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Man who owns five properties refuses to help his brother buy a house. 'AITA?' UPDATED

Man who owns five properties refuses to help his brother buy a house. 'AITA?' UPDATED


"AITA for buying my 5th property rather than help out my siblings?

Here's the story:

For context, even when I (44M) was a child I was incredibly into owning property and designing houses. I work as an architect and am doing quite well for myself. Bought my first duplex here in Germany along time ago where I rent out both part. Then I own two houses in Italy and one in Spain.

Two of them are get rented out as Holiday homes while the last one I use for vacations and rent out a room to a friend of mine. So I have a lot of passive income at the moment, but only after a lot of time and money investments and refurbishing of these houses. (I rent in NYC at the moment as my job has moved made me move here temporarily).

My brother (48M) does have an apartment. He has a family with two kids while my wife and I are childless. They are currently looking to purchase a house that fits all of them nicely.

While they have found their dream house, its out of budget for them. Meanwhile, my wife and I are about to buy our 5th house, this time in France. It's going to be one of our largest purchases yet, significantly larger than anything else we have done. Its a great deal on the property however, and ideally what my wife and I want to retire in.

When having a family facetime with my siblings and parents, I brought it up. Initially very happy for me, my brother mentioned how he needs a larger home for his family and how I should give up on this opportunity to give him money for his house and spend the rest on refurbishing their new home. I just laughed and said flat out no. (Thought this was a joke)

This was apparently the wrong move, my entire family turns against me and starts berating me. After 10 minutes of them taking turns telling me to buy my brother a house, I said I'd think about it and left.

I am a bit of a pushover so after talking to my wife we agreed we could wait and buy their house and rent it out to them at no profit. Apparently this was insulting to him, having his younger brother be his landlord and my parents said I should just outright give him the money we have been saving.

I told em to piss off, and started moving forward with the paperwork on our house in France. After talking to my friends, they said I should put family first and its not like we are struggling for money. Now I am confused, AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say:

redblackyellowjam said:

NTA. You shouldn’t have to pay for your brother’s house. He should live within his means. Besides, money between family members can be a more dividing issue than most.

MaeClementine said:

NTA at all. FWIW, I'm your brother in my life. I have two kids in an apartment and just can't afford to purchase what we need right now.

My SIL just bought her third home and I'll admit there's always twinges of jealousy and the fleeting thought that it'd be nice if she'd help us out. But that's just me being a brat. Obviously I'm not entitled to someone else's money.

nonanonaye said:

Absolutely NTA and on top of that, beggars can't be choosers. I find it insulting that they were insulted that you offered to buy their dream house and rent it to them for zero profit

[deleted] said:

YTA. I don't think you are necessarily an a**hole to your brother, but you're definitely an a**hole for screwing with economies of countries you don't even live in by buying up properties then either leaving them empty or renting them out as 'vacation houses' (AirBnB, almost certainly), therefore taking up needed space and pricing out locals.

Having lived in both Europe and America, the n t a s you're getting are from Americans, mostly, who see this level of greed as morally neutral at worst. Nobody should own five f**king houses.

Kinlance said:

NTA. First off, I believe when there's an expectation of gratitude to the point of getting upset at not receiving it, it becomes greed. Plain old selfish greed. It's admirable you decided to turn the biggest gain in your home owning "career" thus far, into a gift for your family, with a very reasonable landlord agreement.

They are being ridiculously entitled for just assuming their better off relatives are obligated to give them a house for free.

FoucaultEscapement said:

YTA for sucking wealth out of countries that aren't your own.

And happydactyl31 said:

ESH. Your brother sucks for seeming to fully expect you to not only buy him a house but also refurbish and outfit it just because you can. Particularly when (you believe) he could afford a suitable house on his own.

It’s one thing to ask for some assistance on a down payment or something, but expecting a gift like that to the point of being actually angry when it’s denied is foolish and greedy. I can understand his desire not to have his brother as a landlord while still not owning property, honestly, though he certainly could’ve handled the offer better.

But also... dude. You knew he was in that situation and feeling very frustrated, and you brought up buying the most stuff expensive property of your FIVE houses to him? Just as a conversation starter? That sucks and you know it sucks.

I know people have different and ostensibly valid opinions about owning houses in other countries, excess wealth, whatever. I don’t care about that because I don’t know the details of how you’ve handled those decisions.

You’re also under no obligation to buy someone else a whole damn house just because you can, and the whole exchange would be tainted now even if you wanted to do it. But in terms of relating to and being respectful of/kind to your sibling... not cool.

What do you think? Should he help out his brother? Should he stop buying properties in Europe?? So much to unpack (literally).

Well, he has since posted this UPDATE:

My brother turned out not to be telling us the whole truth. A week after the post his Wife calls me asking to reconsider. Turns out there was a reason, but my brother didn't want to tell me. So I told her, either he tells me himself or I won't even consider anything.

A week later he ends up calling and tells me everything. It turns out he had developed a bit of a gambling problem the last two years and has taken a noticeable % out of their savings gambling. Less than 40% but more than 15% according to him.

The dream house was now a lot further out of reach than it was meant to be. Apparently he has been going to therapy for it for months but the financial damage it did set them back far.

My parents knew since the start, and I knew my brother was having martial problems a couple year ago but I never asked why as he and his wife were very secretive about details. Turns out this was the problem.

Apparently my parents had told him to ask me but ask too much from me, so when he rebutted with smaller ask I would be more inclined to accept. Had an incredibly harsh conversation with my parents, they feel like I owe the family and its more their money than mine since they raised me. That's a whole different problem.

I told him about the post and he was mad at first but understood my position after reading through it. After a pretty difficult conversation with him, I offered the rent at cost and once he has built up his savings, we will sell him the house minus any rent he has paid over the time it takes. Some people mentioned this, rent to own. He happily accepted.

Sounds like this guy has almost as much family drama as he has houses. Almost.

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