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The Book is Closed on our Old Home


So I am closing the book on the old house and many wanted to know the final chapter.  There is not much to tell, and this will be the last time I will bring it up here, but I didn’t want to leave you wondering.  So to understand it all, especially if you have joined us in the last couple of months, here’s a recap of the posts regarding my housing debacle.

Three Years, Six Moves – When I wrote this back in April, 2014, I said we were home.  Little did I know how quickly that would change.

The Best Laid Plans

Why I Decided Not to Buy My Home

The Ultimatum

The Curse

The Next Step

The House is in Chaos

I Quit

Oh What a Feeling

The House Sold

Chapter Closed

So now that you are caught, I want to tell you how it ended.  As you know, in December, after several months on the market, I got what I thought would be the best offer on selling my van but the difference between my loan amount and the sales price was more than I had readily available so I had to make up the difference to make the sale happen. Needless to say, time was of the essence.

I had had several brief conversations with my dad without trying to pressure him, asking about the house, and he consistently said he didn’t have time to review it.  This time I called with a purpose.  I let him know the situation and asked if he had time to consider the house monies that he had said several times I would receive as this would be a big help at this point.

His words “well, if I was going to give you money, it wouldn’t be for a car.”  I was shocked speechless.  First, it was never my intent to ask for him to give me money.  I felt and he had indicated during several conversations that I would get some money from the sale of the house since I had paid all related expenses for four years, put the blinds in, paid for all the appliances (which were sold with the house,) added a patio, landscaping, etc. Essentially I treated the home as my own and incurred all relevant expenses including my own renters insurance and his owners insurance, etc.  Ok, you get my point, I was in no way asking for a handout.

He then went on in the same conversation to say that he had been thinking we could open a joint account, where we would both have to sign to get money out and he would match my savings toward a house with the money rather than give it to me.  If I wasn’t still speechless from the “give” suggestion, I was shaking in anger now.  Control.  He still wanted control.

I knew with no doubt that I was not ever going to consider that option and frankly, I let him know what I thought in no uncertain terms.  Now, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for what he did four years ago after our two rental homes fell through, BUT my dad has ALWAYS used money to control.  He would take away my car when he didn’t agree with my decisions, he would threaten to stop paying for school when he didn’t agree, and that’s just me.  I am not in any way trying to bash my dad, I love him, respect him, but this is fact.

You see four years ago, when the second rental house fell through I put all my stuff in a POD as we began to travel as I figured out what to do.  The POD would have allowed me to move anywhere, sending for my stuff when I figured it out.  That was my plan, travel around for a while and then decide.  That was when Dad stepped in and offered to help me buy a house here where he and my mom lived. I know he was doing what he thought was best for me and my two kids at the time but it was also a control move.

So back to the final conversation my dad and I had about the house…I told him in no uncertain terms that I would NEVER, EVER get into a financial relationship with him again. And based on our conversation I would assume that he never intended to give me any money from the house.  I also told him that I thought he took advantage of me.  If he had been honest about the house money from the beginning I would not have put EVERY SINGLE extra penny into the house to get it ready to sell as I really needed that money for my family.  I have now totaled the money I put into the house to get it ready for sale plus utilities for the two months after we moved out, and I spent $4000 on that alone.

So no, my dad has never given me a dime from the house and I don’t expect he will.  And you know what, that’s fine.  I learned a very, very hard lesson.  My children have learned some really hard lessons.  And what ever happens next, we did that.  No man will ever have that kind of control over me again.

I am in no way male bashing.  I know there are some great guys, husbands, fathers out there.  I see them all the time with their children, with my friends.  But after my marriage and my brothers and my dad, I’m done, completely and totally done.


  • Reply Angie |

    I’m so sorry to hear about how it worked out. Unfortunately in this world the people with the biggest hearts are always getting jerked around and taken advantage of.

    I know you have the heart and determination to pull through. I’m just glad you can just close the chapter and be done!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks, Angie. Having children has definitely saved me in this situation. Things would have been very different had they not been in my life. It is definitely going to take my heart time to heal, but I won’t sit and wallow in it.
      I appreciate your support and feedback.

  • Reply Den |

    I’m so angry for you – what a d&ck move on your dad’s part and you are absolutely right – he’s trying to control you with money! I’m so so glad you are out of that situation!!

