So, you’ve bought a new house. Congrats! The excitement of buying new furniture, applying a fresh coat of paint, and settling in is finally here. You take a look around your new space and feel an immense amount of pride. For your first housewarming shindig, you invite your parents over, and, oh my, do they have some advice.
American Home Shield® understands what it’s like to feel the onslaught of parental homeownership advice. Here, we’ve covered the typical parental comments that come with an invitation to your new place.
The Outspoken Mother
The Outspoken Mother brings a bottle of wine and a gift basket of harsh criticisms. Just when you thought you were in your mother’s good graces, the truth comes out in the form of: “The floors are dirty. It looks like bachelor pad in here. Do you need me to buy you some furniture? Why would you buy a house without A/C? No house is a home without throw pillows.”
Helpful Tip: Wait for the judgment phase to pass. The next time she comes over, she’s sure to settle in and admire the new place you call home. Let any future outward criticisms roll off your shoulders—because nothing matters more than your personal pride and happiness in your space.
The Frugal Father
Now that you have your own place, you finally have the freedom to spurge a little—except The Frugal Father doesn’t hesitate to project his penny-pinching tendencies. While inspecting your tasteful window caulking, he says, “Good luck paying your heating bill—I’ve never seen windows this old.” Giving him a tour of the house only invites him to switch every light off. “Never leave the lights on. Don’t keep the faucet running while you’re doing dishes. Only run the A/C when absolutely necessary—it’s only 88 degrees in here!”
Helpful Tip: Deep breaths. Avoid the urge to turn the lights back on passive aggressively. Remember: It’s your heating bill, your house, your comfort. Pay special attention to the lights and faucet while dad is visiting, and don’t sweat it (read: adjust the A/C temp) when he leaves.
The Dad-Joke Dad
Always up for a good time and terrible puns, this parent doesn’t hesitate to conjure up a cringe-worthy dad joke. “Two-story house? I don’t trust stairs. They’re always up to something.” “Nice patio. Looks like we’ll be grillin’ up a good time, am I right?” “You’re running the washer and dryer at the same time? Don’t be shocked by your electric bill!” Every piece of advice (if you can call it that) is laced with humor. Cue the eyerolls.
Helpful Tip: Amid the “Oh, Dad’s” and the pity laughs, remember that your parent may turn to tried-and-true jokes to convey their admiration for what you have accomplished. This is their way of saying “Good job.” Relish in that.
The Old Soul
The Old Soul parent shares glimpses into the good ol’ days from their rose-colored glasses. Even though you studiously put money away for years to buy your first place, Old Soul still thinks your generation doesn’t understand hard work. Upon entering your humble kitchen, they say, “You don’t need all these fancy gadgets. When I bought my first house, there was no dishwasher or Roomba. I had to use a little elbow grease to get things clean.”
Helpful Tip: While you may think you’ve served your time growing up handwashing dishes or cleaning the floor with a wet-deck mop, remember that your parent is just reminding you that a little hard work can go a long way. They want you to know you have been taught well. And don’t go throwing away your garlic press, stand mixer, or Swiffer mop. They’re your special homeowner treasures.
The Judgmental Looker
Watch out: The Judgmental Looker levels harsh gazes and eye rolls like they’ve been training for years. They tell you exactly what they want to say without saying anything at all. You see them wince when they glance at the glass vase full of wine corks, the sigh when they notice the untrimmed hedge out back, the pursed lips when they realize the second bedroom is an office—not their own personal sanctuary for future visits.
Helpful Tip: Try not to take their harsh looks to heart. Your parent may be having a hard time realizing that their child is really on their own. Their loss of words can be met with a hug or, even better, a promise that you’ll purchase an air mattress for a future sleepover in your office.
A housewarming invitation doesn’t need to induce fear of parental judgments. Remember that you’ve worked hard to invest in your home, and your parents just want the best for you. When in doubt, be prepared with these homeowner responses to age-old comments and advice from your parents.
AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.