Is This a Crappy Question?

Dear Robin:

I’ve read you for over a year and you probably won’t answer this because it’s so stupid and weird and petty compared to your other stuff but my boyfriend Brad and I are hoping you will and ASAP!

We are buying our first home with a limited budget.  Because of money and the neighborhoods we like best, we are looking mainly at small older homes.  We haven’t found much lately but FINALLY we found two we like.  Problem?

One has only one bathroom but has a garage and the other has no garage but does have two bathrooms.

LOL – are you about to say “First World Problems?”

Question: I really want at least 1.5 baths and he really wants a garage for his Baby, also known as his vintage convertible Mustang.  We have to decide SOON because the market is hot for sellers and we don’t want to miss out on either of these homes.

Who wins?


Dear Chad:

This letter is not stupid.  This letter is awesome.  While I understand your urge to hop onto the housing frenzy, I urge you to be patient until you find a house right for both of you.  

Let’s talk specifics about why Chad and Brad should each get what they need:

The Bathroom Situation

One cannot underestimate the need for more than one toilet in a home if that home is occupied by two or more people.

First, you aren’t constantly subjected to the odors of the digestive process, especially disgusting first thing in the morning or after Thanksgiving dinner.  When it comes to toilets, one needs choices.

Second, let me tell you a little story:

Robin and Mom and Ray Get Food Poisoning

After college I briefly lived with my mom Mary and supplemental dad Ray.  I had no money, no job, and they were very kind to take me in.  Thanks, guys!

Mary and Ray had a gorgeous bungalow but only one bathroom.  That wasn’t usually a big problem although we all found it a little challenging.

And then we had Mexican Nightmare.

I will spare you the details, but all three of us came down with violent food poisoning from a questionable Mexican restaurant.  The only reason we didn’t end up fertilizing the yard and possibly killing each other is because they ate at the restaurant but brought my food home, so I was about an hour behind them.

It was bad.

Really bad.  

We fought over that bathroom like 80 year-old women in an independent living facility fight over a recently widowed and still breathing man.

My experience tells me this, Chad: you need two toilets or a house with room for a bathroom addition.  I believe this with all my heart and (lower intestine).

The Garage Situation

Your boyfriend’s Baby is very important to him and I’m not surprised because you sent me a photo and it is gorgeous.  

I would kill for that car, but instead I’ll just sell 3 million copies of my soon-to-be-published How to Get Divorced Without Losing Your Kids, Your Money and Your Mind: a Holistic and Practical Guide to Marital Dissolution and Family Reorganization.

You also both have a fair amount of belongings you will need to store when you combine homes and a garage is a good place to put them until you sort out what you can and cannot part with.

Therefore, you need a home with at least a one-car garage or enough space to build one.

Wait, What?  So We are Both Wrong?

Yes.  And no.

You asked me, “who wins?”  

The answer is, “nobody wins.”  

This is not a contest or an argument.  Buying a home is a monumental decision having no room for winners and losers.  It is a stressful process leading up to a choice each of you will have to live with for some time to come.

I am imaging two scenarios which will come back to haunt you if you buy one of the homes you are considering (assuming neither house can accommodate the additions mentioned earlier or you cannot afford them):

Scenario #1

Brad capitulates to your whining and promises for daily oral and you both purchase the home without a garage.  Six months later he is annoyed on a daily basis because he has to park Baby on the street.

Seven months later Baby is stolen, vandalized, and recovered weeks later by the police with the seats and steering wheel missing and a hobo’s body in the trunk.

Brad can’t help but to blame you and your fancy needs for two water closets.  The relationship falters and he moves in with Chuck, a fine upstanding gentleman who has a two-car garage for Brad’s new Baby and a big dipstick besides.

Scenario #2

You agree to the house with a garage and one toilet.  You have your own version of Mexican Nightmare and Brad locks himself in the bathroom, forcing you to shit on the front porch in a yet-to-be-planted pot as the neighbors look on.  

A video surfaces on YouTube and your humiliation never ends, thus causing a breakup and your eternal search for a man whose home has at least two bathrooms, preferably four.

Can We Get to the Advice, Already?

Chad, unless one of you has a genuine change of heart or you can find a home suitable for affordable modification my advice is to take a deep breath and slow down.

I know it’s tough when the housing market is scorching hot and inventory is low, but leaping into a purchase one of you isn’t happy with is not wise.

Be patient.  Wait for the one you both want and eventually it will come.



This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. tamsen

    For once I mildly disagree. Waiting might be a good idea, but sometimes it’s really not. I live in California so the housing market goes through extreme ups and a few downs, but mostly extreme ups. Also, here in California, space is at a premium and small houses are quite common. I have lived in a 2 bedroom 1 bath house with a backyard “casita” guest room with no bathroom since 1989. I have raised my now 21 year old daughter in this house (so there have been 3 of us for years) without incident. (No multiple food poisonings, thank god.) There have been times over Christmas when we’ve actually had 2 adults and 4 teenagers in this house with the one bathroom and it all has worked out fine. My vote is buy the house with a garage and one bathroom. Hopefully someday you can add a half bath, but if not, frankly it’s not the end of the world.

  2. A Loyal Fan

    I live in a bungalow with one bathroom and no “usable” garage, and I’m perfectly content! (Although I do pee in the yard every now and again when the kids come home or the cats are drinking from the one toilet (don’t ask) and I just don’t want to deal with it, and, by the way, it feels quite manly out there in nature.)

  3. askdescamp

    I should stress that the bathroom things is important to Chad (and to me!) but not everyone! I didn’t mean to come off as a princess or anything. I just like my own personal potty.

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