    I do think you should do one last thing – for your self-esteem if nothing else. Type up a brief list of all the house related expenses that you have paid for in the past 4 years – patio, appliances, moving upgrades ($4,000!), etc. Total it at the end and ask for half in cash. All you need to say is “Dad, I think it’s only fair that I receive half of what I have financially contributed to this house. I believe that my care and upgrades helped sell this house quickly. I understand you choose to not share the profit from this house sale, but you should pay me for my costs. This is the last time I will mention this and if you choose to not pay me, that is your choice.”

    And then regardless of what he does, let it go and be happy – you sound very smart and sane about this situation – what a terrible lesson to have to learn though.

  • Reply Den |

    Sorry – I’m still fuming……it is none of his damn business what you would have done with any monies from the sale of the house. I’d love to see how he would react if you tried to tell HIM how to spend his money….does your mom have any say in this matter? Or does he control all the money in the family?

    Ok, I’m done ranting.

    • Reply Hope |

      Den, I certainly appreciate your empathy in this matter. I was so angry for a while, but then I had to own my own responsibilities in the matter. I chose not to buy the house in the end. I certainly wish it hadn’t ended like it did, but I am ready to move forward and completely let it go.

  • Reply Vesta |

    Agree with all the previous comments. Sometimes all you can do is walk away. Like Angie said you have heart and determination to go forward from this. God Bless.

  • Reply Jenna |

    Hope, I am sorry that this happened to you. But as you said this was an important lesson. I’m sure it will stay with you and inform your future financial decisions. Congratulations on ending this chapter and internalizing this lesson. Best wishes as you move forward.

    • Reply Hope |

      Absolutely! An invaluable lesson. And hopefully a motivator to decide now how I will tackle these types of matters with my own grown children so there is NEVER, EVER a repeat.

  • Reply Walnut |

    You are smart to recognize the pattern and make a clean break from it. I’m from a family that used to heavily participate in “family banking” and it was how the patriarch of the family kept control over everyone.

    There are great lessons to be learned from all of this. You are stronger and wiser on the other side. And, Hope, you’re going to dominate 2015. It’s yours for the taking.

  • Reply Denise |

    Thank you for the update. I was afraid it would end this way. 🙁 I am proud of you for standing up to your dad’s bully/controlling behavior in the end.

    I agree with the other commenter that said you should send him a list of the expenses you put into the house. You might also want to remind him that tax fraud is a crime, and by claiming your expenses as his own for tax purposes he is indeed committing a crime.

    After reading this post of yours, I’m starting to suspect that a lot of your money issues that brought you to BAD in the first place stem from growing up where money was used as a punishment, instead of a healthy teaching tool. I think 2015 is going to bring some positive changes for you.

    • Reply Hope |

      I completely agree. I cannot wait to see what this year and a healthier view of money, money and family and continued progress to my debt free life bring.

    • Reply Brit |

      Her dad is not a bully. He knows his daughter is a total financial screw-up and makes TERRIBLE decisions. He obviously loves her and still wants to help her where he can but he isn’t going to be party to her making more mistakes. (although your a grown ass woman so I’m not sure why you need to be helped along like a teenager). You screwed your dad around Hope and frankly you should be ashamed of yourself. He gave you a place to live when you had nowhere to go and you backed out on the deal to buy a house he never wanted anyway. The fact you have the audacity to then talk him down on the internet is disgusting. How someone who has all but tanked at their own life can be allowed to homeschool their children is mind-boggling. Send the kids to regular school and when they turn 15 they can read this steaming pile of human error as a cautionary tale on how not to live their lives.

      • Reply Mary from SC |

        I could not sit quietly with this tirade. While we are all allowed to have differing opinions, your tone is rude and uncalled for. While Hope’s chosen path may not be conventional, it is her path. To me, your comments scream internet bullying. Constructive cronyism is always welcome but I see nothing constructive in your comments. You may want to turn that sharp eye inwardly and search where your anger is coming from. It’s unwarranted here.

        • Reply Hope |

          Thank you, Mary, for your support. When I read that comment, I couldn’t help but feel horrible. But I’m glad it came after so many months. I have a healthy outlook on this past year, I think, and was able to take it not too personally.

