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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should I Ask For the Money?

DearSugar and Not Wanting to Seem Selfish Samantha need your help. She and her fiancé need to buy a house, but they don't have the money for it.

Dear Sugar,

My fiancé and I got engaged this past Fall and are having our wedding this Summer. I'm the only daughter my parents have, and they insist on paying for our wedding, which we are so grateful for. We share an apartment now, and as most young couples do, we were planning on saving up all we could this year, then using that plus the money we receive from wedding presents to buy our first house. That plan has kind of backfired, though, because just this week, our landlord told us that he's selling the building, and we have to be out of our apartment by June (a month before our wedding).

As it is right now, we don't have nearly enough money saved to put towards a down payment on a house. We thought we could borrow the money from my fiancé's rich dad, but he said that we're old enough to pay for things ourselves and shouldn't be asking for handouts (he's kind of a selfish jerk). Everyone we talk to says to ask my parents if we can borrow the money and pay them back with gifts from the wedding, but I feel so bad, knowing that they're already shelling out $40,000 for this wedding.

We've thought about staying in our apartment until June, and then moving into another apartment until after the wedding, but it seems really pointless to go through all the trouble of moving to a place when we'll be moving into a house by August. What should we do?

—Not Wanting to Seem Selfish Samantha

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maddiemay maddiemay 8 years
I also agree w/ Karlotta-- It's very offensive reading some of these comments, especially when the poster is a real person asking for advice. This doesn't mean she has to like it, but being respectful in your comment is just common courtesy. Regarding the actual question, I think you should postpone buying a house if you don't have the money you need. You don't want to rely on money you don't have in hand and are hoping to receive. I rushed into buying a house a few years ago and ended up moving and STILL have it and it's so annoying. I know a lot of us like instant gratification, but I think you'll be happy if you wait in the long run. Congrats on your wedding and good luck!
maddiemay maddiemay 8 years
I also agree w/ Karlotta-- It's very offensive reading some of these comments, especially when the poster is a real person asking for advice. This doesn't mean she has to like it, but being respectful in your comment is just common courtesy.Regarding the actual question, I think you should postpone buying a house if you don't have the money you need. You don't want to rely on money you don't have in hand and are hoping to receive. I rushed into buying a house a few years ago and ended up moving and STILL have it and it's so annoying. I know a lot of us like instant gratification, but I think you'll be happy if you wait in the long run.Congrats on your wedding and good luck!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Actually you are the selfish jerk not your father in law. I can see his point. I agree with the 20 or so responses I have read so far where I do disagree to a point are the comments that spending $40,000 on a wedding is stupid if your family is in a position where it will not put them into financial ruin then I think it is fine. Be a grown up and save the money yourself.
girlfriday girlfriday 8 years
I think everyone's already said what I would say - i.e. stay in an apartment. You'll feel amazing when you put that down payment on a house that you earned by your hard work. And believe me - I know how it feels. 3 months after I moved into an apartment after finally moving out of an abusive situation, my landlord turned the building condo and I had to move again. It was a really rough time in my life - I was struggling financially and emotionally - and finding and moving to a new place was super stressful when I didn't think I had any energy left. But I did it in the end, and you will too. Anwyay, what I did want to comment on was the 40K wedding cost. Now, honestly, to me, this is about 40 times more than I would spend on my wedding. HOWEVER, we should remember that there are huge cultural differences when it comes to special life ceremonies like weddings. In many cultures, especially South Asian and Middle Eastern, it is not unheard of for middle class families to have 1000 guests at a wedding. In fact, it is sometimes considered rude to not invite everyone who is related to anyone who is related to you. So, I am willing to grant the possibility here that her parents are paying $40K for a wedding that, in their culture, speaks as much or more to their "honor" and "social standing" as the brides desire for a big wedding. It's just a thought...
