Do you ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach when someone asks you, “Where are you living these days?”
I’ve been there. And I even work in real estate.
I want to tell the story of how my wife and I came to the decision to move in with her parents so that we could achieve our dream of homeownership.
It certainly wasn’t an easy decision.
My wife and I sat together in our 2-bedroom apartment living room; she was on the couch, and I sat on the shaggy beige carpet with my computer and Excel spreadsheet, running the numbers one more time to see if there was anything I had missed. Any loopholes, hidden assets, or gross over-expenditures in our lifestyle that could be cut. Surely there was a way through the numbers that we could figure out together, but each time we arrived at the same conclusion. Something drastic had to give.
We, like many young couples, dreamt of being homeowners with a permanent place to call our own. We’d been married for two and a half years by this point, and we lived a fairly modest lifestyle in the western suburbs of Chicago close to my wife’s family. Even with a double income, we found it hard to save each month as real-life expenses (car payments/maintenance, student loans, increasing rents, etc.) ate a larger portion of our earnings than we would have liked.
It felt difficult to get ahead.
And the data didn’t lie: For the dream to come true, for us to come out ahead, we would have to cut our biggest expense, our cost of living, and ask to move in with nearby family.
I do remember there were tears, not because we didn’t love our family, but because it was such a bittersweet feeling. Two years prior we had thrown a party saying we would leave our mothers and fathers and cling to our spouse. Had we failed? (We hadn’t, but it was tempting to feel that way).
We calculated the cost, and we knew the short-term sacrifice would lead to long-term gain for our family. And so, we came to the decision that more and more young people have been faced with for a variety of reasons that life brings: We asked to move back in.
Now, our story does have a happy ending (more on that to come), but what I’d like to share here is a real-life guide, from someone who lived it, to some best practices for how to not only survive, but thrive moving back in with your parents or in-laws.
This blog will be the first part of 5. Links will be included below to other parts of the series.
Are you considering a move back home, or know someone who is? I’m happy to talk about more specifics and advice. Leave a comment, DM, or email me at email@example.com.