• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

My mother wants to move in. Should I buy a house?

 
Posts: 72
Location: Ontario - zone 5b
37
forest garden foraging tiny house books bike bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My mother wants to move in... to the house i am not sure if i should buy. I am looking for advice- any advice.

I moved out (several hrs away)  at age 17, and am now mid-twenties with a job in engineering . My mom and I have been living together for the past 5 months as I have been off work. I moved in with her because I was so sick I couldn't work or look after myself, and staying alone in an apartment would have been terrible for my mental health. It has gone very well.

I am probably back to work in the next month or two, worried a bit about how I am going to handle day to day life and a job. I am a lot better, on new meds, but still coping with a bunch of chronic autoimmune stuff. Mom has suggested she sell her house(which she hates), quit her job (which she hates), and move in with me, and work part time.

I am in a small 1 bedroom apartment. I love her, but that wouldn't work (even for a month or two!)  We could rent a large apartment. But, yuck. And also very pricey. Similarly priced ($/month), I could buy a house (I can afford one with my salary, but it's a higher priced market so she couldn't afford one). I have a 20% downpayment saved, and have wanted one for years, but not bought because of lack of time to care for a house. Prices keep going up- for bottom of market stuff they have risen 20% or more this year, so it would actually be more challenging  for me to buy now than a year ago, as my down payment savings and salary certainly haven't done the same!  

One issue I can see is financial- I really, really want it to be "my house" not "our house". I have been house hunting/dreaming for years, so there is some selfishness here. i want to finally OWN something that is MINE . But i also think it helps with arguements... right now, we are in HER house, so i defer to her in decisions. For example, I know we differ in terms of DIYness, and where to spend money (I am more likely to buy updated things (like a nice ceiling fan rather than bottom of barrel), but also more likely to DIY, and am really willing to learn. In her house, she refuses to let me buy a miter saw and table saw to help with her renovations, and insists on paying someone to install things like ceiling fans, sinks, (in addition to basic woodworking, etc). Ok, fine. It's HER house. I found with roommates in the past, renting from and living with someone who owns a place is easier than communally renting something.

Another issue is awkwardness... my dad and her are divorced, so he would have no where to stay when visiting me.

So the tentative plan is, I buy a house, she moves her stuff in and sells her house. Even if we just stay there a year, probably break even over renting, definitely break even over me renting and her maintaining a house.  Preferably buy a slight fixer upper (mostly cosmetic issues with good bones). So, I should be super excited about home buying? I was a year ago when househunting before deciding with my work schedule and the amount of travelling I do for work it was a poor idea. Ended up  doing crazy amounts of overtime that year, so yeah, good decision.  I won't be travelling for work anymore as part of my return to work agreement, but.... not sure how long I can hold that line.

I am not excited. I am tired and somewhat apathetic. I am nervous and feel weak for needing my mother, worry about her financial situation if she does this, and worried about it all falling down around our heads if I get sick again. I have also considered a 2 apartment house, which maybe is better? But wouldn't solve the living alone issue. I go around and around in my head. I am so ready to finally OWN something permanently that buying in a city i don't intend to permanently reside in has limited appeal. I want to plant fruit trees, and for once in my life be there when they produce, dammit (my dad loves fruit trees, but we moved so much I have never seen one come to production - maybe just the first year). Plus I am very discouraged because this getting sick thing derailed my future plans by a year, and i feel old and infirm and bitter because some of my plans will no longer work because of stupid autoimmune stuff.

Please,  any advice?

Also- I really wasn't sure where to put this thread. I was looking for a "family" or intergenerational living category, but couldn't find one. People with the power, please move it if there is somewhere better!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11273
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
711
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please try not to feel weak for wanting/needing to live with family.  The "paddle your own canoe" ethic is over-rated, in my opinion.

It's tough when you're living in the relative's house, though, even if they want you to be there.  I spend part of each week living at my dad's house where I help him with his Alzheimer's.  It took me the better part of a year to feel comfortable with changing things, and things definitely needed changing to make the house safe for him in his decline.

If you get along well enough with your mom to live with her, can you try to talk with her about how you might go about sharing her house in a real way as you both work toward selling it?  Can you present your wishes for changes as your way of contributing financially? (DIY saves a crazy amount of money)

What are your mom's long-term plans for her own life?  Does she plan to live with you in her old age, or does she plan eventually to move to a retirement community?  Knowing the other person's hopes/plans/intentions is so important to avoid nasty surprises down the road.

 
pollinator
Posts: 164
Location: Gulf Islands, Canada
43
hugelkultur cat books medical herbs homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Catie George wrote:One issue I can see is financial- I really, really want it to be "my house" not "our house". I have been house hunting/dreaming for years, so there is some selfishness here. i want to finally OWN something that is MINE . But i also think it helps with arguements... right now, we are in HER house, so i defer to her in decisions. For example, I know we differ in terms of DIYness, and where to spend money (I am more likely to buy updated things (like a nice ceiling fan rather than bottom of barrel), but also more likely to DIY, and am really willing to learn. In her house, she refuses to let me buy a miter saw and table saw to help with her renovations, and insists on paying someone to install things like ceiling fans, sinks, (in addition to basic woodworking, etc). Ok, fine. It's HER house. I found with roommates in the past, renting from and living with someone who owns a place is easier than communally renting something.



