Getting a new house-fussy parents in law

My husband and I are trying to get a new house but my parents in law, esp my MIL has been against every house which we select. We will bring her to see the house and she will come up with 1001 excuses to 'hiam' the flat ie too expensive, too far from coffeeshops, too near coffeeshops (then I will get lazy and not cook...???), surrounded by flats (but all flats will definitely be surrounded by other buildings one ma, I haven't seen a flat on its own) and when we finally found one that fulfils all her criteria, she will ask us to go temple to get a divination lot.

And when we get a bad one, she told us straight away that we can't even consider that house anymore. It felt like such a waste (maybe because I am not such a superstitious person). She also kept psychoing my husband to get a house which is near to hers which I do not want because she has the tendency to drop by to "spy" on what we are doing in the house.

Just want to rant is so exhausting looking for a house that fits everyone's criteria. Not easy to find one that both me and my husband like (because my husband is also quite picky) and now I feel like I have to cater to my MIL's criteria as longer feels like I am looking for my own house, rather one that has the whole family staying inside...sigh...


Active Member
i bought my house, then invited mum to see it AFTER i bought. saves alot of hassle, doesn't it? but i hope u get my point.

do the shopping with hubby n BOTH of u decide on the house. i dun see any reason why his parents should be involved in the picking. help in hunting maybe, but picking?

all the best, some things in life just be logical... u dun need to grudgingly do things that u dun wanna do, choose things that u dun wanna choose etc etc...


New Member
You must realise, you do not need their approval to buy the house/apartment that you fancy. Unless they are footing 100% of the bill.
powder>Yes, I also don't get why they need to be involved in the picking. It is not like they are going to live in the same house as us.

I know they are still sore about not living in the same house as us because they had wanted to in the beginning, but I have been against it from the start because I know it is going to cause more conflicts than necessary. So I had been very firm and they had relented to let me and my hubby get our own place, as long as it is close to their house.

Thing is, I do not know what is their definition of 'close', I had thought they would be ok with being in the same town but apparently they want those which are just right opposite their house...which is definitely not what I want. Maybe that's why they have been causing so much trouble.

hwey>Yea, I actually never told my OWN parents yet. They have no idea and are not interested in the hunting process. I will most probably just show them once most of the details have been finalised. It is my husband's side of parents who demanded to go every second viewing of houses and hence have been creating a lot of trouble ever since.

They are not sponsoring 100% of the bill, just lending us around 20 to 25k for the renovation with the condition that we pay them back. The rest of it are mostly our own money and loan from HDB.


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basically if u wanna shake off present and future problems, dun think in the same way as them... meaning that they can think all they want, but u Try not to thinkg of them being sore and all that. basically learn to be blur-queen abt it.

go shop with your hubby for a place near them, but bear in mind your own requirements.

honestly, i would take a loan with the bank than to owe a favour to relatives.
powder>I do not want to shop for a place which is too near to them, hence I have told all the agents that I am ruling out that area entirely. Hb knows about this and he is supportive towards the idea as well.

I have told hb before that if his parents really sincere in helping us, the money they lent us shouldn't come with conditions ie we need to live near them, etc

We have also considered getting a loan from the bank but the interest rate is holding us back...


Active Member
the interest shuld be negligible, try exploring, i keep getting calls to take up loan at abt 2% per annum for 6mths... well i guess it depends how soon u intend to pay. dun rule out living near them if their area is actually good... be objective.
actually the area is not that good...most of the houses quite old and the internet connection sucks as according to my hb. I did spend around 1 month plus looking for houses near to their house and viewed around 20+ units there but we couldn't find one which we like hence we decided to extend our range.


Active Member
give it some serious thought, then decide if u wanna shift further... some estates are just a couple of bus-stops or 2 mrt stations away... explore tat as a couple.

staying near parents is a good thing, but given a choice if my parents stay in a place i really dun wanna stay, i'd rather pick somewhere else, and raise money in future for them to shift to MY chosen estate.

alot of things - u just need to be able to put aside the misunderstandings and talk it out.