girlfriday girlfriday 8 years
I think everyone's already said what I would say - i.e. stay in an apartment. You'll feel amazing when you put that down payment on a house that you earned by your hard work. And believe me - I know how it feels. 3 months after I moved into an apartment after finally moving out of an abusive situation, my landlord turned the building condo and I had to move again. It was a really rough time in my life - I was struggling financially and emotionally - and finding and moving to a new place was super stressful when I didn't think I had any energy left. But I did it in the end, and you will too. Anwyay, what I did want to comment on was the 40K wedding cost. Now, honestly, to me, this is about 40 times more than I would spend on my wedding. HOWEVER, we should remember that there are huge cultural differences when it comes to special life ceremonies like weddings. In many cultures, especially South Asian and Middle Eastern, it is not unheard of for middle class families to have 1000 guests at a wedding. In fact, it is sometimes considered rude to not invite everyone who is related to anyone who is related to you. So, I am willing to grant the possibility here that her parents are paying $40K for a wedding that, in their culture, speaks as much or more to their "honor" and "social standing" as the brides desire for a big wedding. It's just a thought...
onesong onesong 8 years
I tend to agree with Karlotta, although some of the posts on here are so ridiculous I really don't see an answer other that "You're an idiot!" (I'm thinking of all the "I'm a cheater, should I stay one?" posts) That said, sweetie, you gotta put your dreams on hold here. Absolutely do not ask for a loan from your parents. You need to move out of your apartment now, and hold back for 6 months or a year before buying a new house. I'm sorry that moving is such a pain (it totally is!) but it's now a fact of life that you need to deal with. If it's that important to you to get a house in August, then you do need to take out a loan. As was pointed out by a couple posters, you already know that you're going to be recieving a good deal of money from the wedding, so you know that the bulk of the loan will be paid off in two months or so. Myself, I would advocate simply holding off. You had a plan, and now it's screwed up, yes, so you need to roll with the punches. Not everything in life is going to go according to plan! You were turned down by your fil (which, honestly, I think he was totally right in doing), and your parents are already spending an absolutely obscene amount of money on your wedding (lucky ducky!). You've got a ton going for you here, so relax and take responsibility for your life and your dreams. You and your future hubs are going to be in the house you eventually buy for a long time, so really--what's a couple extra months?
onesong onesong 8 years
I tend to agree with Karlotta, although some of the posts on here are so ridiculous I really don't see an answer other that "You're an idiot!" (I'm thinking of all the "I'm a cheater, should I stay one?" posts)That said, sweetie, you gotta put your dreams on hold here. Absolutely do not ask for a loan from your parents. You need to move out of your apartment now, and hold back for 6 months or a year before buying a new house. I'm sorry that moving is such a pain (it totally is!) but it's now a fact of life that you need to deal with. If it's that important to you to get a house in August, then you do need to take out a loan. As was pointed out by a couple posters, you already know that you're going to be recieving a good deal of money from the wedding, so you know that the bulk of the loan will be paid off in two months or so. Myself, I would advocate simply holding off. You had a plan, and now it's screwed up, yes, so you need to roll with the punches. Not everything in life is going to go according to plan! You were turned down by your fil (which, honestly, I think he was totally right in doing), and your parents are already spending an absolutely obscene amount of money on your wedding (lucky ducky!). You've got a ton going for you here, so relax and take responsibility for your life and your dreams. You and your future hubs are going to be in the house you eventually buy for a long time, so really--what's a couple extra months?
