Post # 1
Oh boy — we had a wonderful weekend together doing a whole lot of nothing besides relaxing, cleaning the condo, and running errands for us! It was the first time in a while we were able to do that and it felt great. It also lead to a lot of really great conversations that we’ve been putting off because we’ve been so busy. Which led us to the potential decision to move in with his parents … here’s some background:
We were really looking to buy a house before our wedding (Jan 2) but a few things were holding us back — it looks like I will be losing my job at the end of July; we really haven’t found "the house" and don’t want to buy just to buy anything; and we are also not 100% sure where we either of us will be working and therefore don’t want to buy a house that could potentially result in a horrible commute.
We currently own the condo we live in and plan to rent it out while owning a house as an income properety. (FYI — Financially, as long as I have a job when we own both properties, we would be more then capable of doing this.) It is located along the water and has a beautiful pool and really great summer atmosphere. In this area Sept 1 is high time for rental units – so we really think that our best bet would be to rent it for Sept 1 — and move in with his parents until we find a house.
This is where the OMG is this a terrible idea?!?! comes in. They have an in-law apartment that his grandmother lived in and moved out 6 months ago to move to a nursing home. It is large and spacious and definitely separate from the house, but also still connected at the same time. His parents are wondeful loving people and I get along with them well — though also at times they are over-hospitable (I fear they would expect us to have dinner with them often — but there is a full kitchen in the apartment.) It would also put us much closer to my parents which would be nice in the last few months before the wedding. Also – my parents have a second house (summer house that is fully functional year round) that we would spend a lot of time on the weekends so it wouldn’t be as if we were stuck there at their house 100% of the time.
So here’s my question – do any of you live with your to-be-in-laws? how is it? are you able to have your own lives? Was it helpful or hurtful to your relationship with them – and with your fiance? This is not a final decision yet for sure — but I’d love to hear some suggestions/advice. Thanks!!
Post # 3
If you have a great relationship with them, it might work. But I would definitley have the four of you sit down and hash everything out. What their expectations are, what your expectations are. How long you plan to live there. Any chores they expect of you. Whether or not you will have pets. Privacy issues. And what happens if something doesn’t go according to plan (new jobs, they decide to buy an RV and sell their home, you get pregnant, someone gets seriously ill, etc.). And I wouldn’t end the conversation until you have talked about everything. And then, I would get it all in writing. Not to say things will go bad between all of you or that you don’t trust them and they don’t trust you. Just because when things are in writing, people tend to adhere to them more. I think if you all put an effort in to the process and expectations are clearly spelled out from the beginning, it could be a good thing.
I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with me but it sounds like you all have a sound relationship and it could work.
Post # 4
Wow, what an interesting proposition! It’s so sweet that they offered to let you stay with them and how great that you’ll have a (mostly) private space for yourselves. I agree that you need to talk over things like expenses, time limits, boundaries… but I’m sure you’ve thought about that already. If you’re comfortable and they’re comfortable, I don’t see why you wouldn’t do it, as long as you made it clear to everyone that it’s just temporary.
Post # 5
Wow…That’s a lot to take in!
I have never lived with in-laws or my parents (with him). My initial reaction is that if you have your own apartment/space it seems logical (financially and logistically) and would work out well. I would try to set some boundaries early on (between you and FI) about how much time you will spend at the main house, etc. and perhaps he would be willing to communicate those to your in-laws. If it were me, I would go for it!
Post # 6
We currently live in FI’s parents basement, so we can save up for the wedding and our hopefully-sooner-rather-than-later house purchase. We do *not* have a self-contained apartment and share the kitchen/bathroom/laundry room, and that is our biggest issue (due to the lack of privacy). But it has also been nice developing a stronger relationship with the in-laws.
One of the other biggest draw backs – if family is visiting the in-laws for the weekend, they’re pretty much visiting us too, and we can’t just "go home" when we’re familied-out. KWIM?!
But if you already get along, and will have your own contained apartment there’s no reason it shouldn’t work out! As long as you set your boundaries, ie. don’t just leave the connecting door always "open", you should be fine! If you’re planning to only be there a short time until you find your place, go for it!
Post # 7
I think it sounds great to move into the in-law suite in his parents’ house. You will set your own rhythm once you do get there as far as what’s acceptable for visiting, eating together, dropping by unexpectedly. Just live out your expectations and his parents will get the idea. Or discuss it formally if you think they’d be open to that.
Don’t get in bad habits. Like, don’t eat dinner with them every night (even if they invite you) if you don’t want to. If they come over uninvited, tell them you’re busy and to stop by another time. Or, preempt uninvited visits by asking them over for a preordained time and event. I think this situation could work out great with some good boundary management skills. And if you hate it, it wouldn’t be too hard to move, would it?
Post # 8
haha, I’m happy to see the two "wow"’s from you ladies because, wow was really what I was thinking. When we first discussed this it was mostly discussing living in my parents summer house — but for my FI that would be a miserable commute to work (literally 2 hours each way) which would just be unreasonable. So I jokingly mentioned "hey if I lose my job maybe you can quit your job and we can just live at the beach" … and he was like "yeah I was thinking about that, what would you think about moving into nana’s apartment?" I literally lost my breath. I was like "wow, umm wow, umm okay hmm wow." haha. But the more I think about it the more it is definitely a short term solution and we would save a LOT of money over those four months, especially if I’m not working or I am working to find a job.
