I’m disappointed with my parents-in-law for not lending me money to purchase land

By Hoang Hue   April 26, 2024 | 03:18 pm PT
I was initially excited about acquiring land after my parents-in-law mentioned they would lend money to my husband and me, but now they’ve changed their stance.

I’m 33 and currently living in Hanoi with my 37-year-old husband. We’ve been married for nine years and have a seven-year-old son.

Both sets of our parents are retired military personnel. My family is relatively wealthier compared to my in-laws. After retirement, my parents relocated to Hanoi, whereas my in-laws moved back from the capital to their hometown and purchased a villa, although they didn’t initially have the funds and had to secure a bank loan.

The house was bought around the time of our wedding preparation. Back then, I questioned my husband about our future housing plans if we were to get married and settle in Hanoi. He mentioned we would rent, which puzzled me given that his parents had a house in their hometown yet opted to buy another on credit, even though their son was about to wed and lacked a residence in Hanoi.

Still, our wedding went ahead as planned, and my parents let us stay in an apartment they previously rented out. My in-laws contributed VND200 million (US$7,891) towards renovating this apartment.

After residing there for three years, my parents bought a five-story house and allowed us to move in. In contrast, my in-laws asked if they could borrow the money we received as wedding gifts, which I couldn’t help because I had already deposited it into savings.

After a decade together, my husband and I have saved up VND1 billion. Recently, we considered buying land on the outskirts of Hanoi for investment, but given the current property prices, we would need at least VND1.5-2 billion to turn that idea into reality.

So we discussed borrowing money with both families. My parents were unable to lend us any money at the time, but my in-laws said they had VND300 million and were willing to lend it to us if needed. Confident in their support, I began searching for land.

However, a few days later, when my husband spoke with his father, he learned they no longer had VND300 million available. What remained was just over VND200 million, which they decided to lend to my sister-in-law as she wanted to purchase a 1000-square-meter plot on Phu Quoc Island.

The thing is, my sister-in-law had previously purchased two pieces of land in their hometown, despite living abroad with her foreign husband. If she needed additional funds, I felt she could have sold her rural land plots instead of asking for support from my parents-in-law.

Also, if we could purchase land in our name, it would alleviate some of the pressure on my husband since we currently reside at my parents’ house. However, it seems he and his family are comfortable with this arrangement continuing indefinitely without concern for housing or property. Whenever I bring up this topic, my husband finds it hard to engage and tends to side with his parents, maintaining that it would be ideal if they could lend us the money, but it’s not an issue if they can’t.

Another issue arose when my parents- and sister-in-law criticized our budget as too high and suggested we buy one of my sister-in-law’s land in their hometown instead, which was valued between VND1.5-1.6 billion. They argued that purchasing rural land would be cheaper and that we would have someone to oversee it. I was not pleased with this suggestion, refusing to consider letting my children live in a rural area in the future. I also believed that land in Hanoi would hold more value.

This, plus the shift in my in-laws’ stance, led to several arguments with my husband.

I feel that my in-laws prefer my sister-in-law because she has settled abroad with her foreign husband, which makes them proud among relatives and neighbors. She also contributes financially to their home renovations.

In contrast, my husband and I, both working in Hanoi, focus on saving for our children rather than financially assisting my in-laws. In exchange, we rely on my parents, who provide a loving and supportive environment for my children without expecting anything in return, to care for and pick up the kids instead of asking favors from my parents-in-law.

Do you think I’m too harsh with my in-laws?

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