It’s Time to Move in with my Parents

zero day finance move in with parents

To those of you who know me in person (there are about 10 of you) or who have been following my blog for awhile, you’ve known about my decision to move back in with my parents for awhile now. But for everyone else, this may come as a surprise. After living on my own with Zero Day Fiancée for the past 3 years, we have made the decision to go back to the nest and live with our parents.

Leaving the Nest for College

I graduated from High school in the summer of 2009. Instead of going to an in-state school, I opted for a private university in Maryland. It was a purely financial decision: I received a full scholarship to an excellent school, whereas going to any of the SUNY schools would have cost about $12,000 per year. A win-win in my book.

It felt… strange leaving home. I had spent the past 19 years living with my family, and now I was a shiny-eyed freshman surrounded by exactly 0 people that I knew. Putting myself in this position forced me to grow. Once I ended up moving off campus, I had to figure out how to find an apartment. I learned how to cook (my first failed meal was bbq chicken) and take care of myself without an RA stepping in for random advice.

zero day finance move in with parents graduation

After I graduated from college, I continued living in my frat house basement. It was a nice place, and my rent was only $425 per month including utilities. With a salary of $84,000, this was awesome, and one of the biggest reasons that I was able to pay off my student loans so quickly. I eventually moved into a studio apartment with Zero Day Fiancée a few months later.

Living together was awesome, we finally had our own space to call our own. We combined our furniture into a set that didn’t quite fit together, but worked well enough. After a few months, we even brought down Zero Doge Finance with us. Alas, my work commute was a pain. 30 – 90 minute of driving in each direction was simply too much. We decided to move to Silver Spring, taking me closer to work. It also put Zero Day Fiancée closer to Washington, D.C. and it was much easier to find work there.

We bit the bullet and got our 1 bedroom apartment where we’ve been for the past 2.5 years. We sold most of our old furniture, bought new stuff, and decorated. It really felt like home. Because it was home.

Moving Back Home to NY

We always planned on moving back to New York. I imagined we would move back after living in Silver Spring for at least 3 or 4 years. That way, we would both be more established in our careers. But circumstances changed. Zero Day Fiancée got a job offer in NY that she couldn’t refuse. This left us in a predicament.

She went up to New York and stayed there. But I was in the process of negotiating an awesome job offer that I couldn’t refuse either. My new job included a ton of WFH, so I made a deal with them: I would come into the office every day for six months, then move to NY and be completely remote (when I don’t need to travel).

Well, those 6 months are over, and I’m driving up to New York on Friday to finally be with my family. Making the decision to go back to New York was easy. Both of our families are there, and we want to spend more time with them. Plus, we’re native Long Islanders, and we always wanted to go back.

But Why Move in With Our Parents?

Back in July, we started looking at apartments on Long Island. And it started to freak us out. We found a few newly renovated 1 bedroom apartments (we really need 2 for my WFH office) for $2,200 per month. With parking and utilities included, it would be closer to $2,500 – $2,700 per month. And that’s a ton of money, money we didn’t want to spend.

zero day finance move in with parents apartment

In addition, we owe $1,960 to break our lease in Maryland early, $2,200 for a realtors fee, and $4,400 for first an last month’s rent if we got our own apartment in New York. Who has a cool $7,000 just sitting around? Plus it would cost about $500 – $1,000 to move us up to New York. It just didn’t make sense, I would need to nuke half of my emergency fund just for this.

Then we started thinking: what if we just live with our parents? Most people our age have been living with their parents for awhile, and are finally moving out. We’ve been relatively independent and are looking to move back in. And we’re perfectly fine with that, and our parents are fine with that as well. At least for now.

For me, the decision to move back in with our parents was simple. There are 2 main arguments that made it a very easy decision for me.

  1. We love our parents / future in-laws
  2. We can save an extra $2,500 per month

First of all, each of us love our parents dearly. The harsh reality is that our parents won’t always be with us. Spending more time with them now is precious, and we’ll appreciate it for the rest of our lives. Plus we both love our in-laws, and really enjoy spending time with them. We’ve bonded over the past few years, and they truly are our family.

In addition, we’ll save an additional $2,500 per month. I currently save $2,500 – $3,000 per month towards a house down payment. We are getting married in 9 months. This will help us save an extra $45,000 for a house down payment by the time we are married. Now, most of you are probably thinking “$45,000? That’s enough for a down payment!” Well, not quite.