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
Wow, I hope my daughter doesn't grow up thinking this is how life works. $40,000? Not even if I could would I do that. It's just not necessary.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
Wow, I hope my daughter doesn't grow up thinking this is how life works. $40,000? Not even if I could would I do that. It's just not necessary.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Oh and Julielie...obviously no one is judging you for your parents insisting on spending a ton of cash on your wedding! That doesn't make you sound like a Bridezilla at all..just a hapless pawn of your parents...jkjk! ;) And also, wealthy people who have a ton of cash to spend on their weddings...well they earned the cash, so no, we shouldn't judge! It's just that in this case, it seems like the poster was unhappy that everything wasn't working out *perfectly* when some sacrifices might need to be made to meet all her expectations. If you have $60k to spend on a wedding, and that seems like a good idea...why not, god bless capitalism!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Oh and Julielie...obviously no one is judging you for your parents insisting on spending a ton of cash on your wedding! That doesn't make you sound like a Bridezilla at all..just a hapless pawn of your parents...jkjk! ;)And also, wealthy people who have a ton of cash to spend on their weddings...well they earned the cash, so no, we shouldn't judge! It's just that in this case, it seems like the poster was unhappy that everything wasn't working out *perfectly* when some sacrifices might need to be made to meet all her expectations. If you have $60k to spend on a wedding, and that seems like a good idea...why not, god bless capitalism!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I think the reason people sounded harsh was because the poster called her father in law a "selfish jerk" for not lending her money, and because it is hard for people to imagine spending $40k on a wedding, then complaining about no longer having money for a down payment. It should come across more as "tough love" than cattiness, but just because it is not what the poster wanted to hear does not mean people were trying to be cruel! To the poster: If you *must* put this house plan into action soon, then I would ask your parents if you could put $30k of the wedding fund into a down payment. If you let them know how important the house is to you, perhaps they will offer to loan you money, who knows. What Asia and others said about owing family money is true though, and I really can't see why you can't live in an apartment for longer and save up the money yourself! I don't think people are trying to be mean, and I know many weddings do cost $40k these days, though I have no idea, no matter how rich you are, why you'd bother spending that much cash in one day. To understand why people are so harsh, just put things into perspective: I paid for my entire undergrad education at a top private university myself, I am paying off student loans, and I can't get married right now because both my boyfriend and I are broke. He is working on a PhD, and won't get more than a grad stipend for the next four years. My family recently loaned me $1k to meet basic expenses (food, rent), and I owe my boyfriend at least that much money also. This is NOT a good position to be in, and I can't wait to get out of it. I can't imagine putting myself in this position if I didn't absolutely have to! For people in similar positions, it is hard not to just be harsh on you, but obviously that isn't very fair. Don't be sad by what people have written, just take it as a reality check that if you have to "suffer" a little, you'll be okay! I hope you get this all sorted out, and I hope you can choose whatever gives you the least amount of stress when you get married!! Good luck!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I think the reason people sounded harsh was because the poster called her father in law a "selfish jerk" for not lending her money, and because it is hard for people to imagine spending $40k on a wedding, then complaining about no longer having money for a down payment. It should come across more as "tough love" than cattiness, but just because it is not what the poster wanted to hear does not mean people were trying to be cruel!To the poster: If you *must* put this house plan into action soon, then I would ask your parents if you could put $30k of the wedding fund into a down payment. If you let them know how important the house is to you, perhaps they will offer to loan you money, who knows. What Asia and others said about owing family money is true though, and I really can't see why you can't live in an apartment for longer and save up the money yourself! I don't think people are trying to be mean, and I know many weddings do cost $40k these days, though I have no idea, no matter how rich you are, why you'd bother spending that much cash in one day. To understand why people are so harsh, just put things into perspective: I paid for my entire undergrad education at a top private university myself, I am paying off student loans, and I can't get married right now because both my boyfriend and I are broke. He is working on a PhD, and won't get more than a grad stipend for the next four years. My family recently loaned me $1k to meet basic expenses (food, rent), and I owe my boyfriend at least that much money also. This is NOT a good position to be in, and I can't wait to get out of it. I can't imagine putting myself in this position if I didn't absolutely have to! For people in similar positions, it is hard not to just be harsh on you, but obviously that isn't very fair. Don't be sad by what people have written, just take it as a reality check that if you have to "suffer" a little, you'll be okay!I hope you get this all sorted out, and I hope you can choose whatever gives you the least amount of stress when you get married!! Good luck!
emalove emalove 8 years
I think scaling down your wedding and using some of that $$ for your down payment is the best idea. If it was me, I would talk to my parents about everything and see what kind of ideas we could come up with. And I agree with Karlotta that a lot of the ladies on these forums are WAY too harsh and judgmental sometimes...it's really annoying.