      • Reply Hope |

        Wow, you are angry aren’t you? I’m sorry for whatever has happened to make you so angry or hurt.
        You certainly have the right to your opinion, but I just wanted to clarify a couple of your misinformed statements…
        1) My dad offered to buy the house, it was not because I had nowhere to go or because I asked him too. I was at the time paying $1600 per month in rent and had been for over almost two years at that time. I could easily have found another rental house. And while we looked together, he maintained the thought of whatever was purchased becoming a rental home for him down the road. In fact, some that he considered more than I did, had “guest” homes that would have immediately been income generating. Now, obviously since I stayed for four years, we were definitely leaning more toward me purchasing it, but the other option was there from the start.
        2) I have no idea how you could say I “tanked” my life. Is that because I’m in debt? Because I left an abusive marriage? I have never had any government assistance, my kids have never gone hungry, my utilities have never been cut off, I have had the same clients since I started my business. I support myself and 4 children and 3 dogs and 1 cat through my own work. What part of that is tanked?
        My children are very well aware of what happened with our house – all of them. They were involved and informed along every step. They were also informed of both mine and my dad’s role in it (at an age appropriate level as I certainly could not hide my despair and hurt especially at first.) Because like me, there was a lot of hurt and confusion with the short notice and we all needed to be open and honest to process our feelings and not let any negativity linger. They were also witness to us working together to get the house ready to sell, and building a bridge of a new relationship as the dust settled. They needed to see that. They needed to see that even when the “worst” happens in a relationship, there can be forgiveness and newness and love. And they have seen that and their relationships with their grandparents are intact and healthy because of it.
        I’m sorry that what happened in my life upset you so much. It was never my intention to “talk down” about him, just to state facts. The housing debacle came from issues in both my dad’s and my lives, no innocent parties. We are past it now. I hope you can be too.

        • Reply Brit |

          Oh wow. You need a list of how you’ve tanked your life. Read back through all of your posts and take a look in the mirror. Or read that forum I’ve provided. They said you were delusional but you really know no bounds huh!

          • Denise |

            Brit seems to have a personal stake in bashing Hope.

          • Mary from SC |

            If by tanked you mean, having a heart big enough to care for others…opening her home to foster others and eventually adopting and changing lives…if you mean providing her children with life experiences that can’t always be learned in a conventional classroom…if you mean sacrificing for her children so she can give them extra curricular experiences that studies prove help keep children from giving in to peer pressure and less likely to fall prey to bullies (much like you). Every person here has some things in life that may be perceived as a mistake…circumstances change, minds change, life happens. That’s where attitude comes in. Rather than being bitter because of a marriage that didn’t make it, or other life disappointments, Hope has chosen to keep a positive attitude and show to her children that life is what you make it. It can make you angry and bitter or it can provide you with opportunities to overcome and grow. Thank you Hope for taking the high road and being an overcomer. You will soon be consumer debt free, student loan debt free, have your own home where you can provide for even more children all the while doing it with a beautiful spirit. Applause from SC for you and I am sorry that some people feel the need to come out swinging with some very low and personal blows. Character shows…for good or bad and your’s is shining!

  • Reply Cheryl |

    Wow, I only hope I never use money to control my kids. My sister still pays for things for my niece and nephew, but I truly believe that is how she controls them. By the way, they are 28 and 24, still live at home and she claims it is to help them save money for a home which isn’t happening in my nephew’s case. Cheryl

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope, thanks for the update.
    Yes it sounds like a clean break from this controlling nonsense is a good decision!
    I am not sure if I remember that correclty: do you still owe money (not from the house but from the personal loan) to your dad? or has that been paid of?
    Good luck with the future debt payments!

    • Reply Hope |

      There are NO more financial ties between my dad or any other family member and I will never venture into that area again. Yeah!

    • Reply Hope |

      I don’t. He was never transparent with those numbers with me even when I was still planning to purchase it. And I did ask several times as I originally planned to purchase the home in the Fall of 2013.

