During the holidays we checked an old apartment that my parents have back home (it has been uninhabited for 20 years) and that Mr Lyn and I are considering fixing.
Talking with the family about our ideas for the apartment, I realized once again how difficult it is for me to talk about these things at home.
Money as a taboo
When I try to ask, what is the cost of the electrical installation? I get back a “that´s nothing”, “that does not matter because you have to do it anyway”, ” do not worry about that”. I may be especially worried about how much the cost will add up to, I do not deny it. But I was never involved in a house reform, I have no idea how much things cost and I would like to have an estimatation.
For example, maybe I like two possible room designs, which in my mind are almost the same, but it turns out that for technical reasons one costs twice as much as the other. Or the walls can be made with two materials and the price difference is significant. Maybe the difference in quality is also significant and the savings are not worth it (or yes), but if I do not have the information it is difficult to make an informed decision …
Money and family
Although people do not openly acknowledge it, money is clearly a factor in most of our daily decisions. And it would be much easier if it was part of the conversation. I guess this blog is getting me used to being comfortable with saying all the numbers and talking without any fuss. And it frustrates me that I can not talk directly about money with the family or with the contractor.
You will think “contractors provide quotations. Find a good professional and you will have your quote in hand before deciding. “
You are absolutely right, with one exception: If you ask my father to recommend a bricklayer and he says “I’ll take care of it”. That’s where the conversation about the budget ended.
As you will know if you read this blog, currently neither Mr Lyn nor I are in Spain, so we are delegating the initial part of the work in our parents. The floor is an attic and the roof of the building is going to be fixed, so we want to take advantage of the skylight windows. We trust their choice of professionals and we do not want to interfere because they are doing us a favor.
So as a consequence today we have no idea how much the work would cost because it seems that it is inappropiate to be all the time asking about the price of things.
Is it better not to know? Of course not, it makes us crazy not to have a clear budget. But it is a risk that we are willing to take for the family good 🙂
The lack of investment perspective
For us the decision is whether to put money in funds or put it on the apartment.
We see it as an investment, which we will only do if we can make a profit. We will continue living in Madrid for the next few years so our idea is to rent the flat through Airbnb or similar platforms and recover the investment little by little.
Well, what for us is logical reasoning, when I presented it at home it was not so clear. The most lapidary phrase was “if you were in need …” implying that we do not need the money so we should not be cheap and risk having the apartment ruined for a few bucks.
In general, we pass these comments, but in this case, as the apartment is my parents’, it seems important to us that they agree with our idea.
So this Christmas we expect a serious conversation about the investment and the subsequent use of the apartment before deciding whether or not to get it fixed.