BRANDYNICOLE730 BRANDYNICOLE730 8 years
Well, a $40,000 wedding with no place to live, or a smaller wedding and a down payment on a home. Sounds like you should be making a decision. Who needs to have a $40,000 wedding anyhow?
lintacious lintacious 8 years
this is why i think the price of wedding is stupid. why the hell do you need a $40,000 DAY when now you can't even afford a place to live!! Forget the wedding, elope, and put down an awesome down-payment on a beautiful house.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
holy moly 40 G's for a wedding, when you cant even make a down payment on a house, i know its someone elses money but good lord! My wedding cost 3 grand and it was AMAZING, move into a new apartment, and get off your "rich" father in laws back...frikking ungrateful and ridiculously immature. good luck...
remedios remedios 8 years
And I don't care about the cost of the wedding. If your parents want to give you that for a gift, say thank you (as you are) and don't feel bad about that. It just shouldn't be then used for a house, since that's not what they've offered. But it's great that they can afford to and want to give you a wedding that you're going to really love.
remedios remedios 8 years
While I don't think there's anything wrong with asking for help when you need it, it doesn't appear that you need it. You can move into a new apartment, stay there for another year or two, save your money and buy a house. While it would be nice to get a house earlier, it didn't happen that way.
bastille_75 bastille_75 8 years
karlotta - You are so absolutely right!!! I've been thinking they exact same thing lately!!! And NWTSS - She (karlotta) is completely right on how to approach your parents, life etc., the only caveat that I would add is - try not to be too judgmental of your future father-in-law. He may be the biggest SOB on the planet or there may just be some method too his madness. So, Congratulations, good luck and best wishes!!!! This is your time so enjoy it!! Cherish it!!!! And don't forget that the one day in what is hopefully a lifetime of marriage.
bastille_75 bastille_75 8 years
karlotta - You are so absolutely right!!! I've been thinking they exact same thing lately!!! And NWTSS - She (karlotta) is completely right on how to approach your parents, life etc., the only caveat that I would add is - try not to be too judgmental of your future father-in-law. He may be the biggest SOB on the planet or there may just be some method too his madness. So, Congratulations, good luck and best wishes!!!! This is your time so enjoy it!! Cherish it!!!! And don't forget that the one day in what is hopefully a lifetime of marriage.
Eternity Eternity 8 years
I'm not sure where you live and what the housing market is like, but you should look into an FHA loan and go directly to a few banks to ask about first time homebuyer programs. You don't need to save up for a year to buy a house, you just need decent credit and a job. (I know from experience)
Asia84 Asia84 8 years
if i ask someone's opinion or word of advice, I can't be mad if they keep it REAL with me!To the writer:i dont think you're a brat because you're having a $40k wedding. i think that's an average amount (in my opinion).this isn't about your wedding, (trust me, shine on your wedding day . . .i'm happy for ya).but i think when it comes to life, and being an adult, you have to jump off that ledge and fly.you will appreciate your house better if YOU and your soon-to-be buy it.family ain't no joke when it comes to borrowing. it will be cool right now, but then what if you guys are late on payments, or your hubby loses his job (knock on wood). then your whole family will know about it, and will talk smack.#2: maybe God is trying to tell ya something (i'm not sure if you're a believer.). Let's be real: your fiance is probably great. and i hope he stays that way, i really do. but what if he flips the script on you once you're married???and let's say your parent's loaned the money, that you still owe???and he burns off, and the money isn't repaid, more importantly, you're heartbroken . . .i really don't wish this on you.and are you really ready to be bothered with homeowner's associations who pick at you because your grass is 1/4" taller than the neighborhood standard???look, get married. take beautiful pics. move into another apartment. save your monies, and live with you new hubby for a bit.i don't think anyone on here is trying to be mean, but you have to understand that there are so many types of women on here. there are some who are ultra independent-like me.there are some who dont have $1,000 to spend on a wedding, so they cannot imagine what your parents are spending.there are people who are ultra practical . . .you know, the moms who can aford GapKids, but shop at Kmart on sale, or even worst Goodwill . . .just to save a buck.and i know i will get crucified for that comment, but oh well.my opinion. get over it.good luck, and if you are a believer, pray on it for a while before asking for money.