Hahah...some mothers just wanna put their 2 cents worth lah.... it's like tat. Like wat powder suggests, "xian zhang hou zhou". Buy first then invite them for a visit. They can nag all they want. Best you get your mum to visit at the same time. That shd shut your FMIL up!


New Member
Hi Moonlightprincess,

We only let both sides of the parents know about the location of the new flat after we signed on the agreement to purchase. None of them know that we are sourcing for the flat.

Reason being, everyone have their own opinions and we figured that since we are the ones staying there, we better look for one which we like and avoid listening to the many 'comments' by everyone.

After we 'released' the news of our purchase, my mil have alot of comments to made, pinpoint on stuff about the flat such as previous owner was of different race, dirty flat etc, and make uncall-for comments to the whole world like.. we as 'kids' don't know how to choose place. She even went up to view the flat on her own for two times before our 1st appointment. And psycho us not to continue etc..

However, whatever she does cant change the fact that we had already signed the documents and we inform her of the penalty of backing up. And we didn't think its a bad choice since the place was unblock, near amentities, high floor, corner, lift landing.

And yes, like what clipperjunk mentioned, be prepared that your hubby will most likely give the keys to his mum as mine does so too. Hence, to be fair, I also give a set to my parents for them to visit as and when they like.

About the distance, you might want to consider choosing one that is not that far from them. We chose one which was near his parents, approximately 4-5 bus stops away. Didn't want to go too far as it also inconvenient ourselves. Because its very tiring for ourselves to travel back also, especially if we go during weekdays after work. And there's also a 10K grant for near parents.

Good luck on your purchase.


New Member
as far as my experience goes, certain things just close both ears but certain things need to communicate to facilitate understanding from the other party... for me, i've got no problems on the latter.

i'm just guessing that ur hub might have slightly lost his focus in a bid to 'defend you' and 'respect his mum' at the same time.
agreed to go temple to get a divination lot, but in fact, you guys are reluctant?

as for the reno loan.... if you feel uncomfortably restricted, then don't do it. I believe this grouse will be mentioned more often than not...
it's a potential fire-starter.
clipperjunk>I have foresee that as well so I have told my hubby that no key should be given to his parents and to be fair, I will not give any to mine as well. I do not see why keys need to be given to parents when they are not living inside the house all the time. If they would like to come for a visit, they just need to give us a call, no? What's the point of allowing them to come into the house when we are not there to entertain her?

little_poppets>The idea is a good one...I have a mind to invite my own parents to be there as well so that at least if my MIL nags, my mom will side with me as well. Right now I feel pretty defenseless.

Shir> We are not looking at houses which are very faraway from them. We are looking for a house in the SAME town as them, maybe around 2 MRT stops away. My MIL wants us to be living somewhere right next to her block or opposite her block.

vios> I am quite reluctant about the divination lot thing but my hubby is a believer as well, so I guess there is no choice...


New Member
actually to give keys to in-laws/ parents is not wrong .. when the husband was still living in his home country, his mom had a set of his house keys and when we had our home here, my family has a set too .. quite convenient when you think about how many times the husband forgets his keys, or when we're on a long holiday and needs someone to drop by to check on things.

our parents know that we trust them to hold the keys as a back-up, not for them to suka2 come anytime they want ..
Yea I can see the pros of giving keys to in-laws and my own parents but would prefer not to do so...

Cos once the keys are given it will be hard to take them back...and I don't trust that they won't come in anytime they want.