        • Reply Angie |

          If you say he bought it 4 years ago, maybe he actually lost money in the sale and it was a wash. Always a possibility especially because you can lose 6-10% on the selling end to pay Realtor fees. Plus the closing costs and opportunity costs on the front end. This makes sense as people always say rent if you aren’t going to stay there at least 5-7 years. That seems to be the break-even point on all the costs associated with buying/selling a home.

          I think the major issue is it appears he gave the impression to Hope multiple times that she would receive money out of the sale. And then instead of being upfront or clear after the sale he just ignored and put off the discussion. That is the real problem. Leading someone on and then never coming clean until being prodded multiple times.

          Another odd issue is him claiming deductions for improvements to the property which was not paid by him. Now, maybe he was just trying to come up with more money to break even which may actually be likely.

  • Reply adam |

    Yowch – that hurts and that sucks. I’m sorry it went that way for you. Some thoughts:
    * You are smart to recognize the underlying pattern of “using money to control,” which will help you understand a lot of other situations between the two of you.
    * It seems really cruel that he did that to you – taking advantage of all the love and care (and funds) you put into the house, and not try to bless you with any portion of the proceeds. He was not obligated to, of course, but it would have been the right thing to do.
    * It was brave of you to share the story with the community here – it is obviously deeply personal, emotional, still pretty raw. Readers here can be harsh sometimes and I’m glad most commenters have been supportive so far. Really seems like you got the raw end of this deal.
    * That said, I know he has his side of the story too. I wonder why he feels this need to try to control (or maybe he’d say “influence”) your choices with his pursestrings. I’m sure it goes waaayyy back, probably even to your childhood, and if I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably his way of responding to some mistake he thinks you made along the way, or his way of trying to steer you out of your chosen lifestyle. (As you know, you march to the beat of a different drum and you hold different values in your household than some others, maybe him included).
    * I have seen this type of thing before. Parents generally want their kids to do well, to be stable, to succeed financially. Especially parents of the baby boomer generation – they tend to want their kids to grow up to own a house in the suburbs with 2.2 children and a 401k and all of that. And I have seen before when parents in that generation have a really hard time accepting when their children choose a different path. Some parents do better than others with letting go of that frustration/concern.
    * Often these feelings really come from a place of true love, care, and concern for the kids’ well-being, but they develop into frustration and anger over time.
    * I’ve also noticed that these baby boomer parents can have an especially hard time when kids choose to live more simply, thrifty, and with less material goods, placing more value on life experiences and enrichment. Sometimes I think the reason for this is because the boomer generation was told that success = wealth accumulation and STUFF accumulation, and they think you NEED all these houses and things to be stable and weather any financial storms that come along. So when adult children choose a path that’s more simple and minimal, it can almost come across as an insult or an affront to the values that the parents hold. They can take it personally. It’s weird.

    So anyway, I’m sorry for the way this went down. I admire how you are trying to move forward and learn from the experience. It’s almost like there was some determination when you were named Hope. I hope that at some point, you will be able to repair your relationship with your dad to some level. It seems obvious that he does care about you and love you, but apparently has a bit of a messed up way of showing it sometimes. So it will probably take a while but I hope you two can heal your relationship.

    Great progress in 2014 and good luck continuing to shed debt!

    • Reply Anonymous |

      Adam, you are generalizing “boomer” parents in a way that is false. There are controlling parents of every generation and there always will be. Money is power, no matter where we are on the time spectrum of the human race!

      • Reply adam |

        of course i’m generalizing. but it isn’t false. i have seen it many times. I’m sure it’s not true of all boomer parents, but i didn’t say it was. i said i’ve seen it a lot of times in this generation but some parents do better than others. i stand by my statements. but you can disagree, i don’t mind.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you for the support, adam!
      I will say this…yes, he has always used money to control me as well as my four siblings. Some were able to stand earlier than me. I’m not sure why it took me so long.
      And yes, there is definitely another side, that is his story alone. I own my responsibility in bringing us to this point…I did make the decision to not purchase the house.
      I have definitely learned my lesson in regards to money and family and will take from this to have a strict policy of “loaning” to my children.

    • Reply hannah |

      I hear what you are saying here. My dad always seemed offended when I expressed a desire to live simpler, either with a simple car, a small house, less furniture, etc.