You know your mom better than I do, but I would be cautious in assuming she understands that you expect this dynamic to change. Some parents really struggle with the idea that their adult kids get to do what they want in their own houses, even when they don't live together. I imagine it wouldn't be any easier to accept if she's gotten used to living with you as an adult and having you defer to her decisions about the home. It might be a discussion you need to have explicitly. Especially if you are already feeling burned-out and tired, I would be worried about being inadvertently steamrolled if I were you.
 
pollinator
Posts: 516
Location: Denmark 57N
110
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Meg Mitchell wrote:
You know your mom better than I do, but I would be cautious in assuming she understands that you expect this dynamic to change. Some parents really struggle with the idea that their adult kids get to do what they want in their own houses, even when they don't live together. I imagine it wouldn't be any easier to accept if she's gotten used to living with you as an adult and having you defer to her decisions about the home. It might be a discussion you need to have explicitly. Especially if you are already feeling burned-out and tired, I would be worried about being inadvertently steamrolled if I were you.



This. Especially as you have been at her house and she may not even notice that it is that way.

So here are my thoughts. You are currently living with her and it's going well, great and it sounds like you needed the help, it's quite possible that your mother wants to keep an eye on you and help out which is also good, and sees it as a good way to get out of her house and job. So there would probably be no major issues right now with a new co-habitation arrangement. my first but would be what happens if you get a partner? (or she does) Not many people want to live with their inlaws. My second one is if she sells her house it's permanent you are stuck with her, and her with you. At lest until something could be sorted out, could she rent it out instead? More income that way as well. How close are you to your father? My first solution below would work as your mother would have somewhere to retire too when he came round, but the second would probably not if he visits often.

Solution 1. would be to buy a house with a granny annex, so while you are both in the same building she has her own rooms to retreat to/decorate etc etc and you have the main part of the house. I don't mean a house split into two flats I mean one where 2 or 3 rooms are sort of split off and have their own little kitchen and bathroom but are still connected to the house internally.

Solution 2. In light of you saying you don't want to live there permanently, buy something that will be easily rentable after you two are finished with it. so you can consider it as an investment that can help to bankroll your end goals.
 
pollinator
Posts: 667
Location: Southern Oregon
114
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Being the mom in this type situation, not identical but similar. I would have to agree that many parents have difficulty with the change in family dynamics. I would like to think that I'm better than most/some, but one would need to ask my kids. That being said, I really think that separate spaces are important. My daughter and I have separate houses, and later one of my other kids will probably live in my(current) house, if I feel like I want more privacy, I will build a detached bedroom. Even separate living spaces can't be accommodated, separate day spaces can be useful like she-shed type ideas. I dislike the term but the idea is valid.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11273
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
711
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Having lived in a co-op with 19 other women, I think it is possible to share a kitchen!  Separate bathrooms are definitely a good idea, however.
 
Catie George
Posts: 72
Location: Ontario - zone 5b
37
forest garden foraging tiny house books bike bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's more clarification...We are currently in a 2 bdrm, <1000 sq ft house, and it's too small for both of us. It's ok now, as we stagger who gets up first,  but the plan would be a 3-4 bdrm, 1.5 bath house, which is bigger than what I would buy for me alone. Preferably 2 story to avoid tripping over each other, ideally with a sitting room or something, or a finished basement so there are escape areas. A large well laid out kitchen and a dishwasher, or spaace for a portable one, is necessary. We could not manage an apartment together without words being exchanged! I would be buying in the older, cheap area of town with the 1880s to 1940s houses with larger lots and smaller room sizes, and bikeable distance to work.

I guess I should mention that mom's health isn't great either, with a bunch of autoimmune stuff going on for her too. Her current job is a 45 min drive away, and she finds it very draining, and the pay is not great. Pay in the city I live in is likely to be higher, plus she would save on gas and insurance.

Tyler Ludens wrote:Having lived in a co-op with 19 other women, I think it is possible to share a kitchen!  Separate bathrooms are definitely a good idea, however.



100% yes. We both love to cook, and actually share a kitchen very well. A house with 1.5 baths or 2 baths is necessary though.  