Real estate on Long Island is prohibitively expensive. If we could find a recently renovated 1,600 – 2,000 square foot house in a good school district for less than $600,000, we’ll be really happy. But this means we need $120,000 for a down payment. We’re also thinking about having children, and will become a 1-income household for a few years. That means we probably want closer to $150,000 – $175,000 down to make the monthly payments manageable. Oh, I forgot to mention that property taxes on Long Island are around 2.2%. so we’ll be paying more than $1,000 per month for that.

All this means is that living at home with our parents makes sense. Not only do we get to spend more time with them, but we can greatly accelerate the time it takes to buy our own home.

To actually move up to New York, we decided to sell all of our furniture. Yes, we had about $3,000 worth of stuff. I’m actually typing this right now sitting on the floor in my empty living room. Pretty much nothing is left, not even the carpet and standing mirror. We got about $600 total by selling everything. But, this means we saved $500 – $1,000 in moving expenses, and also $200 per month for a storage unit. We’ll make up the cost pretty quickly, and worth it in my opinion.

Goodbye, Maryland

Maryland has been my home for the past 8 years. I’ve had mostly good times, a few bad. But It’s changed me for the better. I even got to meet some awesome personal finance bloggers. I’ll definitely try and schedule a meetup next time I’m in the state, which probably won’t be for a few months. So for now, goodbye, but I’ll be back soon!

zero day finance moving in with parents

The awesome DC PF Money Nerd crew!

Good Hunting,

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27 Responses

  1. Interesting to hear your perspective in this. I actually wrote about moving back in with parents last week, but from the perspective that it would be a last resort for me, and not at all because I don’t get along with my family. The money thing is a huge factor, but for me, I’m willing to pay for having the independence.
    I don’t have to deal with the crazy housing costs in NY though!

    • David says:

      Spending time with our family and saving lots of $$$ are definitely worth it in our opinion. By doing this, we probably go from home ownership in 4 years to 1.5-2

  2. You will crush it in strong island just like you crushed it in the DMV. Another chapter begins and I’m pumped for you. Those long island estate numbers are scary. It’s good you planned ahead to live with parents in order to be ready to make the right moves later. That’s good deployment of patience. It will pay off greatly.

    • David says:

      Thanks K.P! The LI real estate numbers scare me which is why we’re working as hard as possible to save up enough so we can get our own place. We’re probably getting a house 2 years faster by taking these steps.

  3. Glad you’re finally moving back to be with your family. Sounds like moving in with your parents will be a great financial decision and set you up for the future. Best of luck on your drive!

    • David says:

      Thanks Lance! I’m glad to be home. Well, technically I’m still in Maryland. But driving up to NY tomorrow at 10am and we’ll hopefully be back around 2:30. Although NY traffic sucks so probably later.

  4. Jane says:

    Huzzah for coming back up north! There’s nothing wrong with moving back home. I agree with you that it’s important to spend more time with family, especially when you know they won’t be around forever. Plus, when you get that down payment saved up, it’s going to be so worth it.
    Loving the DC bloggers pic – looking forward to one for the NYC crew 🙂

  5. Steveark says:

    I hope it works out for you. Maybe I am reading too much into your post but it sounds like you are trying too hard to convince yourself that it is a good idea, meaning you might deep down think it isn’t. Could be my bias as a boomer parent of three millennials who, thankfully, never asked to move back to my house. I’d do anything for them in an emergency but I’m also kind of proud that, short of an emergency, they’d never ask me to. Well, they do dump their spoiled indoor dogs on us to sit when they go on vacation sometimes, really don’t get the indoor dog concept!

    • David says:

      Hey Steveark,

      Thanks for commenting! I’m actually 100% set on the decision. I’m really excited to be back home and with our family. Being home with our families was the end goal, but saving an extra $2,500 per month is icing on the cake.

      We’ve traveled a few times, and this meant we had to leave our dog with a sitter. $40/night is expensive, but at least we know they’re being taken care of. We wouldn’t ask our family to watch the dog because they don’t really like dogs, except for my future mother-in-law. She says she doesn’t like them, but he loves giving Bo all the treats in the world.

  6. Sounds like a good plan, David!

    We did something very similar, but in my case it was to return to college and finish my undergraduate degree. My grandfather’s health was failing, so we moved in with him. It was a win-win: we cooked the meals and maintained his house, and in exchange we got to live there rent-free. I finished school, got a better job and we all moved to a nicer home with a full suite for him, which made things easier for him with this own master bath, etc. A bonus to all of this plan was that my kids got to be around him more before he passed away.

