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Would we be mad to buy a big house with my parents to live in?

(30 Posts)
Sparkletastic Wed 31-May-17 13:25:53

We've half-heartedly batted the idea round for a few years about being a big gaff with my parents and living in it all together. Starting to think it is now or never and DH is much keener on the plan than I thought he'd be. DPs are in their mid-70s in good health and have a large house to sell, but not large enough for us all to live in (me, DH and 2 DDs - a teen and a pre-teen). We've done our house up and added value but I don't love the location. Together we could buy a big place and either divide it in two or do some work on it to make it suit us all. Has anyone done this? Very interested to hear thoughts on pros and cons. I should add we all get on extremely well and live very near to each other already so not freaked about being under same roof.

MissBax Wed 31-May-17 13:28:07

Aw I think it's a lovely idea if you're all keen ♥

Hogterm Wed 31-May-17 13:30:17

I know two families who have done this. It worked okay but they have strict ground rules and gave had a few irritations. I'm here cases I know they share some living areas usually kitchen, utility room etc but both have separate living rooms and obviously bedrooms. In one case they split the garden but that was because the grandparents were keen gardeners and the couple had young kids who wanted to play alot of football and the GPs didn't want plants getting ruined.

EssentialHummus Wed 31-May-17 13:37:20

Could be great, but everyone needs to be on board and you need to be clear upfront about how much time you expect to spend together, whether meals will be routinely shared, whether GPs will have routine childcare duties, issues around discipline, costs, bills, issues around privacy, etc. Need to have some tough conversations now, IMO.

Sparkletastic Wed 31-May-17 13:37:52

Useful insight there thanks Hogterm.
I'm thinking having own kitchens might be handy as otherwise we might fall into habit of always eating together which could become a bit much. Funny you mention garden as DM is a dedicated and talented gardener and DH and I aren't keen. We think she might give up her current rather fabulous garden with the promise of DH doing the boring stuff like mowing lawn, trimming hedges etc leaving her to be creative and waft around with her trug wink

Badders123 Wed 31-May-17 13:39:32

Fuck no
Will your dh be at home when your pils start to decline health wise?
Who will be expected red to shoulder the burden of care?

Badders123 Wed 31-May-17 13:39:33

Fuck no
Will your dh be at home when your pils start to decline health wise?
Who will be expected red to shoulder the burden of care?

Sparkletastic Wed 31-May-17 13:44:11

Yes all good points thanks Essentialhummus
We've talked about paying for a facilitated conversation with experts - either solicitors or DPs have a wealth management company they use - to try and objectively cover all the legalities and the relationship stuff that might arise. Dunno if that's possible but we need to explore all the scenarios of death, divorce, changing minds etc and implications for my DB who lives abroad but clearly has an interest in DPs future arrangements too.
The niggles and irritations will certainly be a factor. I think we will certainly need own living rooms, guest rooms and kitchens. DDs don't need much in way of childcare now luckily and I only work part time. Do need to consider how much care DPs might need in future although TBH I always knew this would be my role due to DB being abroad.

Lochan Wed 31-May-17 13:44:41

Do you have any siblings?

If you have siblings and are planning to invest your parents' money into your home you'd have to work out the inheritance end of this first.

That said, I have a friend who has done this with her parents and it seems to be working fairly well. It's a Granny flat arrangement though so everyone has their own space and privacy which I think is important.

BackforGood Wed 31-May-17 13:46:46

I think there could be a lot of tension released if you could find somewhere with two kitchens - I suppose it would be marketed as an annex or a granny flat. That way you get to have your own space and routines. No reason you couldn't fall into habit of each cooking for others once or twice a week but avoid the 'expectation' of being one unit, which I think could cause all sorts of issues.
I think 2 couples at different stages of life, living 'as one' would be a challenge not many of us would want to have.

Are you an only child or do you have siblings? As, it is a much simpler decision if it is just you. Otherwise you get into all sorts of issues as your parents age, possibly need care, and eventually die. You would all need to do some serious thinking around that before making any decisions.

