Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Family vs Lifestyle - My Conundrum

You continue to be so sweet and gentle that you can lose yourself in the relationships that rule your life. It's time to let your partner know what you are really feeling. Although there's no need to go overboard, you don't need to be afraid to express your needs. If you don't let others know what you want, they can't know what to give you

This was my rather prophetic Google horoscope this morning. Strange because today, I am thinking about how to broach the subject of a property sale to my ‘partner’ i.e. partner in asset ownership, BabyBro. These last two months have been particularly difficult with house insurance, rates, car registration and breakin repairs, wisdom teeth behaving badly and the coffers are empty and I don’t get paid until the 15th. As a result, the already exploding credit card is copping a hammering. I have a personal loan and am accumulating mortgage debt on our line of credit that’s eating away at my potential inheritance.

I’ve rambled on about sitting on a developable property, being asset rich and cash poor but my limits have now been reached. My social life is dictated by the amount of money I have to spend. I have severely curtailed my drinking and smoking, two of my remaining pleasures. I don’t buy clothes and shoes, I can barely afford to run a car and things have all come to a head. I want to cut and run. The property is a deceased estate. Because two of us own equity, I own 40%, BabyBro 34%, we are expecting a ‘return’ of sorts. The others just have their inheritance - BabySis 20% and the remaining 6% to HippyBro– he took his inheritance early when BabyBro bought most of him out. And at the top of the real estate boom.

We agreed to hold on and attempt to reach a certain price but with the real estate market still declining, no developers are offering anything, let alone the amount we want. I’m now feeling that not only is BabyBro’s investment declining but our inheritance has hit the wall as well so all of us are suffering.

My problem. BabyBro and Stressany are well set up. The both work full time, he’s servicing a small mortgage and all but one of their three children have left home. Their expenses are declining and it’s no problem for them to hunker down for the next 10 years if necessary. He’s 47 and a long way from retirement. He’s made small improvements around the place, mainly cosmetic but it makes a difference but doesn’t do any ‘maintenance’ that’s my job.

He’s difficult to talk to. I hate asking him to repair things despite the fact that he’s an electrician and the pool timer isn’t working and I have five downlights that need replacing and a bloody big hole at the back of my TV where he started to connect Foxtel then just left it unfinished. He’s a ‘voice raiser’ and resolves issues by shouting then running away - reasoning with the unreasonable is difficult and I can’t expect any support from Stressany, she doesn’t see it as her business although I’m sure she has an opinion and a huge influence when it comes to pillow talk time. I’m dreading the ‘meeting we have to have’ to broach the possibility of selling under our agreed price in order to gain some financial freedom. BabySis, although also half of a double income family is onside – she likes to spend. HippyBro is being unusually fair and wants BabyBro to break even despite having a half-built house that he can’t afford to finish.

The upshot could be one of three things:

  1. We lower the price and accept the loss but still can’t sell as there may be no takers. Developers are flooded with land and not interested in acquisition at this time, no matter what the price. I will have fallen out with my neighbour and will still be stuck next door to him.
  2. We lower the price and sell and BabyBro doesn’t talk to any of us for the rest of his life. This is becoming less of a loss I must admit as our relationship is deteriorating anyway.
  3. We stick to our guns. Babysis and I make more financial sacrifices and hold out for the price which could be as much as five years away. No holidays, no extravagances, no ability to help my kids with their HECS debt, more ‘million ways with mince’, let my teeth go grey and if my car dies, I become a public transport commuter.

I’m being urged on one side by my brothers to hang in there despite the stress and limitations on lifestyle (while they enjoy a good lifestyle) and on the other, I’m being pressured (by my sister, children and friends who see my depression over this) to face the music and suffer the consequences in pursuit of my own happiness.

This is an incredible conundrum . . . I have to weigh up the value of the relationship with my brothers. One is already disenchanted with me for other reasons and now I run the risk of alienating the other completely. The thing is, my relationship with both is pretty non committal. They are both rather selfish types who look after themselves and bugger the rest.

I just wish it wasn’t up to me to rock the boat but I’m not sure how long I can hold on, knowing that life could be so much easier . . . So, do I heed what some electronic gypsy advises or persevere and hope that good things will happen in time?

Mood today, contemplative and a little blue. I think I’ll go and buy a scratchie an do some alcohol research.


Anonymous said...

There was this girl once who had a credit card debt of 30,000. She set up a website, explained in honest terms about her situation, and begged for money unashamedly. D'you know what? She managed to clear the debt!

DC said...

Your brothers, if they disown you because you sell, are assholes. I'd never treat my sisters like that. Your reasons for wanting to sell are perfectly solid.

Unfortunately, as I have sweet fuck all experience of the property market, all I can tell you is to do what you think is best for yourself and your family.

Yes, it's a fucking cliche, but it's also fairly true.

wordnerd said...

Wow - you definitely have a dilemma. But at the same time, you have thought this out. I think you should sell -- it's time for you to NOT have to worry about money. If the brothers have nothing to do with you, so be it. They'll come around eventually. If not, and they want to completely lose a relationship with their sister over money, then they have to live with themselves. Good luck!

Baino said...

Hey thanks guys. That's better feedback than Dr Phil! Seriously, at the moment the pros are outweighing the cons. I'm exploring my options.