I inhaled deeply and held it for several long minutes. All around the table, faces stared back at me. My nieces, Andrew, Kent, none looked like they understood what was going on. Slowly, I released the breath. “I’m going to try and sell the house and use that money to buy another.”
“That’s stupid, you’ll pay too much in capital gains, Lori.” Andrew tapped his fingers against the table top.
“Yeah, Tony’s already given me the list of pros and cons,” I avoided mum’s eyes.
“Are you going to quit work?” Kent asked.
Mum did something I had never heard her do before; she swore. “Shit.”
“Granny!” Both girls yelled at her.
“Mum!” Andrew and I yelled.
Her cheeks flushed a bright red. “Well, it’s surprising to hear yet another child of mine leaving a perfectly good and steady job to work for themselves.”
“Mum,” I started.
But she didn’t let me. “No. Lori, I have supported you no matter what and I was so proud when you decided to be grown up and buy your first house. But how are you going to pay for things if you decide to give up work? The one thing your father taught me was that property is a long term investment.”
I blinked at her.
“Meaning, unless you can purchase it for a low price, do it up, and then flip it for top dollar, then you should hold onto a property and sell it during the boom times.”
Where had she been storing all of this information? Why wasn’t she using this stuff for a business? Hell, why didn’t she tell me when I brought the house in the first place? I looked over at my brother and saw the same shocked look on him as I did on Kent.
“Mum,” I wasn’t going to filter the next thing I said, I wasn’t going to even consider the idea rationally. “Why don’t you become my business partner?”
“WHAT?!” They all screamed.
Andrew turned to the girls. “Go watch some tele in the lounge room.”
They nodded and disappeared.
Come on Lori, harden the fuck up. “I mean, you ran dad’s business for him in the past and have more than just the vaguest of ideas. We could do this. We could sell my house and use whatever we make on it to buy another house in both our names and renovate it and then decide what to do after that.”
Neither of the men at the table dared to speak.
Mum held my gaze, not giving anything away. “Renovate and sell? Or renovate and rent?”
That wasn’t a no. Oh my fucking lord, that wasn’t a no. Mum was taking this seriously. My heart was racing now. “Rent; like you said, we have to hold onto it until the right time to sell.”
She reached across the table. “Okay. But we’re not selling your house. Andrew and he girls will be moving in and paying rent.”
I gripped mum’s hand and shook it firmly. “Okay, but then we have to find enough cash for capital for the next place.”
“Hang on,” Andrew interrupted. “What do you mean me and the girls are renting from Lori?”
“Don’t worry, she’ll do you a good deal,” mum death stared me.
Warning heard loud and clear. “Yes mum. Good deal. I promise.”