New Member
home visits would normally be arranged via phone calls first? hence, giving extra sets of keys to both parents (without any implied condition) is my own way of respecting them.

i don't see the need to engage parental help on taking sides against in-laws and all that... it's simply needless. with regards to her opinions... just take it as feedback/suggestions & u'd be fine. don't allow the whole MIL-DIL thingy to cloud ur judgement in other areas.

in fact, shld watch out for ur hubby's make-beliefs and picky nature.... which are actually the crucial considerations for the flat-purchase.
vios>Yes, at first I was fine with them giving their opinions. But after a while it begins to seem that my MIL is forcing her opinions on us, as in when she comes up with all the reasons of not liking the flat we showed her, we are expected to agree and just drop the flat immediately even when we do like it in the first place. Most of the time when she mentioned something that is not right with the flat, we will start to doubt our choice - so actually now I think the root of the problem is that we are not decisive enough to be firm about our choice.

I have often mentioned to my hb: if we like the flat we should just take what others say as opinions and suggestions, but if we like it enough we should still go ahead with it because no flat is perfect. Definitely there will be some drawbacks.

I have already catered to my hb's is the first thing I told the agents everytime I called them. And because of these requirements our choice of flats has been narrowed down by a lot. It is definitely not easy to come across an unit we both liked so you can imagine how disappointed I am when we have to drop the flat just cos my PIL don't like the flat or because we failed to get a good lot in the temple.

Any of you went to temple to get divination lots before settling on a house?


I gave my pa a set of our hse keys leh. But he dun anyhow come up one unless we are overseas and he comes over to water the plants and bring in the mails. My hubby is fine with that leh.

But we stay near lah so that's ok.

When u hunt for hses, it's good to check on ur neighbours too.....
little_poppets> yea, we always checked on the neighbours.

My PIL do not want us to just get a feng shui master, they asked us to go to the temple in Bugis to get a divination lot before getting the house. So everytime before we decide on the house (means when we want to bring them for second viewing), we have to make a trip to the temple to get the lot, which is quite a hassle because it is more than 1 hour ride there.


Haiyo....get ur hubby to talk to them lah....its his parents wat..... or u wanna zoom in to a few hses then go get the lot....

Even my parents are not that zealous. So long its bright, good facing u happy, price ok, then ok liao lor.

Ultimately, its u guys who will be living there. Stand firm on your beliefs....


New Member
moonlightprincess, maybe u shld explore on the indecisiveness part... and seek the real truth within it.
that instead might be the root of ur current concerns...

as for the divination lot, i dare say that the ultimate choice lies with ur hubby, not really his parents....
little_poppets>I also thought as long as the facing is ok, or at most get the feng shui master to come and suggest how to remedy the problems...that's all.

vios>My hb cannot stand it when his parents kept nagging at him. Means that if we get a bad lot and we still go ahead with it, his parents will nag forever. Or rather he will start feeling doubtful about the house and it will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecies anyway.

So what we have agreed on now is to find houses which we like, go to temple to get the lots and if we get a good lot for a certain house, we will decide to buy the house le. I told my hb that I will not tolerate anymore extra requirements.
There's no way we can control other people but we can control our responses to them. Hope your hubby and you will develop immunity to his parents' naggings and don't take their comments too hard ;) Both of you can leave them to nag all that they want. Hehe sooner or later, they will get tired and give up on naggings automatically when they observe that your hubby and you aren't affected by the naggings in any way.

It's not advisable to take your inlaws' loan. Why? They may think that this gives them the right to make more decisions about your house.

Some parents worry too much about their childrens' decisions in life and don't feel comfortable to release their control on them.
I also don't want to take the loan from them and have been exploring other option ie loan from bank etc but it will add on to our expenses...

Sigh, I didn't know househunting can be so stressful...


New Member
Everything will add into your expenses depending on your wants. Because you are owing them a favour now, you feel much obligated to their "terms". The financial part can be avoided if the both of you do it within your capability.

Think of this, you would not want a situation like in future they force ideas on you by :"Back then we lend you the money to do your reno..." blah blah blah etc.


