A few years ago, a friend announced she was ready to buy a home of her own. I was thrilled for her: Here was someone who’d worked hard her entire adult life, who’d saved diligently for her down payment and who was ready to cross a threshold of adulthood that few of my other friends had.
I oohed and aahed over the virtual tours of the condos she liked, admiring the sleek appliances and central air that so many rental properties in Boston lack. When her choices boiled down to two potential homes—the second floor of a triple-decker and a studio in a converted mill—she consulted me to go over a list of pros and cons for each space.
I started asking about the HOA (homeowners association) fees, bypassing stuff like which neighborhood she liked best and which one was closest to our favorite bars. While the triple-decker was charming, it needed some work—and while the mill space was move-in ready, the fees were almost double that of the triple-decker, and for half the space.
“Do you feel confident in your ability to pay for renovations, without a credit card, if you go with option one?” I asked her. And just how far would her budget stretch to cover her living expenses if she chose option two?
I expected her to wax poetic about interest rates and discuss the state of her emergency savings. Instead my friend went radio silent, and shut me out completely. In fact, she never let me know which apartment she chose in the end. I didn’t even hear from her at all until I received an invitation to her housewarming party to that oh-so-chic studio I’d questioned several months later.
Alas, my money meddling had struck again.
RELATED: Do You Have Money-Toxic Friendships?