Asia84 Asia84 8 years
if i ask someone's opinion or word of advice, I can't be mad if they keep it REAL with me! To the writer: i dont think you're a brat because you're having a $40k wedding. i think that's an average amount (in my opinion). this isn't about your wedding, (trust me, shine on your wedding day . . .i'm happy for ya). but i think when it comes to life, and being an adult, you have to jump off that ledge and fly. you will appreciate your house better if YOU and your soon-to-be buy it. family ain't no joke when it comes to borrowing. it will be cool right now, but then what if you guys are late on payments, or your hubby loses his job (knock on wood). then your whole family will know about it, and will talk smack. #2: maybe God is trying to tell ya something (i'm not sure if you're a believer.). Let's be real: your fiance is probably great. and i hope he stays that way, i really do. but what if he flips the script on you once you're married??? and let's say your parent's loaned the money, that you still owe??? and he burns off, and the money isn't repaid, more importantly, you're heartbroken . . .i really don't wish this on you. and are you really ready to be bothered with homeowner's associations who pick at you because your grass is 1/4" taller than the neighborhood standard??? look, get married. take beautiful pics. move into another apartment. save your monies, and live with you new hubby for a bit. i don't think anyone on here is trying to be mean, but you have to understand that there are so many types of women on here. there are some who are ultra independent-like me. there are some who dont have $1,000 to spend on a wedding, so they cannot imagine what your parents are spending. there are people who are ultra practical . . .you know, the moms who can aford GapKids, but shop at Kmart on sale, or even worst Goodwill . . .just to save a buck. and i know i will get crucified for that comment, but oh well. my opinion. get over it. good luck, and if you are a believer, pray on it for a while before asking for money.
hope2be hope2be 8 years
I've read everyone's responses and I have to agree with the majority. I don't agree that everyone is trying to be catty/b!tchy just because they're being honest with their opinion. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and some people are not blessed to be so eloquent or very tactful, and that's just it. As much as the sentiment of 'try to have it all' is great, I think that it's not fair to do so in the expense of other people when you yourself can actually get the loan by yourself instead of involving a family member. How about going to a bank to get the loan? If you have good credit, you're probably going to be able to get the 0% down payment (although your monthly payment is probably going to be high). If you can't afford to pay a good chunk of your income to mortgage, I'd suggest to wait until you do, don't go for those ARM payment. So many foreclosures, it's not even funny anymore if the government has to step in to take care of it. NB: I disagree w/ the government stepping in, because this is similar to making a bad investment. I hope that no money out of the taxpayers go out to help these people. Sorry, I agree to help the needy, but I refuse to help those who purchased a half-a million dollar house when they can't afford to pay the mortgage payments. Or sell because the price of houses have been dropping. Why not be like the rest of sensible people and wait until you can afford that half-a-million dollar house? The rest of us have to rent apartment/houses/etc to save up, and these people have been living in their mansion now they're waiting for a government handout. That's complete BS (but that's just my opinion). I digress. Lending money to a family member is tricky, and most likely it ends up to be a 'hand-out.' So your future father-in-law has every right to decline because it's his hard-earned money, and there's a probability based on his refusal that you guys may not have shown to be really responsible financially. MAYBE. There's no one telling you to not borrow from your parents, but I think you know that doing so after your parents have spent tens of thousands of dollars to foot the wedding bill is a little inconsiderate. But they're your parents, surely they're the ones who know you the most, so being selfish/inconsiderate in front of them probably won't surprise them much. They might feel disappointed but hey, you're their kid, so they should've known about you and expected nothing more. Maybe you need to delay buying a house because there's no regulation that you have to have a house after a wedding, or get a 6 month-lease apartment so that you'll know for sure how much money you'll be receiving after the wedding. In my experience, my cousins expect quite a bit of money coming their way from their wedding party, but usually it's LESS than expected. So my suggestion is to play it safe. Get a new apartment or rent a house (if you really want a house), for either a month-to-month rate or a six-month-lease (I've found enough places having a month-to-month lease). Count the money from the wedding (hopefully it's more than what you expect so you can buy that house immediately) and save up some more if you want.
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