New Member
if you opt for bank loan, one direct alternative is to cut down on renovation expenses.... in which u can progressively renovate at different intervals since u do not want to pay alot of interests at this moment.

gotta weigh the priorities NOW and juggle it later without further complaints...
so you cannot bang the wall straight-on without a concrete financial plan, princess....

if you opt to borrow 20-25k from his parents, then be prepared that they may want to have a say on certain things.... for this to work out fine, you need lots of communication and patience for them.
To add onto Vios's points...
You can save thousands on your renovation if you omit customised carpentry (e.g. walk through wardrobe) from your renovation's WANTS list and buy ready-made furniture from malls instead.

Besides scrimping on your expenses, another solution is to increase both your earning powers!
Actually I am fine with renovating the house is stages and not getting certain items for the house first. But my hb wants everything to be done once we move in otherwise it is going to be a hassle to renovate once we are living inside there...

He told me that his parents in sincere in lending us the money...means no conditions attached and they will only provide advice and suggestions at most. I am starting to doubt that now.
green>Most of the items that we are planning to buy are the basics of the basics...definitely not going to do too much carpentry work. But even with that we are still lacking in terms of cash..

And yes, hubby is trying his best to increase his earning powers...


New Member
Hi Princess

I think your hubby needs to create a firm stand here, to let his parents knows his stand and also that the loan is out of his parents' will. The last thing you want is the loan thingo is going to haunt you for the rest of your life (they can use this as a weapon when future conflicts happens and you can't erase the fact that a favour is taken). Seen that happened before. Most importantly, his parents has to respect the fact that it is you and him setting up a new set of family. It is entirely up to you and him. They can help to give advice but at the end of the day, it is not going to be the final say. When me and my partner goes for house-hunting with his mum. When he asks for opinion about the house in the car, if his mum says it first, he will tell her that he would like to listen my opinion first. Dun get him wrong, he loves his mum very much. Your hubby should know he is marrying you and he should be considerate to your feelings at all times. Many times, a lot of in-laws conflicts can be avoided if the husband could make his stand right from the start and protect his wife.
I have found out that my mil has been telling my hb not to listen to me. I find that ridiculous, as I am his wife and if he doesn't listen to me, who should he listen to?


New Member
Moonlight, what you are experiencing (about son being torn between mother and wife) is very common especially in our Asian context. Go read all the thread about MILs. Many Singaporean MILs view their sons as their "property" - to have and to hold! And not living with them after marriage is considered unfilial. My own MIL used to tell me, when I told her we wanted to move out and live on our own after donkey years of living with her, "Don't you know my son has always lived with me all his life and marriage is not going to change that."

This issue has been discussed so many times in this forum. The long and short of it is that the man has to stand firm and not be taken hostage by his mum's emotional blackmail. The same applies if the wife is playing emotional blackmail.

As for taking loans/gifts from parents or parents in law, my cardinal rule is : Never. You do not know how they perceive the loan/gift.


New Member
You have to listen to Faith & GinA advice..cos i am living proof of what is happening when my MIL took charge of almost everything from wedding to our flat.
She insisted & we were forced to listen for fear of her extreme temper.

Dont regret your acts, discuss with your hus & show him this thread.
My hubby is indeed aware of this thread, he has been reading it in fact. I wanted him to realise that there is no way we have to keep abiding to his mother's 'advice'...

Sometimes I wish mothers can be better at coming to terms that their children have grown up and are capable of making their own decisions...


New Member
I agree with Faith..u will nvr know how u PIL perceive the loan. I heard of many cases when the couple do not agree with PIL over some issues, PIL will withdraw the loan or press the couple for payment. Of coz, i do not mean that ur PIL will definitely be one of those in-laws, but u really have got to think twice about taking a loan from them.

