Bought my Father's home, added on for him to live with us, many regrets - FamilyEducation
Bought my Father's home, added on for him to live with us, many regrets
03/29/2009 at 22:15 PM

Hello all, I'm new here, and have turned to this as I'm feeling backed into a corner. We (husband and teen daugher) purchased my childhood home from my father. This is the third house I've owned, the first for my husband. We added on an in law for my Dad, and have made many improvements. The terms of our agreement with my father have not been honored by him.

He was to pay two utilities, split the heating bill as his 'rent' and a small amount of money (100.00) each month towards food, as I do all the shopping. He only pays the electric bill for the property. He has a retirement income, plus social security and a small part time job. He has a girlfriend who is younger than him, who he constantly gives groceries to from my pantry. He brings food from our home to his job to share with 'the guys' as well. I have asked him repeatedly to stop doing this, even taking bags of food away from his girlfriend when I once caught them 'shopping' in my pantry.

Now I'm also dealing with his siblings (my Aunt and Uncle) arguing with us whenever we try to make an improvement as it's 'the family home'. We are arguing over wall color and porch stains! It's gotten to the point that I have to actually leave my home when my father has his friend or his siblings over as I feel very unhappy when they are there.

Please let me also add that I work sometimes 7 days a week, have very little time off, and when I do, (holidays, week in the summer) it never fails that one of his siblings come to visit, and won't take No for an answer. I realize I'm coming off as a bit of a whiner right now, as I'm exhausted with all this drama. I see only two options, sell the property (which would be financially devestating for us right now) or kick my father out.

My husband is ignoring the situation, as he doesn't hear or witness most of the annoyances. When I mention how huge our food bill is, as I have to keep replacing the food that seems to disappear, he just shrugs. My food bill has doubled by adding one person! I have tried hiding food, locking up food, bought another full sized frig and told him it was for his food, yet he still comes into our kitchen as he has 'run out' of things.

I on a weekly basis have to tell my father, no I will not pay for your meds, your car insurance or give you money to buy a new car. He is constantly handing me his Visa bill and other personal expenses acting as if I am to pay for it.

An example of a daily annoyance is every morning when my husband leaves for work, my father comes in (he still has access to our home so he can do laundry) sits in my husbands chair and changes the news channel I enjoy watching. When I point out that I was watching it, he tells me he doesn't like that channel. Mind you, his tv is on in his apartment.

The one time my husband did say to him, we aren't going to do something the way my father always did. My dad continued to do it, even though he was asked not too. When I said 'dh' doesn't want this done anymore, Dad said well he's stupid, and I'm still doing it that way.

I feel as we are in this passive agressive pattern where I'm still 12 but with all the financial obligations, and he's the parent putting me in my place.

I truly thought in january that the heart to heart I'd had with him and his brother had made things change for the better.We all admitted that we were going through changes, and learning new boundaries. ......but I've just been informed that his brother is staying with us for Thanksgiving and my one week off in August. I was told this by my father. When I said that this was good for us, I was told that I should call the Uncle and tell him. When I remind my father that I wasn't asked by the Uncle, and that I will not be calling him when I'm not directly aware he is inviting himself, my father gets very angry with me.

You are all thinking, what's the big deal? My uncle is a surgeon, very opinionated, and he would be staying in our house, not my father's addition. The last time he was here, he made unreasonable demands, from expecting me to close my business because he was visiting, to stop construction on our home because it was annoying him, and serve dinner at 10 at night, as it suited his habits better.

I feel very trapped and depressed. I feel underappreciated, overworked and a bit used.

In a last resort, I went to my sister and brother and law. They actually told me to suck it up, that the Uncle expects to be able to come and go as he did when it was his Brother's house. When I suggested that they let him stay with them, they were very quick to say no.

There is so much in dynamics that I'm not even mentioning here. I guess I just needed to vent, and hopefully get some good advice that I can use. I've already taken two courses on how to deal with challenging people and how to say no. Some of what I have learned there has helped, but I find myself crying in the shower almost every day.

Thanks for listening, and your input. Please don't be too harsh. CiCi

My sister is in a similar situation. My 94 y/o (and still sharp and physically able) mother behaves as if it is still totally her house as it sounds as if you father does. The only solution is to put up with it until your father passes (or moves) on, as my sister is doing, or for you and your family to move out. Now that all my mother's siblings have passed away, it is a bit easier for my sister. May I suggest stopping taking the $100 from your father for food and continue to lock up the food you buy. My mother gave food away to everyone she knows! Difficult, but it may be the best solution. Notify your father you plan to put a lock on the door into your part of the home unless he begins to respect your privacy. Then he has to be invited in or give notice to do the laundry. Your uncle's visits: Tell him NO unless it is a good time for you. Remind him this is your home now. This is a difficult situation for you all and unless you are able to move out, you have to stand your ground, literally. Good luck! The sad part of my story is that my sister now plans to sell our family home when my mother passes away because there are now so many bad memories there.

