously about the potential repurcussions of signing on to this deal. I’ve worked with people before who have co-signed on mortgages for family members that the family member ultimately did not pay, which ruined everyone’s credit.
Will the new house payment be similar to what you currently pay in rent? If not, is there reason to expect more income from your wife’s parents? If you can comfortably afford the new payment, and are fairly certain that you can get along with your wife’s parents long term, there doesn’t seem to be a major reason to be concerned about the mortgage not being paid.
It would probably be well worth the money to track down a bi-lingual real estate attorney, and have them help you to draw up a contract that specifies who owns what percentage of the property, how things will be handled if one party wants to sell and one does not, what happens in case of divorce, etc. It’s not nice to think about, but it’s better to write all these things down properly when everyone is in a good mood, so that the rules are in place if things go bad later.
Overall, this could be a great opportunity for your whole family. I hope it works out.
Post # 5
Thanks for the replies so far. I want to clarify that shebwants to sign the home in her parents name seeing as they will contribute the bulk of the deposit and she wants them to have a decent home of their own. Plus she argues that they also outplayed a substantial amount for our wedding in China. I was told that if I don’t want to contribute, that would be done but the room would be rented out to another person who can assist in the repayment… basically this house will be in her parents name. It would also allow us to qualify for the first home buyers grant later on.
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2014 - Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Reading this of course is one sided b/c we do not know her viewpoint. Still, I do not think this sounds like a great idea. This is my opinion, but who cares if her parents payed a lot toward your wedding…its probably their custom to pay for their daughters wedding. I see a few problems with your story/situation- if her parents are truly living in poverty in China, how in the heck did they pay for the weding? In addition, if your wife had savings she could have used some of it for the wedding, which in turn would have allowed her parents to save their own money toward the purchase of their own house. Think about it, does any of this sound logical to you?
She could use her savings toward the deposit of a house for the both of you and both of you can contact a lawyer to discuss options of how it works when the money she saved was before you two got married. She’ll be entitled to a larger amount of the selling price if you got divorced later on. Question- If your wife puts this deposit down for her parents, does your wife get her money back eventually from her parents? I doubt it. If you end up doing this does this make you obligated to them for the rest of your life…how does this deal work really? Your wife is paying the deposit and you are busting your butt working to pay their mortgage. I don’t think so.
I think maybe she is trying to prevent you from getting your hands on her savings so she wants to put property in her parents name to be safe. And if this is the case…this should have been settled before you two got married! You sound like a reasonable person…but I would not be busting my butt either while she sits on hers and has this huge savings account. I guess my custom is a little different and married folks share their responsibilities. Once you are married number one responsiblity is one another, your children, and building your life together, usually seperate from the parents. Sounds like you got a lot of thinking to do, hope you two can make the right decision together!
Post # 7
Thanks again. I’ll try to clarify that her parents used their life savings for the wedding and she promised them a home as a trade-off with their savings. Something was mentioned in Chinese at her aunty’s home about buying a house just prior to our wedding but she turned to me and said not to worry about it and we can think about buying our home later when we get setup in Australia.
Here is the thing, she is obligated to buy her parents a home… she wants to ask the rest of her relatives to come up with the other half of the deposit so she can secure the home. She will then pay them back. When I questioned her on doing these things, she told me that she doesn’t need my help and can afford the repayments on her own and that I can work and save the deposit for own home without her help. Two situations:
1. I contribute to the home for her parents and we live together with them under the one roof.
2. She pays for the home herself and my wages go towards us renting outside meanwhile someone rents the room with her parents to help towards her parent’s mortgage.
At this point, I think it’s fair to say that I have outlaid a significant expense just to maintain us both here in Australia and that’s part of the reason I have less savings from my low wages. Without her, I’d be paying a lot less of everything and would have saved a lot more by now. But I’m not complaining because she is my wife and I chose to support her and bring her out here to my country. It’s part of a man’s responsibility.
I read somewhere that actually her parents are unable to invest in an existing dwelling here in Australia. It must be in the name of a permanent resident or citizen. Trying to circumvent the laws can result in fines, inprisonment and significant costs associated with forfeiture of the contract and repayment of the home. My wife isn’t a PR until the end of the year. Additionally, if the house is placed in her name, then any disputes through divorce would mean that I would still be entitled to a portion of the house (which would be fair if I contribute to the mortgage). Divorce is far from my mind but I want to know I’m investing my money in the right way – buying a house is a substantial investment.
There are a lot of issues to work through yet.
Post # 8
@soul83: So your wife lied to you about the fact that you would both have to pay for her parent’s house?
This sounds really odd to me and I would be weary to put any money towards it. If she wanted you to be a part of it she should have told you about this in the first place, not after they spent their life savings on your wedding…
Post # 9
@ms-valentine: I agree with this. I don’t think that you should have been out of loop until after the wedding was over. You two need to have a serious discussion about this. She could use her saved money from before the wedding to pay for her parents house but I’m not sure I would want to save up money on my side after paying for our rent in order to buy a house for the two of us after all of this.
Post # 10
What a messy situation. She wants to buy her parents a house even though you don’t own a house? She has lots of savings she views as her own but she doesn’t contribute to any bills? Doesn’t sound good to me.
Post # 11
I think you shoud post this in the Wedding Relates->Asian thread because I think the responses you are going to get here are going to be very Western. Not to say they are wrong, but this situaton might be common practice in her culture where to me, an American women it sounds like you are being scamed.
Post # 12
So your wife accepted a lavish wedding from her parents on the understanding she’d pay for and provide them with a home later, without checking with you if you’d be ok with that arrangement? (Without giving you a choice to decline the lavish wedding? That would be super problematic to me. is the wedding more than the house? Perhaps you can just repay the wedding costs and chalk it up to incredibly expensive lesson.
who is expected to make payments on the home after it is bought? Were you and your wife expected to move into this home as well? I’m a little confused.
Post # 13
To be clear, the setup was that she wanted to work to pay off the home with little or no contribution from me. Then all of us live under the same roof.
And yes I feel like she is just trying to secure herself and her family a new life in Australia. Then she can tell me to get going…
Sometimes I feel like telling her that I will leave once she gets setup in this country.
I font understand why her parents are making this demand on her for a better house. Something to do with them spending their life savings on their daughter and expecting to be repaid layer in life?
In their cultsre, it is normally the man and his parents that provide the home for his wife when they marry. Then the wife moves in with the husband and in-laws…
My wife found out the house can’t be put in her parents name so now she wants to put it in her name only and doesnt want my help to contribute!
Post # 14
@soul83: Just a few quick questions as this reminds me of a situation someone told me about. How and where did you meet your wife? Sorry if this seems personal…
Post # 15
@soul83: I would advise some legal help in this matter. You want to protect all parties involved so that no one feels slighted later on. If this is not something you can amicably and openly discuss with your wife and her parents, this is probably not a good situation to get yourself into. However, if your wife is planning on paying for the house herself, and you don’t need to contribute, it’s actually just a free place for you to stay. I am Chinese and I told my husband when we first started dating that he would need to be prepared to live with my parents someday. It’s very common for us to be expected to take care of our parents. They see the money they spent on the wedding as an “investment,” so yes, they’re expecting to be “repaid” in some way. While I don’t agree with your in-laws’ views, or the way they manage money, I think it’s pretty common (my parents were the same way).