After we sold our first home – taking a huge loss on it in the process – we spent several periods of multiple months with parents on both sides of the family as we decided what our next move would be.
According to CNBC, “During the recession, many people doubled up with roommates or lived with relatives, including young adults who stayed in their parents’ homes. Even now, years after the recession technically ended, young adults remain much more likely to live with their parents than before the recession.”
It goes on to note that, “Kolko estimated that there are 2.4 ‘missing households’ today, that is, people who should be living on their own, either in rental or owner-occupied homes, but are not.”
While we didn’t extend our stay with parents, eventually finding a nice little condo into which to settle, we realized that moving back in with family – even just temporarily – can be beneficial for both sides, yet is not without its challenges.
Not being tied down can provide greater flexibility
It can be hard enough just to sell a home, but trying to buy and sell close to the same time can be a difficult tightrope act to perform. It can leave people having to rent an apartment or home while they look for another place, carry one property while attempting to buy another, or at best, coordinate two closings on two different properties at the same time. Not only this, but it can put additional stress on finding another place to live, which can reduce leverage in the negotiating process.
In our case, being able to move in with our parents temporarily allowed us the time to be more selective in our next living location, and it provided us with increased negotiating power since we weren’t rushed to just find a place to live. Therefore, we got the place we wanted, in the location we wanted, close to the price we wanted.
Both sides can reap financial rewards
Our parents were gracious enough not to ask for rent, which was quite thoughtful, especially considering we had just lost a huge amount of money on our recent home sale. However, both sides managed to benefit financially.
While we were able to save on things like a mortgage, utilities, property taxes, repairs and maintenance, and similar home-related costs, our parents received cooking and cleaning services, and repair and maintenance services both in their home as well as for their lawn and exterior through our being there.
Therefore, they were able to cut cost in these areas, while not substantially raising costs through our being there (since they were already paying for things like a mortgage, utilities, etc.), while we could save additional cash for our next home purchase.
Being a kid again can be tough
However, living at home again as an adult isn’t always a bowl full of cherries. There can be some distinct challenges that can take some getting used to. When you’re used to running your own show and making decisions for yourself, being told what you’re having for dinner or when you’re having dinner, having to watch television shows you might not care to watch otherwise, having your regular movements monitored and questioned, getting feedback about child rearing (when children are involved), and just the loss of privacy in general can be frustrating and sometimes infuriating.
Therefore, while the monetary aspects of the “moving back home” situation can be attractive financially, there’s more to consider than just the money side of things when moving back in with parents.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.