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    • kebkhan
    • By kebkhan 18th Jul 19, 8:23 AM
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    Mother moving for 3rd time in 5 years
    • #1
    • 18th Jul 19, 8:23 AM
    Mother moving for 3rd time in 5 years 18th Jul 19 at 8:23 AM
    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.
Page 1
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 18th Jul 19, 9:10 AM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #2
    • 18th Jul 19, 9:10 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Jul 19, 9:10 AM
    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.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 18th Jul 19, 10:02 AM
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    • #3
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:02 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:02 AM
    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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    • oystercatcher
    • By oystercatcher 18th Jul 19, 10:17 AM
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    • #4
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:17 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:17 AM
    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 )
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 18th Jul 19, 10:51 AM
    • 8,791 Posts
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    • #5
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:51 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Jul 19, 10:51 AM
    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&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 18th Jul 19, 11:36 AM
    • 859 Posts
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    • #6
    • 18th Jul 19, 11:36 AM
    • #6
    • 18th Jul 19, 11:36 AM
    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.
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 18th Jul 19, 12:27 PM
    • 8,847 Posts
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    • #7
    • 18th Jul 19, 12:27 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Jul 19, 12:27 PM
    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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    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 18th Jul 19, 2:45 PM
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    ska lover
    • #8
    • 18th Jul 19, 2:45 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Jul 19, 2:45 PM
    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
    Last edited by ska lover; 18-07-2019 at 10:25 PM.
    The opposite of what you also true
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 18th Jul 19, 3:36 PM
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    • #9
    • 18th Jul 19, 3:36 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Jul 19, 3:36 PM
    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.
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    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 18th Jul 19, 4:03 PM
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    Sea Shell
    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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    • elsien
    • By elsien 18th Jul 19, 4:14 PM
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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.)
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

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    • Jackmydad
    • By Jackmydad 18th Jul 19, 4:52 PM
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    I'm another who's in the "let her get on with it, don't interfere of help in any way" camp.
    Not being unkind, but it's another of those things where you're not going to win whatever happens.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 18th Jul 19, 8:17 PM
    • 5,762 Posts
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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.
    Originally posted by kazwookie
    The OP can't "get a LPA ready". If the mother wants to make one then they can if they have capacity, but no-one else can "get" one for them.

    If the mother lacks capacity (which nothing posted so far suggests) and no LPA exists, then the OP would have to go to the court of protection to apply to be appointed a deputy, as the mother could not make an LPA due to her lack of capacity.

    The court of protection doesn't just appoint deputies on request, it is a superior court of record that exists to protect those that lack capacity, and so it will require comprehensive evidence. We have family experience and even with my grandmother who had advanced dementia, the process involved a lot of investigation and checking of the true state of my grandmother's ability to make decisions for herself before it was granted. They didn't just grant it on the forms being sent in.
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    • Dark Star
    • By Dark Star 18th Jul 19, 8:44 PM
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    Dark Star
    How far away are you from her? Is it so far that she feels she canít just visit for a day?

    Could she buy a small flat/ holiday home type place near you & go & stay in that whenever she wanted to be near you?

    Then she wonít keep selling & buying as she can be in both areas....just not at the same time....unless you clone her 🙂

    Just a thought....
    Lurking in a galaxy far far away...
    • Poor_Single_lady
    • By Poor_Single_lady 18th Jul 19, 8:52 PM
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    Surely itís up to her what she does. 76 isnít that old - I know it varies from person but if she is buying a house it sounds like she has capacity.

    It sounds like you want to interfere but she hasnít asked you to. I have this with my family a lot unasked for ďhelpĒ. And I think if I bought a house and changed my mind at 76 itís really up to me. I do understand you think there will be problems but surely itís her money and he decision.
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    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 19th Jul 19, 12:02 AM
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    If she wants to make bad decisions itís not your job to stop her and you probably wonít be able to anyway. Itís 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.
    Originally posted by onwards&upwards
    You can by all means say this, but don't expect it to make any difference.

    My parents moved to be near one of my siblings, but chose a (very large) house on the opposite side of the town. They were told that living THAT side would make it very difficult for visits, that traffic getting across the town was often gridlocked, that the grandchildren wouldn't be able to just pop in etc. In one ear and out the other.

    There were occasional mutterings when a request for a lift was declined, but "I did warn you!"

    Now, there was ONE advantage to having a very large house. As time went by, they didn't go out so much unless they were picked up from the door. But every day a fair few steps were walked: around the dining table in the very large kitchen diner (no 'golden triangle' there!), out into the utility room to the freezer, back through the kitchen into the ridiculously large lounge, through the dining room to the stairs, down the corridor from bedroom to bathroom and so on.

    Not that I'm recommending it, you understand ...
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    • MoneySeeker1
    • By MoneySeeker1 19th Jul 19, 6:52 AM
    • 119 Posts
    • 221 Thanks
    That is the plus side, ie she'll get in a lot of "steps" of exercise on a daily basis with a bigger house and the fact it is a house (not a bungalow), ie up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs again.

    The other point is that I would agree that the more someone is depressed, then the bigger the house/garden they could benefit from. Reason being that their "territory" in which they don't have to face other people is bigger. It must be very confining to be depressed, but know you have to go out because you've only got a 4 room flat for instance and the space simply isn't "big enough" to stay at home much in. I've come to the conclusion that the smaller a home is, then the more facilities there have to be available to go out to (eg places to eat out in, because the kitchen isn't big enough to do much cooking in), etc. Bigger homes have room for hobbies, room for gardening, etc. Also the smaller the home, the better the weather has to be in the local area, so that people aren't confined to staying at home because they've decided to go out, but the weather isn't good enough to do so unless necessary (ie the angle also arises of whether she is in a part of the country where the weather necessitates having a bigger home to stay in more in).

    The problem boils down to the housework I would say and whether you can persuade her to get that dealt with, eg with a firm coming in for a super one-off clean once a month or so.

    Ultimately, it is her decision just which house it is that she owns and whereabouts it is.
    Last edited by MoneySeeker1; 19-07-2019 at 7:06 AM.
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 19th Jul 19, 12:43 PM
    • 793 Posts
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    You seem most obsessed with the money element these decisions are costing ?

    Can she not afford it or are you concerned she is wasting your inheritance ?
    • Fen1
    • By Fen1 19th Jul 19, 1:06 PM
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    Could her need to regularly move to bigger and bigger properties be her way of "managing" her hoarding?
    She may, on a subconscious level, recognize that her house is getting dirty and disorganized. She rationalizes that the house is becoming disordered because it is too small for all of her possessions. If she were to move to a bigger property, it would give her the space to have all her things nicely ordered. For her, the house is not adequate for her needs.

    Unfortunately, even if she were to move into a castle, it would still get grubby. There will never be a property big enough for her as the problems she has are in her mind, not the bricks and mortar.

    Has she always been dirty? Has it come on slowly or was there a definite starting time? How was she when your father was alive, was there a change after he died?
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