If you get along well enough with your mom to live with her, can you try to talk with her about how you might go about sharing her house in a real way as you both work toward selling it?  Can you present your wishes for changes as your way of contributing financially? (DIY saves a crazy amount of money)

.

We are sharing fairly well.  Her house is a fixer upper, and I have always been free to move stuff around, and have done some minor stuff to the house myself (replacing faucets, putting up curtain rods, patching holes, etc), and also landscaped her back yard (there is a thread on here some where about that project). I am possibly over complaining, but I get tired of waiting around for trades people or handyman to fix easy things. I may have convinced her that I can put vinyl down in her mudroom by myself... we shall see.  I do financially contribute to groceries, bought almost all of the plants in her garden, and try to buy some of the other random stuff (like faucets, etc) with my own money and 'lose' the bill.

So here are my thoughts. You are currently living with her and it's going well, great and it sounds like you needed the help, it's quite possible that your mother wants to keep an eye on you and help out which is also good, and sees it as a good way to get out of her house and job. So there would probably be no major issues right now with a new co-habitation arrangement. my first but would be what happens if you get a partner? (or she does) Not many people want to live with their inlaws. My second one is if she sells her house it's permanent you are stuck with her, and her with you. At lest until something could be sorted out, could she rent it out instead? More income that way as well. How close are you to your father? My first solution below would work as your mother would have somewhere to retire too when he came round, but the second would probably not if he visits often.

Solution 1. would be to buy a house with a granny annex, so while you are both in the same building she has her own rooms to retreat to/decorate etc etc and you have the main part of the house. I don't mean a house split into two flats I mean one where 2 or 3 rooms are sort of split off and have their own little kitchen and bathroom but are still connected to the house internally.

Solution 2. In light of you saying you don't want to live there permanently, buy something that will be easily rentable after you two are finished with it. so you can consider it as an investment that can help to bankroll your end goals.



I am not close with my father. We get along ok for about an hour, maybe 2, and there was a point in my life where i would have been happy never to see him again. I have stayed overnight at his place once in 4 years. Usually I take him for dinner or a coffee, which he usually insists I pay for. Not having him visit is not a huge drawback. He usually visits for a day or two a year, and stays with other relatives 1.5 hrs away.  I could afford to pay for a hotel room.

Partners are something I hadn't considered. Unlikely to be a huge issue in the next 1-3 years, but definitely  potentially an issue longer term. Thank you!

I 100% agree on the buy something rentable idea. The area I like has many rental homes in it and very low rental inventory.  My mom would likely not be willing to rent her house, as my parents were landlords most of my life and she got very tired of it. I will suggest it to her again, as I know she is nervous about getting out of the real estate market, and, yes, it would give her extra income.

You know your mom better than I do, but I would be cautious in assuming she understands that you expect this dynamic to change. Some parents really struggle with the idea that their adult kids get to do what they want in their own houses, even when they don't live together. I imagine it wouldn't be any easier to accept if she's gotten used to living with you as an adult and having you defer to her decisions about the home. It might be a discussion you need to have explicitly. Especially if you are already feeling burned-out and tired, I would be worried about being inadvertently steamrolled if I were you.



Good point! I *think* decisions about house should be fine, decisions about what I am doing on the weekend, going out late with friends, etc may be trickier. She really does worry about me, and also worries about me driving at night. For family dynamics.... i think they are unusual already. I have been treated more or less as an adult since i was a young teen, and am lucky to have a mother who asks me for advice!  Went off to university on my own with almost no meddling. As for deferring to her, I don't expect the dynamic to change with regards to cleaning, and I don't mind her choosing stuff. We typically have similar tastes, and already tend to consult each other. I have decorated and rearranged the furniture in her last two houses for her. I just want to be able to spend money on something to make life easier without worrying too much about her trying to pay me back because it's her house!

Regarding end date.... likely 1-3 years, then reconsider. I can't see lIving where I am for the rest of my life, and might consider going back to school.  She gets her full pension in 3 years, and financial issues will ease a lot for her and she should be able to retire again. She does own her current home outright, but my area is expensive. She has considered buying a house in a town 1 hr away, where she could afford to purchase. After retirement, she has also considered moving back out west, where cost of living is lower.

Thank you everyone, you have really helped me clarify some of the things I am worried about and given me more to think about. And yes, I do need to have a deep conversation before we make any decisions- I am taking some points off here and writing them down to discuss  Please, keep the advice coming!  
 
garden master
Posts: 2030
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
639
forest garden foraging books food preservation cooking fiber arts bee medical herbs
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My sole piece of advice. Do not buy anything that you cannot afford on your own. Life throws circumstances at us that changes our best laid plans.

Your home ought to be a source of joy, not a soul sucking drain.
 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Steve flies like a tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!