Post # 1
I was always taught that asking someone how much they paid for their house was rude.
So I was mortified this weekend when we went to a house warming party for some friends and my fiance blantantly asked, “So, what was the total at closing?”
I promptly smacked him.
Luckily, the couple was really nice and said it was no problem. They ARE friends, but casual friends, who we only see, like, 3-4 times a year.
I would feel comfortable discussing/asking this with VERY close friends and some family, but most of the time it seems like it should be an off-limits topic.
Post # 3
It’s finances, so it’s generally falls under the awkward, not to be discussed category but…. House prices are really out there. I just started looking and it’s amazing what information is out there, including prices the house was bought/sold previously. So I think that it’s really just an illusion of privacy now, even if it technically remains a taboo question to ask.
Generally I suspect people ask because they are house hunting themselves or they want to celebrate a good negotiation with you, so it’s not intended badly.
In my world, a lot of people also ask/share rent information, even though that’s technically taboo too, to the extent it was odd a friend didn’t share but wanted help in looking for a new place as she was busy as a doctor (talk about challenging to suggest places when you have only a very vague idea of the acceptable range!)
Post # 4
Depends on the crowd. My family and friends are all really laid back so we’d have no issue sharing this info. Other people are a little more tightly wound when it comes to finances so I can see how some would be taken aback by the inquiry.
Post # 5
I agree with kay01, since it’s about money, talking about it can be kind of rude and taboo. I had a coworker I just met who happen to live in the same town ask me out right. I was a little surprised, but told him. Like kay also said, housing sales are public knowledge. I can go to any site like zillow or even to the registry of deeds and find out not only what you paid, but the mortgage you took out on it. So talking about housing prices is fair game imo since it is so easy to find out, unlike something like income.
Post # 6
It really depends on the area and people. It’s common hear to ask what the house cost. It’s public record anyway – you can go online to the tax website and pull down the cost of anyones house if you want. You can see the cost of the taxes for each year, if they paid them, etc.
Post # 7
I don’t think its rude, unless you don’t know the people at all. Plus its public record anyway. I know I will be asking more, we will be house hunting after the wedding.
Post # 8
As has been said, this is part of public records so it’s not exactly “private.” You can just look it up yourself and not ask next time. 😉 That’s the purchase price though, and not what they paid at closing or what they financed.
Post # 9
I don’t think it’s rude to ask. It could be my background too. I sell new homes for a living and have had loads of family in the construction industry for years. It becomes like “shop talk” really. I’m always curious about what other homes are going for.
Post # 10
I think it depends on the relationship with that person. Honestly, that information is public domain anyways, so they can look it up if they really want to know!
Post # 11
I think it depends on the friends. We’ve discussed it with close friends, but I wouldn’t wouldn’t talk about it with distant friends. Within our circle have probably the largest/nicest house, and do really well, and so there are definitely distant acquaintances who make snide remarks about how much our house must have cost.
A good friend of mine has been talking about buying a house, so we’ve talked about it and discussed pricing and such. I don’t have a problem with that kind of stuff, but I would never ask someone.
Post # 12
IMO it’s a rude question and if someone asked me that I’d stare at them like they had 3 heads until they got the point. I don’t think personal finances are anyone else’s business. Local house prices are public records, so friends shouldn’t have to ask me directly in order to research housing price points.
Post # 13
I don’t think it is rude because you can look it up what the asking price was and what they paid. I wouldn’t ask a random person I just met though. I would have to know the person. If I knew them well enough to be at their house warming party I think it is a fair question!
Post # 14
We had two couples ask us, and that’s because they were both in the process of house hunting and were honestly just curious (and not asking in a judegmental way).
I personally would never ask someone, I would just secretly look it up online 😉
Post # 15
Well, this is making me feel a lot better! We just started looking at houses, so that’s mainly why he asked.
I guess it’s not as taboo as I thought! Thanks Bees!
Post # 16
I don’t think it is that big of a deal, especially if the person asking is looking at houses and trying to get a feel for things.
Besides, as PPs have said, all of the information is public record anyways so you could simply look it up online yourself.