Sparkletastic Wed 31-May-17 13:46:53

Badders123 I take your point but I'm devoted to my DPs so would certainly be the one to care for them when they need it. DH gets on with them very well too - far better than with his own DPs but that's a whole other story wink

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 31-May-17 13:53:43

This has crossed my mind for the future, but then I wondered what would happen if either or both of them needed to go into a care home eventually. How would that be funded? I think they'd need to have a lot of money aeparate to the house in order to ensure that their future care was provided for. Elderly care in some cases is not as straight forward as some people think. What if dementia were involved, or stroke issues?

wowfudge Wed 31-May-17 13:59:33

Friends bought a house on a big corner plot. The DPs built a bungalow on part of that plot. They have a kind of shared garden, but it can easily be divided in order to sell either the house or the bungalow in the future. The original house has needed a lot of work, but it was the plot size and location which was the attraction.

grafittiartist Wed 31-May-17 14:01:29

Find somewhere like on "last tango in Halifax' - their set up was fab. I would love to do this!

tanimbar Wed 31-May-17 14:01:54

I think it would be worth making the space as flexible as possible, to allow for circumstances changing. I have friends who did this, reconfigured a house with essentially two separate living/eating areas and connecting doors. Very sadly, they have since suffered two bereavements, and now use the house in a very different way to that first intended. However, it has been a great blessing to them to be living as a combined household.

Eatingcheeseontoast Wed 31-May-17 14:05:10

I'd consider it if it was a granny flat/2 houses together.

Nice idea if everyone likes each other! Definitely need two kitchens though!

Friends of friends did this but the son and his wife split up and the new wife wasn't keen on the arrangement at all! It caused all sorts of tensions. Mostly down to the fact that there was no separate living or kitchen areas.

Parents ended up moving out into sheltered accommodation in their 80s.

buckyou Wed 31-May-17 14:12:40

I wouldn't want to do it in the same house but it might work if their were 2 houses/ granny flat type set up.

nemno Wed 31-May-17 14:23:52

We did this. It worked pretty well and was a godsend when each parent in turn became sick and died of cancer in their own home. BTW 2 kitchens generally means 2 council taxes but if the council doesn't know then I can't see how they would find out IYSWIM. Now my parents are dead getting back to one council tax was the biggest bureaucratic hurdle. Inheritance needs considering too, we didn't want to be turfed out after their deaths so details were all sorted beforehand.

RandomlyGenerated Wed 31-May-17 14:26:22

You need a plan for what happens if your parents become frail and need care and something happens to you. Will your DH be able to manage?

This happened in DH's family and caused a lot of family grief.

Your DB will also need to be on board re how your parents estate is divided when the time comes.

Badders123 Wed 31-May-17 14:53:06

It's not about your devotion
You may find your dps don't want you wiping their bottom or providing intimate care

SwedishEdith Wed 31-May-17 14:56:59

Siblings would be my first thought. You're likely to benefit from a huge gain in house value. You'd all to agree about that and see a solicitor beforehand. But not a chance I'd do it. grin

Kursk Wed 31-May-17 15:02:35

Yes it works if there is a separate granny annex

KimKardashiansArse Wed 31-May-17 15:18:47

Look at houses that would be available for your likely budget. We considered doing this and the houses we could buy, even with a healthy budget, didn't offer enough space to make it worthwhile. I think it's one thing if you're all planning to share the same living space but if you want your own spaces in one house you'll likely need a huge budget.

EllieQ Wed 31-May-17 15:29:09

I agree that you need to really think about the implications of your parents needing more care than you can provide. Your set-up sounds ideal for them when they just need a bit of help with shopping, managing bills, general household stuff, attending doctor's appointments etc. But if they become more seriously unwell, it is unlikely that you could manage that kind of care at home. I'm thinking about severe mobility problems, needing help to use the toilet and have a bath, dementia (wandering out of the house is the reason we decided my mum needed to be in a care home), that kind of thing. Would you be prepared to sell the house so your parents' money can be used to pay for a care home?

Bitofeverything Wed 31-May-17 15:35:59

Mortgage companies can be unkeen on houses with two kitchens for some reason. Not sure why, but worth considering.

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