I truly feel for you. My husband and I bought his grandparent's home and some of the property. My brother-in-law thinks that it was his grandfather's then he can just come by and get whatever he wants and does not have to return it. There are very few times, where yours and our situations actually run smoothly, due to family members not wanting to change to the new dynamics of the situation. These are my suggestions only: - Change your locks and do not give your dad a key. If he gets one, you'll just have to change again. This could get costly, but he's acting like a 3 year, so unfortunately you have to treat him like one. - Make a date each week that he can do his laundry. If he's not willing, then his girlfriend could help him out at her house (Dad can pay her then). If dad isn't paying his portion of the bills, then he doesn't get the benefits either. - As to the uncle, be very polite and tell him you would love to have him, but unfortunately that isn't convenient during that specific time, but you would be happy to make arrangements at the nearby hotel. Or, you can give him phone numbers and price quotes to the hotel and he can make his own reservations. If Dad says he can stay, then make sure you are not home when uncle comes in - BE GONE! Who says you have to have holidays with these ungracious people. - Concerning your house, just do what you want, and let their comments just run off your back. Paint, construct, do these things when they are not around, or just tell them that you will take it under advisement and dismiss it as soon as they leave. Some battles are just not worth it. (We gutted our house and they didn't like the "new" one. I told them that was okay, as I was the one living in it and I was very happy with it.I also told them if they wanted to put up the money for what they wanted, then I'd think about it -- but no money - no say!) - You might also tell your dad if he is so unhappy with the situation, he could move in with his girlfriend. I'm not sure if the girlfriend would be too happy with that! - Every so often, lock the doors and go somewhere for the day, or just overnight. Get away from the situation. Put some perspective on it. Go home refreshed and just smile at everyone. Be pleasant and just smile. That works for me more than anything. It galls them that I'm so happy and they aren't. I just don't let them see that I may be upset - the more upset, the more I smile! You just have to honestly realize that they are being selfish and you just can't reason with people like that. You're going to be the bad guy no matter what you do. I'm not a normally a confrontational person, but I've learned you have to stand up for yourself. Your husband also has to stand up for you. In your marriage, you are "one" that means if you are upset, then he needs to help with the situation. He might not want to, but it should not fall onto you every time. My father-in-law lives next door and is an extremely selfish person. My husband cannot tell his Dad to just leave it alone, but I do. I see what my husband is going through and he can take his frustration out on me - and I'm not the problem. I've told him that if he had any respect for his son, he wouldn't treat him like he does. We don't speak for a while - what great bliss! Hang in there! I feel for you.

Since he's your dad, you do have to be the one to talk things over with him. It may be a good idea for your husband to be there, just so your dad can see that you two agree.

Living w/ relatives is such a difficult thing. It often causes much friction in even the closest of families. Since you're already in the situation, I wld first take the first poster's advice. However, if after putting locks on your doors, and stopping taking $ from your father for food doesn't help, take more drastic action. It's your house, not your father's. You set the rules, not him. If he disrespects your wishes and continues to take advantage of the situation, he needs to be told to leave. It sounds harsh, and I know it's your dad, but you can't go on living unhappy. Your dad will have no choice but to accept your decision. There is no easy way to tell someone to leave, but you can make it easier by offering to help your dad find another place to live. Good luck.

Also, if you didn't pay fair market value for the house, in consideration for keeping your dad as a tenant, then you need to pay your dad the difference between what you paid and fair market value at the time you bought the house.

I appreciate everyone's comments. I will try all the comments, and start to 'suck it up' a bit more. I don't want to put the house on the market, as we will not recoup what we've put into it. To the last poster about market value, not only did he get market value, we also paid for the large apartment (1000 sf) that was added on. He doesn't give us any money for food, (he was supposed too) but he does pay the electric bill. I feel I've done more than enough financially for him. Again, thanks for all the comments. CiCi

It sounds like you have gone out of your way to be generous.

I have been in a similar situation before. The hard part for you is that you love your dad and did this to try and help hi but hes over stepping his bounds. You said that he has his own appt? Well I would change the door locks to the part of the house thats yours. He will get the point. He may be grumpy for awhile but you can tell him that he brought it on him self. I would also tell him that if he wishes to have house guest like his brother that he needs to make accommodation for them to stay in his Apartment not your home. Tell him that you love him and want to ensure that he has a good life but not at the expense of your family.