The Moneyologist: My brother lent me $10,000 for a vacation home — I spent $10,000 upgrading it

Terrence Horan/MarketWatch

Dear Moneyologist,

I am a hardworking waitress at an upscale Boston restaurant and I earn a fair share in tips. It was always my dream to buy a summer beach house. My friend had one for sale in Florida, where my parents are staying. I wanted to buy it, but was short of the $20,000 for the down payment. I asked my two brothers, who are married and settled. I did not want to pay more in bank interest.

One of the brothers readily helped with half, but the other one did not, as he said he was saving to buy his home.

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