A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen making dinner when B suddenly entered and said, “There’s a great house that just listed!” We usually check at house listings from time to time just to watch what the current pricing ranges are, but there was an eagerness in his voice with this one (which for B, is a big deal). So I followed him back to his computer, and there, indeed, was a great house being listed for a really unusually “low” price.
By all accounts, it had all that he would want in our ‘forever house’ – an ideal layout with the master on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second, a canyon in the back, and a real fixer-upper to get his MacGuyver on. It had most of the things I wanted, as well – not in a cookie cutter suburbs so we’re not subject to mello-roos or HOA, close to both our workplaces, and on a cul-de-sac. So after he received my nod of approval, while I thought we were just going back to what we were doing since we originally thought we’d be able to buy a house in couple years, he started crunching numbers. Aggressively.
I was a little shocked and confused by this, since there was no way that I had enough for my part of the down payment (we agreed that if I at least contributed 25-30% of a 20% down payment, then it would be proportionate to our earnings). However, he was crunching the numbers to see if he could come up with the down payment, what our monthly payments would be, etc., and his whole activity pretty much freaked me out. Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to process it, these are the primary reasons where I discovered we were not truly aligned in our thinking, both in terms of finances and our views about buying our ‘forever’ place (sorry you’ll have to click, I haz no skillz):
In the end, it all ended up being kiboshed since he stopped by the house the next day, and discovered that not only where there a ton of interested buyers, but there were already offers in cash and way above the asking price. The latter is an extremely frustrating part all on its own as there’s a lot of investor buyers, but that’s for another ranty post.
Ever since this situation, I’ve noticed smaller situations where I’ve noticed that my ‘me’ thinking gets in the way, like he’ll offer to pay for my car repairs since he considers it “our” car/problem, but I resist and dig into my “savings” since I consider it “my” car/problem. And I admit, even though it would be in my favor to combine finances, the implementation has been delayed on my part. I’m guessing it’s because I’ve been on my own for so long, that this change is a lot more challenging than I thought. He says that while he understands and it’s because I’m pretty independent, others say I’m that to a fault since I have no problem giving/sharing my stuff, but I often have trouble accepting/asking/taking/sharing other’s stuff.
I know over time, this will probably become easier, and I just have to figure out incremental steps in merging our finances, both in terms of logistics and mindset. I do admit I was slightly disappointed that the house didn’t work out after my initial freak out mode, so if there’s a great house and the timing is right, I’m more open to me perhaps not contributing the ideal amount I would like to. Or maybe I’m all talk since that situation is currently not staring me in my face, and I would still freak a little. 😉
Did this happen to anyone else when you were in the transition of combining finances?