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Continue renting or buy out parents granny flat?

  • 03-11-2021 9:01am
    Registered Users Posts: 8 Dara Flanagan

    My colleague is looking for advice. She is in her late 30's single with no plans to marry or have children. She has saved a 40 k a deposit for a mortgage. The bank advised her to continue filing returns on her side dance business and working full time for 3 more years before applying for a mortgage. She was a full time dancer and travelled the world living a very bohemian life sometimes 'off the grid' and needs to show some stability before applying.

    Her parents built a small flat without planning 20 years ago directly beside their house. She knows they have no planning on this building but they are reluctant to tell her anymore about it. They want her to buy the flat and invest a small amount to modernise it. They have rented it on and off during summers over the years. She has an ok relationship with them but they are extremley controlling. They have never allowed her to have visitors to their home and she doesnt regard their main house as her home. She has always seen it as her parents house which she can visit but wouldnt spend more than a day or two there when she moved out. There are very strict rules and her parents have become more set in their ways as they have gotten older. She will be thier main carerr in their later years. They are in their sixties now so she will definitley be moving in with them in her eighters to look after them. Her mother see's her as her only companion and can manipulate her easily into spending every free moment entertaining her- hiking, cycling, mountain climbing, swimming- which is lovely but sometimes my friend gets burnt out and struggles to have energy for her side business and her main job - it's like having an extremly high maintenance wife sometimes. There huge issues sometimes with my friend having her own social life.

    Has anyone been in this situation? She knows if she takes on the flat she will loose all independance. The option of taking on a mortgage in her fourties as a single woman doesnt give her much hope either. Is it wiser to put money into a family asset and live in this flat, do it up and have a second home to leave for her nephews and nieces? Or something decent to sell on to support her parents when she is looking after them in their 80's/90's. Currently she is renting locally about 20 miles away from her parents.

    With the current housing crisis is it better to "suck-it-up" and live under her parents strict rules rather than take on a mortgage and struggle to get planning permission. They live in a ruaral area on the west coast. She is settled in the area but would move if she got a civil service pensionable job. She is on panels right now for Mayo. Roscommon and Kerry clerical officer roles.

    She wants to make a decision on this in the next 6 months. If she doesnt buy the flat her parents will rent it full time. They are very reluctant to do this as they know they would have no control over the new renters social life and how they would maintain and clean the property. They are putting pressure on her to moove into the flat and sees the rent she is currently paying as DEAD MONEY.

    Has anyone been in this situation? She moved in with them during the first lockdown for about 9 months and it was very difficult for her but she knows if push came to shove she would get on with it.

    She is a very practical person and not dramatic . A very black and white person. She just has no one to ask for advice on this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,437 ✭✭✭ harr

    So many red flags with all of this , how would would she buy it if it has no plans how would it be hers .. how would that even work.

    She knows how controlling they are but is thinking about moving in beside them and letting them continue to control her life .

    The only option she has is continue to save and fingers crossed in 5 or 6 years she will be in position to obtain her own place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,155 ✭✭✭ cruizer101

    Would she have to take a mortgage to buy the flat, if there is planning issues I can't see how she could.

    She shouldn't purchase it regardless until planning is sorted, and even then it doesn't really sound like a good purchase.

    she will definitley be moving in with them in her eighters to look after them.

    Why? Vast majority of kids don't move in with parent when they are older to take care of them

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,576 ✭✭✭ niallb

    I've had to look at this the other way around as my parents came to live with me seven years ago. Practically speaking living next door saves me a lot of time on care. My father is now 90 and largely independent, but if he needs a hand with something I can be there quickly and straight back out again if I'm busy with something else.

    When they lived 40 minutes away it was a much bigger undertaking to get any little problem sorted out. There are huge differences in our situations, but I've had to look into several angles of how this might go and she should take the time to do that too.

    First off, she needs a bit of legal advice on a purchase. I doubt very much a solicitor would encourage her to buy any home that did not have planning permission. If they want to sell it, her parents need to sort that out, but that may not be the most tax efficient option available to them.

    Is there a connection between the house and the granny flat? Like is it a separate building or a large extension to the existing property? If the parents want to protect her against wasting dead money, there will be inheritance benefit for her to be living "in the family home" with them in their final years. Selling and splitting the property could complicate that immensely. Again - legal and financial advice required!

    If her parents need money to renovate their own home, she could cover the renovation of the whole property. A loan for that might be easier to secure and could see her repayment made over a shorter period of time which would be a great benefit to her when she is the age they are now.

    By the way, is there an Active Retirement Group in the area? Sounds like it would suit her mum down to the ground!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,490 ✭✭✭ wench

    She needs to run away from this notion as fast as possible. There is no benefit to her, this is all about what her parents want.

    She may or may not become her parent's carer later (and she shouldn't let herself be pressured into that just because she is single), but giving up all control of her life now on the basis of what may happen in 20 years is crazy.

    Is she really willing to go from an independent life travelling the world, to being treated like a child again?

    Buying as a woman alone isn't that hard. I did it a few years ago, just before turning 40, and the independence and control it gives you is wonderful.

  • Posts: 18,752 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    I really don't understand why she would even think about 'buying' the granny flat, that she probably couldn't actually buy, legally.

    If her mother is as active as your post suggests, there is no reason to assume she will be their carer, perhaps they may never need one, many people dont.

    There's nothing wrong with taking out a mortgage in her 40s, I'm currently househunting, mid 40s, and I will be taking out a small mortgage.

    If I was her, I would set myself up, on my own, keep some distance between her and the parents.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 333 ✭✭ FonE

    It really doesn't sound like a good idea. If her parents are as controlling as you say they are, then it's just going to lead to resentment in the long term.

    Am I right in thinking her "buying" the granny flat means basically handing her parents the deposit she has saved? Would she even legally own it at all? Certainly she wouldn't get a mortgage on a building without planning, let alone one that's on someone else's property.

    I'd hold out and wait to try and get her own place, legally hers and independent of her parents. She's a grown adult, no way would I go back to being treated like a child by parents questioning my every move.

    Whether or not her parents need care in years to come is irrelevant, they may not need care and there are services there like Home Help to step in if it should arise. It is not her duty to give up her own life and independence just in case her parents need her further down the line.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    You can buy a nice 1 bed apartment for €200k.

    She should be aiming for this.

    Then she has her independence and also an excuse not to have to move in with the parents when they come asking.

    Let them rent their granny flat out themselves if they want.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,306 ✭✭✭ Former Former Former

    She cannot buy it if it doesn't legally exist as a house. She'd be paying up front for a long term rental but without any legal rights as a tenant.

    And then once the money is handed over, there is no choice but to stay.

    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole tbh

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,608 ✭✭✭ Claw Hammer

    This thread should be in personal issues!