Looking a gift house in the mouth
DEAR HARRY: My husband and I are in our early 30s, and we've been happily married for eight years. We have a 4-year-old daughter. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and he works as an office manager. He earns about $75,000, including a bonus at year-end. I'm an only child of a pretty wealthy lawyer.
My parents have always been very generous with us. They now want to pay for a larger house for us in the suburbs. My husband has said no in very strong terms. He says this is a reflection on his masculinity. He insists that he wants us to live on our own. He is very happy to have my parents as his in-laws, but wants no part of such a huge gift.
We have been unable to make him budge one inch even with better schools and larger living quarters. Any ideas on how to get him to accept the gift?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: You have really put me on the spot. I can fully understand both sides of this standoff. Let's try a slightly different approach. What about your parents providing a mortgage at 0 percent? This has some tax implications that your parents can work out, but it preserves your husband's desire to feel in charge.
Another possibility is for them to rent to you a home that they buy. On the other hand, there are millions of guys out there who would be grateful for the gift and feel no loss of masculinity.
Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or
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