She Needs A Nice Nest

William had the idea to buy a multi-unit building once their home is paid off and live in it. His wife doesn't like the idea of living in the same building as their tenants.

QUESTION: William in Pensacola and his wife are close to paying off their house. William had the idea to buy a multi-unit building once their home is paid off and live in it. His wife doesn’t like the idea of living in the same building as their tenants. Dave says economically, it makes a lot of sense, but Dave wouldn’t do it because of the relational aspect.

ANSWER: I think it’s an idea a guy would come up with. It sounds like something I would do.

I have learned over the years of doing financial counseling, and being married almost 30 years now, that guys really don’t care where we live. We can live under a bridge. Where a lady lives means a lot to her. The quality of her nest is a big deal for most ladies. Most guys really couldn’t care less. We’re talking about the quality of life because you’re doing a business deal here in her nest. That’s how she’s feeling.

Economically, financially, mathematically, what you’re proposing makes a lot of sense. But it’s messing with psychological and relational things I wouldn’t fool with. The one negative thing, from a business perspective, having been in situations where I had rental property on the same street with me or something like that, is that the good news is your tenants are next door. The bad news is your tenants are next door. In other words, if they owe you money, you can go knock on the door and figure this out. If a light bulb burns out, they’re going to be knocking on your door at one o’clock in the morning. It really requires some very healthy, firm discussions with tenants. Then you also have to observe boundaries with tenants. Usually, you are friends with your next-door neighbors. In this case, though, you have a business relationship, and you might have to evict them, so it’s a little tough to become friends. It does present some weirdness from a business perspective. The actual mathematics of how it works out is good other than the weirdness. As far as marriage relations and those kinds of things, I wouldn’t do it. I’m going to take her side overall, although I do want to openly confess that it’s something I would’ve thought of because the numbers make a lot of sense when you look at it. If she’s all on board and thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, that’s fine. But where she’s put up a barrier like that, I think you’re going to pay an unseen price that’s going to make it less than fun.