  • Reply AT |

    I suspect a huge fraction of people’s debt problems comes from what we learned about money and it as a use as tool for power/control/esteem/whatever and that if we attack the underlying family rules, the money problems would sort themselves (after digging out of our particular holes). What else did your folks (mom?) teach you about money?

    • Reply Hope |

      My dad has always held the purse strings. And while he has always been very generous, he was also very controlling. My mom was/is also under that same control, but that continues to be her own choice. And I won’t go into their story here as it is there’s alone.

  • Reply SAK |

    Thank you for letting us know what happened – I had been wondering. The outcome is not what was hoped for and certainly not fair – but at least it is over. I like the idea of documenting your inputs into the house (any that you would have not had to pay if you had been renting) and giving the list to your Dad (per Den) – but really only if it doesn’t re-open the mess for you. 2015 is going to be amazing for you and the kids!

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I appreciate the thought of documenting it…but I’ve decided to just let it go. I cannot keep holding on to the anger and hurt, it just eats me up. Not to mention, I have tons of other stuff to focus on…supporting four children, building/maintaining my business, paying off debt and then moving forward with my dreams.

  • Reply Financial Fan |

    That’s too bad that it came to this, Hope. You are wise to cut the financial strings with your father. As a parent of four grown children, I find this hard to understand. My husband and I have given freely (college education for kids, tuition at private schools for grandchildren) without any type of obligation. We do because we love our family and hope to help them as we can in life. We want to be generous. We give out of love, and they live their own lives as they see fit for their own families. Our parents allowed us to live our lives too. We stay out of all decisions! It’s the best way.

  • Reply Sara |

    Wow. Thanks for sharing the outcome of that situation with us. I’m sure that was a painful realization to come to, and not a fun journey to take. I think you did the right thing by extricating yourself from the situation, downsizing, and regrouping. And you did it with as much grace as possible given the circumstances.

    Here’s to 2015 being a great one for your and your kids.

  • Reply Cather |

    GOOD FOR YOU, Hope. Congratulations on taking a stand and being the adult in this situation, all while keeping your heart open and your love for your father intact. I will be one of the dissenters in regards to writing up a receipt and sending it to your dad – I trust you when you say his goal is control, and an invoice would be another opportunity for him to try to drag you back into that dynamic. He’s not going to look at this rationally or fairly. If it helps, draw up a receipt, figure out what you’re owed, and then tear it up, burn it – anything to put a punctuation mark on this chapter. It is such a privilege to watch you grown stronger and smarter; thanks for bringing us on this journey.

  • Reply Shel |

    I agree that this isn’t a very ‘fair’ outcome. It is also a very hard, but valuable lesson. We have also learned not to take financial help from certain people. It WILL come with strings attached. Fortunately we learned this with much smaller amounts of money.

    It also needs to be remembered that some people WILL give with absolutely no stipulations. And at times we have had to learn how to tell the difference, and how to graciously accept from people who will freely give it.

  • Reply Patrick |

    I honestly think the only money you may have a right to is a reimbursement for the capital improvements you made to the home (appliances, patio), and you can sue in small claims court for that. Otherwise, I see basically a rent-to-own home deal you made that you reneged on, and you still expect a payout from it.

    • Reply Lan |

      I see it the same way, actually I’m thinking she might just get reimbursed for the appliances.

    • Reply Hope |

      I never thought it was my “right.” If my dad hadn’t on multiple occassions said that he would give me money from the sale, things would have gone down very differently and most likely the anger and pain I feel would have been minimized.
      As it is, he knowing that things are tight, that I had little support and that I now had to very quickly find and pay for moving asked/expected for me to pay to get the house ready to sale.
      I’m sorry, I don’t need to get into this anymore. Suffice it to say…I did not ask for monies from the sale EVER, he offered and set that expectation and gave me hope. And then stomped on it.

    • Reply amy |

      I actually agree, except I don’t think she should even be reimbursed for appliances and the patio. She reneged on a business deal and losing those funds seem like a natural consequence. i honestly do not understand why Hope feels she should have gotten anything from the sale.

      • Reply Marzey doats |

        I think you people are missing the point, and being very hard on Hope. Her father repeatedly TOLD her that he was buying the house for her, and any profit made would belong to her. Based on this contractual agreement, Hope made many improvements to the house. Now her father is reneging on the agreement, without showing Hope any of the financials. I think Hope is being very gracious here in letting it go.

