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Mother moving for 3rd time in 5 years

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
18 replies 3K views
kebkhankebkhan Forumite
1 Post
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
This could be a long and complicated one. My mother (76) is buying and selling a 3rd house since 2014. First she moved to be nearer to us, hated it and moved back to her old town and now wants to move back to be near us again. Each time she has bought and sold incurring Stamp Duty, estate agent fees, legal fees and movers, we reckon about £100,000 in total. We suggested renting and she flipped her lid and said she would never rent.
We are keen for her to move back to us, but the house she wants to buy is huge! 5 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms and will be even more in Stamp Duty. She is alone, my father died many years ago.
She has been diagnosed with depression, she doesn't go out of the house which is why we're keen for her to move near us, but she's obsessed that she need a big house just for her, each move she has upsized. She can't cope with her current house which is filthy, she won't get a cleaner as she thinks she does a good job, but floors are dirty and bathrooms are gross.
There is another house she loved which was smaller and she had an offer accepted but pulled out because it was too small - 4 beds, double garage, conservatory. A really lovely house, it would be one she could be in forever.
Is there anything I can do or do I have to sit back and watch her spend another £30,000 on Stamp Duty on a house which is totally unsuitable for her?
My sister is no help, she herself is autistic and gets really stressed when I try to discuss it with her.


  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    Would you be willing to live with her?

    Then she could buy a big house, you move in with her. Either sell your own house or let it, and keep the proceeds yourself.

    You insist on (and pay for) a cleaner in the house because "it's not fair that you does all the housework when I/we live there too". If necessary you take her out on the cleaner's day to let them get on with it. It doesn't have to be every week - a firm can send a gang of cleaners to do a whole-house clean in an afternoon once a month.

    You (and her) would need to be clear who pays for the bills as big houses take maintenance.

    The other two options are emotional blackmail ("you're spending our inheritance") or going down the lack of capacity route, which she probably isn't ready for yet. She's able to make her own decisions even if they aren't the most sensible from your point of view.
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  • BrassicWomanBrassicWoman Forumite
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    If you are helping her move, stop helping, and just say things like, "that's nice, you let me know when I should pop round with a house warming present."

    Otherwise, she has capacity, and so is allowed to make bad choices.
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  • oystercatcheroystercatcher Forumite
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    Is mother wanting a bigger house because she can't bear to part with furniture /stuff she already has? Would a massive cleanup /declutter ,maybe involving professional declutter people who are used to coping with people who have issues with 'stuff'.

    I think you need to get to the bottom of why she needs so much space just for her, will she talk through it and make logic of all the expense?

    If she is an adult with capacity there's not much you can do otherwise except refuse to actually help .

    If sister is autistic there is a chance parent is also somewhere on the spectrum and this is part of the problem (I have my suspicions about most of my family :eek::rotfl:)
  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    Perhaps try a different tactic and persuade her that the less house and garden space she has to look after going forward to clean, heat and maintain, the better chance she has when she's older, of being able to maintain her independence.

    She will also have more cash available to pay for services like a cleaner or gardener, which might prevent her having to go into a care home.

    Remind her that the cost of heating, Council tax, etc is going up year by year so in ten years time, the costs could be pretty exhorbitant for a single person's income to meet.
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    If she wants to make bad decisions it’s not your job to stop her and you probably won’t be able to anyway. It’s also not your job to clean up after her mistakes.

    Let her buy it but tell her really bluntly and plainly that you will NEVER clean it or pay for a cleaner, or move in, or tidy it up for sale. Be incredibly clear that any negative consequences will fall entirely on her and you will absolutely never change your mind, no matter what happens.
  • jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    She's an adult. If she can afford to, she can buy whatever house she likes and live in whatever state she likes.

    (Although I do remember my Grannie's cleaning standards slipping somewhat when she was in her 80s... it turned out to be due to deteriorating eyesight)
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  • edited 18 July 2019 at 11:25PM
    ska_loverska_lover Forumite
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    edited 18 July 2019 at 11:25PM
    It sounds like you are causing yourself an awful lot of stress, OP, by trying to get someone to march to the beat of your drum

    Unless Mother is not of sound mind - I really do not see what you could (or perhaps) should, do

    A person can lose their own sanity, trying to control the actions of others (albeit for reasons they feel are right)

    It can be like herding cats, they are going to go their own way - whatever you do - so my philosophy would be to breathe and stand back - and only step in if she becomes unwell

    Good luck
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  • kazwookiekazwookie Forumite
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    Is your mother of sound mind?

    If so I suggest you get on with your life and let her live her's.

    If no, I suggest you need to get a LPA ready.

    If no, I suggest you look for a small bungalow for her.
    :) Sun, Sea :)

  • Sea_ShellSea_Shell Forumite
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    And on another thread people are being berated for not caring for their elders enough. Really you can't win!!

    I'm in the "let her make her own choices, and live with the consequences" camp...but I would be very clear that I will also NOT be there when they start to fail to upkeep/maintain/afford such a property.
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  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    Would like to add, you can't "get" a power of attorney.
    The person can choose to make one if they have capacity, and can choose what to put in it and who to appoint (which may not be the person hassling them to get it). But it's not something that can be enforced.

    (Sorry, but that's one of my bugbears on this forum, people being told to get LPA for relatives. You can't, unless they want to do it.)
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    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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