My 25 year old daughter moved home while I was caring for my mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. Since I wasn’t there, she never paid rent, but she did pay for internet and gas.
Well, now it’s moving forward and I’m going to sell my mother’s house. I am currently having a room built at my home because she will stay there too.
I have always helped my children as a single mother. But my daughter listens to her paternal grandmother who sadly told her to co-sign a mortgage for her even though she has just started working and wants a $ 800,000 house. I told her NO.
I then said that her grandmother knew this was an unrealistic request. I will retire in three years, if not sooner, and still have my own very manageable mortgage. I’ll have a pension and social security, and I’ll only pay for a leased car.
Now they are thinking of asking me again in about a year to co-sign. Am I wrong if I tell her no? I am also considering selling the house and moving east with my mother, where she grew up, to be closer to her aging brothers and sisters.
Now my daughter is upset and says she has nowhere to go if I don’t help her get a mortgage. Am I wrong to focus more on myself and my mother at this point in our life?
I’ve done everything for my daughter, but I don’t like the guilt she and her father’s mother are trying to impose on me. I know she can’t afford a place to live in California, but that’s not my fault either.
Your daughter isn’t the only person struggling with housing costs these days. Nobody knows what the solution is. But I’m pretty sure it’s not for mothers to interfere and co-sign so that their adult children can buy overpriced houses.
If you think you are frustrated now, imagine how you will feel when you have a $ 800,000 mortgage. I say “when” and not “if” because there is a high probability that your daughter will not be able to afford payments for a loan of this size. Not many 25-year-olds can afford that much house on a starting salary.
I’m not sure what’s wrong with your daughter and grandmother. Maybe grandma wants to make you the bad guy. But it is also possible that Grandma does not understand how serious the consequences can be if Co-signing goes wrong.
It really doesn’t matter what your daughter’s grandmother thinks. It’s your money and your balance on the line. Of course, that won’t stop them from having an opinion on how you are using your money and credit. But you really shouldn’t waste your energy worrying about the nonsense she’s telling your daughter.
If you need confirmation of your decision, you’ve come to the right place by saying no: liability in this amount can of course jeopardize your pension. But even if your daughter makes the promised payments, co-signing her mortgage could make it harder for you to borrow money. Lenders take your into account Debt-Income Ratio in their decisions, and this mortgage would count as if it were your own because you are legally attached to it.
But it’s not just about your retirement. You would be doing your daughter a great disservice by signing a house she cannot afford. We build sand by not getting what we want whenever we want it. Plus, it’s a lot easier to learn to live with less at 25 than it is at 35 or 45.
I give you permission to hold this discussion again to make sure everything is crystal clear. Most importantly, you told your daughter that in a year’s time your answer will still be a pure “NO”. Tell her that this will be the last time you will have this discussion.
If she brings it up again, tell her, “I’m not going to discuss this with you.” Repeat if necessary, even if it means leaving the room.
What to do about your life situation, make your decision based on what is right for you and your mother. Your daughter has many options for finding an apartment. If she still lives with you, she can start saving part of her paycheck while not paying rent. You could also get roommates to take on one Second job, or move to a cheaper condition.
Your mother’s care and your own upcoming retirement should be your focus now. Your daughter doesn’t need a $ 800,000 home. She has to learn to act like an adult. She will get there faster if you focus less on her needs now, no more.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected].
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com