        Think of it this way, what if Hope had assumed the mortgage in as her father wanted. Then, sold. Wouldnt all the profit have been hers? It would have cost far more in transaction costs, but no one would have had any doubt that it was her right to do so. Her father clearly made an agreement that he reneged on, with a financially vulnerable child. Not cool.

        Hope, kudos for moving on from this in the best way possible. You clearly realize that your relationships are more important than money to you, and it makes your blogging a pleasure to read!

        • Reply amy |

          So you are now saying the Hope is a financially vulnerable child? She is far from a child. If Hope had followed through on her side of the deal and assumed the mortgage and then sold, of course the proceeds would be hers. Thats my point. She reneged on her side of the deal and didnt so they are not. 🙂

          • Marzey doats |

            Yes, Hope will always be her father’s child. Not “A Child”, his child. And I think we can all see that she is in a vulnerable financial position. If you can admit the deal meant that Hope was to get the equity, I don’t see how you can think it is more financially responsible to first assume the mortgage, and pay all closing costs, then to sell. If selling was the plan, Hope did the right thing in being up front with her father regarding her intentions.

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    I am so sorry that this ended the way it did for you. I was hoping that you would finally get a break. I continue to be impressed with your attitude and your determination. You are making great strides. The sacrifices you have made for the sake of your financial future have been great. You have made some big, bold moves and they will pay off. Now that the house issue is over, you can begin again on focusing on your debts, budgets, etc. without distractions. I am also so proud for you for standing up for yourself and speaking your mind. That’s a hard thing to do, especially after a lifetime of this similar treatment. That is a HUGE success!!! Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading more of your successes. Still here cheering you on from SC.

  • Reply AY |

    Wow, this made me so angry to read. I am so sorry you were treated like this, and like the other commenters I applaud your maturity and grace in how you’ve handled it. I have to respectfully disagree with Adam though–yes sometimes controlling people can have good motives mixed in, but ultimately their behavior is self-serving and self-centered, not actually to help the other person.

    I support you moving ahead with this and definitely your wisdom in not getting back into a financial relationship with your father. I will be praying for healing since I know this was a very draining and painful experience and I also am very excited about what 2015 has in store for your family!!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you so much for your prayers! I can assure you that they are working. I have found it easier and easier to let the hurt and anger go, and have even had a few conversations with my parents.
      I think that’s why I haven’t written about this sooner, it just brings it all back with all the feelings.

  • Reply Lan |

    It sucks but at the same time…I can see why your dad doesn’t think you should get any proceeds from the sale. I don’t know you’re dad (I’m just guessing around). He is the landlord and you are the renter, thus whatever you paid (mortgage, homeowner insurance, property taxes, HOA fees) is rent money. Landlords usually factor in their own expenses, as mentioned previously, when deciding how much they should charge for rent. As for the improvements made on the house, renters usually have to ask the landlord for permission before any improvements could be made. Sometimes the landlord agrees to the improvements and pays for them, sometimes the landlord disagrees because he doesn’t want to pay for it, in which case the tenant if he really wants the improvement will offer to pay for it, or the landlord can increase the rent because he is paying for improvements. In the case that the renter does not ask for permission and does the improvements anyways, they might be penalized (i.e. security deposit is lost). Additionally, anything the renter installs/attaches to the house becomes the property of the owner once the lease is up. Of course, I as a reader do not have all the details, but depending on the hidden details (i.i state laws,did the landlord charge a competitive market rate for the rental?, etc) you might be able to sue for unjust enrichment (where only one party is unjustly enriched the expense of another). I’m sorry, I used to go to law school and was a renter that was pretty anal about her lease before signing…then again I also might be completely wrong in what I’m saying, its been awhile…. With all that said, if you’re going to get into any financial dealings with family/friends/strangers, you should get a written contract.

    • Reply Hope |

      I certainly see your perspective and actually agree with it. I did not ask or expect monies from the sale. But even from the very first, when he asked me to move out in 30 days…he said “the money in the house in yours, it’s for you and your family.”
      Over and over he indicated that and said that after the sale he would sit down and look at it. I did not ask for it, I only began to hope for it after he indicated it would be. And that hope, well, it means alot when you are in the situation I am.
      And I would NEVER EVER think of suing my own family. It’s just money, it’s not the end of the world. I just hope we can someday have a somewhat healthy family relationship again.