    • David says:

      Thanks, Jason! I’m glad that you got to spend time with your grandfather, and that you finished your degree. Living rent free gives you a huge financial leg up, and spending time with your family is usually a no brainer.

  7. Awesome that you guys have a great relationship with your parents and you can make this work. If my parents had a bigger place and were up here, we’d have considered doing that I think. Even if only temporary (six months or a year) it’s a great way to save money if you can agree upon it. We could have lived with my brother and his family, but honestly didn’t want to live with my nieces as much as we love them haha.

    Out of curiosity are you setting any expectations about paying them anything for utilities, food, etc.? Always curious to see how these situations pan out because it can vary so much by family.

    Good luck with the move! 🙂

    • David says:

      Thanks Dave! We haven’t set up any official payment stuff with them. In reality, my fiancee will spend most of the time at her mom’s house. I’ll spend a few days a week there, and also float between my mom and dad’s houses. Most likely, I’ll just cook for them, help them clean, fix any technical problems, etc.

  8. Zed says:

    You know I’ve been following since the beginning, so I must chime in. Congrats on finally getting to move back closer to family AND for getting along so well with them! I know the two of us would not be able to make that type of situation work, we just really need our space at times. I also must say putting your career, must-have jobs first is very bold and I am happy that it is working out so well. Not everyone can plan that so nicely, and make the sacrifice you both did, so good for you!

    Having fun with that NY real estate? I know we’ve looked a few times (upstate even) and those property taxes are just “too damn high!” Add to that the entry price of LI and it’s a tough nut to crack. You guys are going to crush it with your mindset and attitudes, so I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

    Good luck with the move and enjoy the time with your family. 😀

    • David says:

      Thanks Zed! You have been following me since the very beginning 🙂

      Cracking the LI real estate market will be very tough, not even post worthy. Save, keep saving, and just keep saving. Eventually I’ll have enough.

  9. Sounds like a good plan. I could never move back in with my dad but I stayed with my brother for 3 months in 2012 when I was waiting to close on a house. Good for my wallet, good for his wallet (I paid some), and we got along great.

    We’ll miss you here in the DMV! Contact us whenever you are in the area and we’ll put a meetup together.

  10. This is a great plan. Your job is okay with the setup, get to spend more time with your parents and now the process saving money for a house will be faster. All the best David!!

  11. Great choice David. Sounds like you’ve thought about it for a while! I wish we could do that with my SO for a while, unfortunately as expats, both our families live 10+ hours by plane from our place (and in a different country)

    • David says:

      Yeah sounds like that wouldn’t work for you. It’s only temporary, but the amount we’re saving is incredible, definitely worth it. Plus spending time with family.

  12. It’s a good temporary solution in my mind. If you know you guys are only going to be there for six months to 12 months, it makes it easier, especially since there’s a purpose of buying a house.

    But gosh, 2.2% property tax a year is crazy! I sold my rental house this year because I didn’t want to pay the 1.3% property tax. But that was costing me over 22,000 a year.

    • David says:

      Definitely a good temporary solution. Right now, we’re trying to figure out how to best respect our parent’s space, keep everything as clean as possible, help out around the house, etc. I’m hoping to stay here for less than 12 months, I don’t want to stress anyone out too much. It’s also a great motivator to get us to save more. We’ll need to save another $100,000 over the next 12 months if we realistically want to buy a house. Getting married will help, but we’re very motivated to save every cent that we earn now.

      Thanks for your comment!

  13. Simple Money Man says:

    Wow, I didn’t know you were in MD; I live in Laurel (pretty much between DC and Baltimore). You made a great decision and by reading on these housing prices will need every penny saved for a comfortable down payment. I’d suggest a fixer upper (can go in with a low offer and fix things on your own as you budget for them and learn how to DIY in the process) 🙂

    • David says:

      I used to work around there! Have you ever been to R & R Taqueria? It was on diners, drive-ins and dives. Awesome food!

      A fixer-upper would be “fun,” especially with all of those shows on HGTV. Not sure we would want to get into a home that needs $100k of work, but its always an option.

  14. GYM says:

    That’s a big decision, and a big sacrifice, but good for you for making it work to get a better future and save more! You’ve got it figured out and you’re still very young!

    • David says:

      Thank you! I’m already seeing the impact of moving back in with our parents. I’ll probably save an extra $1,800 per month this way, huge numbers!

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