I also totally agree about hashing everything out before hand – and getting it in writing – nothing with signatures or anything but just a list of things that needs to be put out on the table from the start.
Has anyone actually done it? I’d love some real life advice from someone who has been there. But I also appreciate all the "go for its" it’s making me feel less crazy!
Post # 9
Nix — sorry I didnt see your response before I wrote mine! It’s great to hear from someone who is actually doing it. And yes we would have everything of our own – laundry, kitchen, personal entrance so they dont even need to see us coming and going (besides our cars) — Yeah I know what you mean about all the family visits and things like that would definitely be hard, but we do have my parents house (10 minutes away) that we can get away to or my parents beach house (30 minutes away) so we have an "escape"
chelsea — the unexpected drop ins on both sides are what I am most nervous about — I don’t want my FI going down there every evening to watch the Red Sox with his dad and I don’t want his mom coming up with some leftovers from the night before’s dinner. But I think that if we get that all out beforehand then it could work out for the best.
I also think since it’s most likely very short term it shouldnt be too terrible!
Post # 10
I did this, actually. FI bought a house before we were engaged, but we were dating. He moved in with his mom and mom’s partner, and when my lease was up, so did I for a few months prior to buying the house. At first- no problem. But if we had left later than we did… their relationship might not have been repairable. I think a short time is good, you will have fights but you can FIX the hurts. (Well if you FMIL is anything like MINE- in your business all the timmmmme… then you’ll have fights) I think anything more than a few months will be miserable for everyone.
Then again, I don’t know your in-laws, so it could be fine! I would really just say go with your gut.
Post # 11
kjpugs — I feel like neither of us would fight with his parents …. but rather with each other based on the situation. Like I said, I can see myself saying "you’re going to watch the game with your dad again?!?!" or "your mom just came upstairs and knocked, I was half naked!" … something like that is my fear. But I also know that it could be a really good thing for us. Such an interesting twist!
Post # 12
I think that IF it is for a short period of time then it is okay. But make sure it IS a short period of time. Knowing someone and seeing them for a couple hours is one thing. LIVING with someone is a completely different story.Have you guys ever "lived" together before even if it’s like a vacation home for a week?
The other thing is -you don’t have to tell us- you should settle up the money issue. Will you be paying rent? Or at least paying for the utilities you will be using like electricity, gas, water, etc? That is utilities you will be using so I think if thye are not asking for rent you should at least offer to pay for that. Because someone’s got to pay for it.
Whenever the FI’s brother comes home to visit he stays with his folks. We have gone on vacations together before where it’s a vacation home so pretty much like we all live together. I LOVE his parents a lot and love his brothers like my own siblings (well almost) but I would never want to live with them. On my side there was a brief year when I was home that both my brothers & SILs, me and my mom and the new grandkids all lived in one house, even though it was a 2 famly home. There were definite strains. It’s all well and good to get things "laid out". Who’s doing chores, etc and all that. But when it comes to the day to day it’s different than laying it out on an excel spreadsheet. Now both brothers live seperately and the relationship is I think for the better. But there is definite strain between my mom who still lives with my older brother and his family.
So, my recommendation is do it for a SHORT while and don’t get comfortable in the you can live at nana’s apartment and save money. Just my opinion based on my experiences and countless other "living" with family and inlaw stories I have heard.
Post # 13
Gerbera — thanks so much for that!! I appreciate your honest opinion. We have done a few vacations — one was 10 days on a BOAT with his family, but that was also in an exotic amazing location so it was easy to be happy there. I’ve also done a few long weekends with them at their family cabin up in Maine, so I have been around them for extended periods of time. I also totally agree about the utilities – thankfully it is set up so there are totally separate bills that come for the apartment so we will be paying for those for sure. It will definitely have an end date, it’s not a "until the timing is right" I think if anything it will force me to get a move on finding a new job and also really working hard to find the right house for us. I think it’s still something we need to discuss amongst us and then also with his parents.
The other last thing is that I can see *my* parents being "sad" that we didnt move in with them — but they do not have an in law suite that has all it’s own stuff like his parents do. So that’s a whole different issue. ha.
Post # 14
Since you have your own space, I could totally see it working out. It would certainly help y’all along as a couple, in terms of money, etc. so I think it would be worth trying at least.
Post # 15
With my future in-laws, I think this arrangement would be stellar… but they are phenomenal about boundaries. And I think boundaries are the crux of making this kind of relationship work. If you feel any dread in the pit of your gut, then listen to that feeling… but it sounds like kind of a win-win situation for all involved if you can handle it!
Post # 16
I have been living with my fiance and his parents for almost a year now. When I moved in we werent even engaged yet. We met at college and he graduated in the spring of 08. I am not done with school yet but he got a job close to his home, about 2 hours away from where we went to school. I transferred to a branch of our same school about 20 minutes from his parents house so we are just living with them and saving all of my FI’s money! I kind of get sick of the lack of privacy sometimes but in the end, it is definitely worth putting up with it- we are saving A LOT of money.