  • Reply Judi |

    I’m so sorry for this latest trial! However you should be proud of yourself. Look at where you stand in your journey! A year ago with all of that debt crushing you, this might have seemed like an impossible stand to take for yourself. The best thing about getting rid of debt is the freedom and when you have to really fight for it you will appreciate it. This should give you the confidence to know you can achieve your dreams of building a house all on your own!

  • Reply Stephanie |

    I think I would go asking for the money (whatever you determine is appropriate). Some people are willing to get treated like crap by family members, but I am not one of them. People should be treated better by family than they would be by a complete stranger. Had an unrelated party done this to you, I’m guessing you may have made a different decision.

  • Reply Anon |

    I kind of agree with your dad with this situation. You have a history of overextending yourself and not making sound financial decisions. On the other hand, your dad sounds like he has his financial house in order. If he was able to control your finances, you likely wouldn’t be in this situation. Also, I think you should be grateful that he would match your house savings dollar for dollar. I never had that opportunity and I don’t think most people have but yet you scoff at the very idea. If you really are able to stand on your own, why are you asking your dad for money for the car? I think you should be a little more grateful.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      If Hope knew she truly could trust her father, then yes, it’s a generous offer. However, he’s shown that unless she lives her life exactly as HE thinks she should live her, then he will pull the plug on her. His proposal requires BOTH of their signatures for any withdrawal to occur, so if she makes ANY decision about her or her children all he’d have to do is refuse to sign the withdrawal slip and all of her savings are locked up. In that scenario, she hasn’t received anything (his matching), and in fact has lost quite a lot (the money she put into the account).

      Sometimes gifts aren’t really gifts.

  • Reply Juhli |

    I have nothing to add regarding the situation with your Dad. I do want to emphasize though that there are many wonderful men in the world who would have bent over backwards to be fair and helpful in this situation. I hope you have some of them as role models for your 3 sons and that will help them grow to be kind, caring, generous, fair men. Please look for and show them good models and not the poor ones that you have had.

  • Reply Moe |

    Always remember that people can change, I am 53 and I have. I will pray for the mending of both your hearts.

  • Reply Jen From Boston |

    Oh, Hope, I am so sorry you have to go through this, but I am glad that you were able to see this for what it was – an attempt to control you. And I think, in general, that you are making the right decision to avoid any more financial entanglements with your father. Family and money can get so messed up.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      I forgot to add, keep in mind that it isn’t just men who try to control others. Women can do the same thing, trust me. I’ve seen it, and it is just as ugly and damaging.

  • Reply Katie |

    I’m sorry this happened. Adult family and finances are a bad combination, especially when it comes to real estate. We had a situation in my family where my grandmother sold her house to one of my aunts. My grandmother wanted my cousins to live in a better neighborhood, go to better schools, etc. than where they were living. About 18 months in, my aunt and uncle quit paying the mortgage (my grandmother carried the contract). They lived there for another 10 years. 25 years later and there are still resentments. I will NEVER get involved in a real estate transaction with a family member. Never.

  • Reply Meg |

    As a longtime reader (since Tricia), I find Hope challenging to read. One of the goals of the blog had always been accountability through transparency and advice. I can’t relate to what I read. Free braces? Doesn’t like the drive. Car that holds lots of people? Doesn’t like minivans. House? Changed mind. Personal loan forgiven (the other debt progress besides the car)? But too controlling (not disputing, but action reaction). It’s demotivating as a reader to be making tough choices and read “I won’t…” repeatedly.

