The Moneyist: My dad introduced his girlfriend, her cousin and two youngsters to his 2 bed room condominium. I’m struggling to pay lease. And me?
When my maternal great-aunt died, my father wanted me to help him buy her property. He currently owns a condominium. We agreed that after I bought my aunt's house, I would move into his apartment and pay the HOA fees.
A little over a year ago, his long-time friend “Mary” allowed her cousin “Laura” to move into their apartment. Laura is in her mid-30s and has brought her two children with her.
"I have a bitter, toxic roommate, and our fights have become almost physical."
Five people now live in a two-bedroom apartment. They arranged for Laura to stay with them rent-free until she found an apartment. This made me suspicious because Laura only works part time and an apartment in New York City requires a decent income. Also, I'm not sure if Laura even has a work visa.
When I talk to my father about taking over his apartment now, I get ambiguous answers. I suspect his girlfriend brought Laura there when my father bought the house. However, the apartment is only in my father's name and he paid for it in full. New York State doesn't recognize common law, and I know his girlfriend only pays household bills.
I am my father's only daughter. his three sons do not speak to him. My father is financially stable, while I always had problems in my childhood. I'm 30 and I'm trying to give myself a better life. I went to college and I still have $ 10,000 in school loans. I work a 9 to 5 job with two part-time jobs and an online business. I am also saving for the graduate school.
The money is:My wife and I have 3 children. I also have 3 children from a previous marriage. How should we share our house among these 6 children?
Living in the apartment will help reduce a tremendous financial burden as sometimes I am unable to raise two pennies to rub them together. I have a sharp, toxic roommate, and our fights have become almost physical. I urgently need my own space and cannot afford an apartment. It would be a grotesque injustice for Laura just to get a condo "comfortably".
Both of my parents were always too willing to help other people before making sure I was straight, which I often went without. I even offered to buy my father's apartment to make sure I had an apartment. If my father allows Laura to stay there once he moves, I will end my relationship with him.
Please tell me if I am overreacting.
With best regards,
I'm just trying to secure a future
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Whether you overreact or not doesn't matter. You have the right to feel the way you feel, and he has the right to act the way he acts. It is more important that you realize that this is your father's home, your father's life, your father's girlfriend, and your father's choices. If he is reasonable and has raised no concerns about this arrangement, I see no problem in helping Laura and her two children as long as he sees fit.
Even if your dad left you his apartment in his will, it wouldn't make up for all of the times he wasn't there for you as a kid, or all the times he overlooked you, or all the times he spent wanted his time elsewhere. It wouldn't take away the pain, it wouldn't erase that past, and it certainly wouldn't rewrite it. If the price of this apartment has the father you would have loved to have, the value will never rise enough to give you what you need.
The money is: My friend's father buried $ 50,000 in the backyard for his grandchildren. My friend has 2 children but his prodigal brother doesn't have any. Should you share it?
Your father is not responsible for your current situation with your roommate, and this is not a predicament that should rest uncomfortably or otherwise on the shoulders of your father's friend, her cousin, or her cousin's two children. Even your roommate is not responsible for this arrangement or the fact that your arguments nearly stalled. The only person responsible for this is you. You stay there and get involved with your roommate. Only you can solve this situation.
Tell your dad how you are feeling diplomatically if you can and leave it at that. There is one thing more valuable than this apartment, more valuable than the money itself, and that is your time. And every waking hour you spend pondering about your father's circumstances is time you take away from the life you should be living right here, right now. Get rid of your father's choices and what he may or may not want to do in the future.
You can't control your father. You will make yourself very unhappy if you try.
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Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch's Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist at firstname.lastname@example.org with any financial or ethical questions. By emailing your questions, you consent to them being published anonymously on MarketWatch.