Please stop assuming that I’m ignorant

Originally the title said “stupid”, but ignorant is a more appropriate word as it defines a lack of awareness.

So anyway, I’m buying a house. Yay! After a fairly long search, it came up pretty quickly and I’ve acted on it. As a result, everyone whom I talk to about it feels the need to offer the same advice. Advice that I’ve probably given to others in the past.

But that’s okay. People are trying to be helpful, and I appreciate it.

So here’s the thing: I’m buying the house jointly with my roommate and we’re splitting the title. Gets us both into paying a mortgage instead of paying rent. I think it’ll work out very well.

And if you say one word about us needing a contract on the shared equity and exit strategies and all that, I promise that I will block you from ever again posting a comment on this site.

And now you understand why I’m a little annoyed and a little sick of people assuming that we’re too ignorant to know better. So please, put your minds at ease: regardless of the fact that we’re good friends, I would never do anything like this without a contract. The reason being, it’s best to spell out the details right now, rather than having to do that two years in and potentially cause friction.

So thank you for your advice; now keep it to yourselves.

It’s not that I mind people giving advice…it just gets tiring of hearing it from everyone. And what I’m waiting for is for someone to say “obviously you’ve already thought about an equity/exit agreement”. Translation: recognizing that we’re not utterly naive.

Just because neither of has owned a home before doesn’t mean that we’re ignorant. I work in the architecture industry–a land of agreements and contracts and, hey, building ownership. I served on the WCRI board of directors for two years, where I discovered that perfectly nice people could be perfect jerks if they thought they could get away with it.

Of course, a lot of people don’t think of that stuff when they think of me, and that’s fair. It’s not the persona I present for the most part. Instead, people see me as someone who is fairly optimistic and arguably too trusting in the world around me. To which I say, yes, I do put a lot of trust into people and situations that sometimes do not deserve it. But do I do it blindly? No. That’s what people don’t get. I’m something of a risk taker in that sense, because I often recognize that something or someone has not shown themselves worthy of trust, and I do it anyway. Why?

Because I refuse to give in and become another skeptic who sees disaster around every corner. Not to say that you have to be one or the other–I just think I would be one or the other.

I gamble on trust. More often than not I put my trust into situations that don’t deserve it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, I live with it. A lot of other people can’t deal with life the same way. And that’s fine.

It’s my way of living life. It may or may not be yours.

To be fair, the advice givers aren’t all assuming that I’m naive. And to be fair, I’ve probably come across the same way in the past. People hear our plan, and they immediately think that a contract is a good suggestion. So they make it. I’d rather they do that than assume we know and say nothing. But I’d most rather that they assume we know and acknowledge it anyway.

So while this started out as a rant, it’s turned into a “this is a behaviour that I will seek to correct in myself so as not to be a hypocrite” statement.

In truth, I wasn’t expecting that. But I’ll take it.



  1. So my advice is you need…no, wait, that isn’t what I was going to write…you got me all sidetracked with your not wanting advice.

    Congratulations on your new house!

  2. Grin

    Well Russ, obviously you’ve already thought about an equity/exit agreement. I would be absolutely mind boggled if you hadn’t. May I offer an additional piece of advice, which you’ve probably also thought about?

    I am looking for an actual reply, because I know you’re irate right now and I know that you’re neither stupid nor ignorant and so probably don’t need the advice anyway. It’s more to make me feel better.

    Before I log off, let me put it in writing as well – Congratulations on the house!

  3. I will not offer any advice.

    I will, however, offer my services if you need a hand with move-in, cleaning, painting, etc.

    I will also offer my congratulations to the heap. Hooray for becoming a home-owner!

  4. Congrats on the new place..that is very exciting!!!

    I have noticed from the pictures that you will have a mighty big lawn….my advice is that you will need a lawn boy…I think I might have one handy!

  5. First of all – congrats on the house. That’s fantastic.;

    For some reason, the second you do anything big (buy a house, get married, have a kid) people feel it necessary to offer advice., no matter what their experience. I just smile and nod (and inwardly roll my eyes and tell them to @#@$% off……) Its annoying, but I know you of all people will handle it!

    Happy Home Owning. 🙂

  6. Again – congrats to you!

    Ignorant, stupid, naive, etc., are words that I definitely do not associate with you.

    Yep – everyone wants to offer advice. I definitely won’t. I’m quite green in the world of home-ownership. Advice is (sometimes) nice (even better when solicited), but it does’t measure up to what you’ll learn as you experience things first hand.

    All the best.

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