    • Reply Hope |

      I can certainly relate to inability to relate, there have definitely been other’s stories I felt the same about. But just to clear up a few points:
      1. Free braces – we did them for two years. Typically about 4 hours out of my work day 1-2 times per month (and remember I’m a contract worker, so no work, no pay.) Then the orthodontist said knock some teeth out or break his jaw…and we called it quits then. There are no other orthos near us that take their insurance, so thus the free consultation to see if there were in fact alternatives. So I certainly took advantage of the “free” braces.
      2. The car that holds alot of people was to have other children, and I don’t see how a minivan is any different than an SUV. Either way it’s a mute point, we are not taking any more children until I get my financial house in order and that eats at me daily, but I know it’s for the best. So we squeeze into our tiny car (3 of us are taller than average) and we roll. It is a sacrifice of comfort everytime we have to go somewhere as a family, everytime. But again, we are sacrificing comfort for the long term.
      3. Yes, I changed my mind on the house. With my growing family, it was not the right place for us financially or space wise. I did not abandon it. I would have lived there until it sold, I would have gotten it all ready to sell. I would have done it all and my dad would not have had to be bothered other than to sign the paperwork and collect his money. HE chose not to take me up on that option, HE chose that.
      4. Personal loan forgiven? What? No loans have been forgiven, all monies have been paid back in full. Believe me, no one is cutting me any slack, nor am I asking for it. Even the overdrawn checking account…they called and offered me a deal on that today. I told them, we owe it, we pay it.
      So I’m not sure what you are seeing me say “I won’t” too, but I have to respectfully disagree. Believe me, this journey is hard and stressful and joyless. But you know what, I can now see a light at the end of the tunnel, and if we have to continue on this sacrificial journey for the next couple of years, I will get to the place where I can help others, take other children in.

    • Reply Anon |

      Agreed. The entitlement attitude is very hard to stomach. The difference between an SUV and a minivan is lots of money.

  • Reply Kili |

    Since I’ve always regretted not standing up for Claire while there was still time to:
    Hope, although your live is quite different from mine & although I’d handle some things differently:
    I really like to read about your journey.
    I think you’re doing a great job.
    I find it truley inspiring how far you’ve come in such a short time.
    You’ve worked hard and made so many changes to improve your financial situations.
    I think your posts are quite honest and transparent. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply revdrmd |


      I agree with your comments.
      Hope, your journey is inspiring. I admire you for wanting to care for children who have no to care for them. I admire your honesty and truly think your name suits you.

      It takes courage to be as open and honest as Hope, Ashley, and the other blog writers have been on this blog.

      Kili, I regret that like you, I have not offered more words of encouragement to those who are sharing their journey. So thank you Hope for sharing and for sharing the bad times as well as the good times.

  • Reply CanadianKate |

    As an extremely solvent parent of an adult child with financial insecurity, I appreciate Hope sharing her story. It was very brave of her.

    I’m reading the details and comments closely in the hopes that I will not make errors while walking the delicate support vs control tight-rope.

    My son doesn’t make bad choices, it just seems that the good choices available to him are fewer than they are for a lot of people. He is still a young adult with no responsibilities aside from his own safety and his job so he has time to find his way in the world. I try to remain a safety net (for instance, when he’s sick he gets no pay so he comes here not only for nursing and comfort but also food, drives to the doctor and I paid for his doctor’s notes since each one represented 2 hours of working and he wasn’t working at all because he was too sick), without being controlling. He makes poor choices but his debt level is very low for someone his age and is no longer increasing (although his car will be the next big expense and he needs it for his second job.)

    At some point he wants to stop renting and at that point he’ll need more help from us so that’s why Hope’s posts on this matter have given me lots to think about.

  • Reply Ashley |

    I initially read this on my phone and had intended to reply but got distracted and forgot to come back, but I had to tonight because it’s such a moving story that I just had to let you know I’m thinking of you! Some of the early comments resonated with me (to ask for at least half of your costs back), but after reading your replies to several people I’ve changed my mind and think its truly best to let it go (as you are doing – so just giving you props on a tough call!!!) I would think of that money as money spent to buy a very valuable lesson. This would help me, personally, to feel less anger/frustration over the situation because then instead of thinking of it as money wasted (or even money cheated), I think of it as a financial transaction – I paid money to buy the “service” of learning a hard lesson. I also think you’re right to not want to enter into any future financial situations with your father. Given the circumstances (and the history of financial control issues), this is 100% the best option. I know I’m not saying anything new here – all of this is stuff you’ve already independently decided upon. Just a show of support here. Wanted to let you know I’m rooting for you and think you’re doing an incredible job! Keep your head up! 2015 is truly your year!!!! ((hugs))

So, what do you think ?