I think you and your hubby should be firm when you have made your decisions. Afterall, it would be the both of u who r going to stay there..Also, u r only at the house-hunting stage, and ur PIL are already intefering and giving so much "advices"..Can u imagine what will happen when it comes to renovating the house and buying furnitures. Are you going to let them have a say in renovations too since they r the ones who loan you money for it?
I know it is important to be firm...actually I am a very decisive person but I find it hard to stand up to my PILs because they are not my real parents. So even if I like a house and they said they don't like it, I will have no choice but to let it go.

I can only hope my husband will be firm and tell his parents that we are adults and know how to make our own decision, especially when it concerns our own house...


For what I know, if you are taking grant of living near your PIL then they have to appear on 2nd appt. Well, I always think that marriage is not only about the 2 person... :p


New Member
Actually your hus has to be the one who is firm & cannot allow them to have their final say. Jeopardise your marriage. Unless they pay for everything w/o you guys repaying them. If it is just a loan, how can they demand this or that? Borrowing from bank is even better than being terriorised by their non-stop expectations. To be frank, if your inlaws are good nature people, i think you can close 1 eye. My case different cos MIL is a violent woman.

Now my hus regrets abiding to MIL's requests or so-called advice. Forced me to accept the whole family to stay at our matrimonial place. Problem started because she wants to stay with her grandson & son. Now tigeress inside our house with other animals, refuse to go & create non-stop problems every week. Headache. We were almost on the verge of mental breakdown & i even proposed divorce just to get out.
haha now things are starting to look up...I think my MIL feels a bit bad for making things so difficult for us. She no longer requires us to go to the temple to get a divination lot, just need her to go and view the unit. We have shown her some pictures of an unit we might be buying and she seems pretty happy with it, so might be making the purchase tomorrow, if everything goes well. Fingers crossed! :D
green> Yup, am really happy to finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think it is mostly my FIL who tells her that the unit is a good one. Plus there is a bus near that unit which goes directly to her own house, though it is quite a number of stops away. So not too near, yet not too far :D Ideal location hehe.

Now just have to pray that my agent can close the deal at the price we are asking tomorrow, then the house will be officially ours


New Member
Hi Moonlight Princess

Hope you get your dream place

Hi Flowerygal, i do really feel for you. My mum is a living example too, in-terms of extreme MIL. My dad is those " 24 filial" type thus my grandma can push her luck and have her way. It's important to have your husband's support. I hope you will have a good talk with your husband and not to resort to divorce easily. Good luck, cheerz


New Member
Hi Moonlight Princess,

Congrats in finding your dream house.

House-hunting is definitely not easy.
I guess since this is the 1st house your hubby buys.
His parents will like to give some opinions.

When we were house hunting, we viewed so many HDB, until we nearly give up.

There is also some objections from his parents.
But I really respect his parents, they want the best for their son too.

So I told my hubby I'm ok with anything as long as he and his parents like it.

One day, my hubby brought me alone to see an Yishun condo on his birthday and ask what I think of it.

I told him it's beautiful and before I knew he has signed the purchase agreement.

Apparently, he has already brought his parents to view the showflat before me and they approved of it.

I'm a HDB girl at heart and never thought of living in a condo. So this is a surprise for me.

In the end, my hubby and his parents make the decision but I'm happy because his parents' decision is right. We have live happily with our 2 young children for 6 yrs.

Recently, my hubby bought our second condo in Bukit Timah. His parents are not involved in the buying decision and I am surprise that my hubby has not consulted them.

That's when I realised you may buy many houses with your hubby in the future.

But it is the 1st house which is most important to every parents.
It signified the independency of his son to be able to buy a house by himself.

His parents are proud of him and want the best for him.
So don't deprived them of their happiness in helping their son to choose his very 1st house.
avocado> Yea, I have gotten my dream house
Paid the deposit around a week ago.

albee> Thankfully my parents in law became much nicer hubby even told them about our renovation plans and they have been encouraging about it


New Member
Hi Moonlight Princess,

I'm so happy for you.

Your very 1st house bought with your hubby.

Designing and renovating your love nest is so much fun.

Enjoy the process!