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Taking a loan/gift from abusive parent to buy a house in better location

  • 03-05-2023 9:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 9

    Have a bit of a personal dilemma that I need to work through so would appreciate your thoughts and advice. This issue may be about housing and money, but the root of it is personal.

    TLDR: take financial gift from abusive parent to buy a house in better location? – more jobs, bigger dating pool, better social and events scene. Or buy in a commuter town that I can afford and have limited access to all those things? Or move to another city?

    Have lived with the parents for the past while now saving up for a deposit for a house. I'm very lucky to have reached that stage where I'm ready to buy so I'm itching to get out.

    While I have a pretty much WHF job and it doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon, I can move to any of the cities or major commuter towns in RoI.

    As with many others - family and friends are in Dublin, more jobs in Dublin should I choose to change, as a single person theirs a bigger dating pool and meetup dot com / social scene, there's also more gigs that I'm a huge fan of and close proximity to Dublin Airport There’s also many universities of I want to upskill in the future. The only thing is to buy anywhere reasonable in Dublin, I may have to take a gift (early inheritance from my mother and another gift (loan) from my uncle to buy anywhere reasonable in Dublin. This would be paid back over the years with the income from renting out the spare room in whatever house I will buy.

    To many people this might seem like a no-brainer - take the money. But if I get this gift from my mother, there will most certainly be strings attached. For context, my mother was quite abusive to us when we were kids (physically, verbally etc). She’s still an abusive person however decorum is maintained by everyone walking on eggshells. Nobody speaks about it, nobody takes her up on it (she’s not worth arguing with), and maybe it’s just my perspective, but everyone seems to play happy family. My years of therapy on and off have showed me that we’re anything but.

    I've been through years of therapy as a result most certainly have ptsd - in the sense that even just her presence makes my skin crawl and memories come flooding back and bring me down. She has mellowed in recent years but only because one still has to walk on eggshells around her. In a way, taking the money might be an unofficial contract of keeping her in my life, taking care of her when she gets older, guilt-trips, hanging it over my head etc.

    I feel as if cut her out of my life might be greatly beneficial for me. I have not considered this lightly. It will most likely result in me being cut off from the rest of the family as they’ll take her side and a smear campaign will ensue. I’m unsure if this is a risk I’m willing to take, but part of me thinks I should put my mental health first. So, the risk is if I do cut her off, I’ll lose the rest of my family too. If I do keep in contact with her, I’ll have contact with my father and siblings. But also when I do move out, things may not be as bad as they seem once I’m not living with her, and maybe keeping her at a distance might be the best approach- a happy medium.

    My other option is to buy a house in a commuter town 1hr drive from Dublin (on/near a 2hr train line) or move to another city. In a commuter town, I can afford the house myself, but worry about the social life limitations vs Dublin. Not even just in terms of finding a partner, but commuter towns are most likely filled with family so there may be less of a pool for a regular social circle. Also, further away from jobs market, events, friends etc.

    At the moment, my options are:

    1.     Take the money and deal with having her in my life. Part of me thinks I may be over reacting away and I will probably see things a bit better when I move out and distance myself from her. Maybe then I could tolerate her more and not make any “unnecessary” decisions with serious consequences.

    2.     Take the money (it will legally be a gift) and just cut her off anyway or at some point. This will only add to the smear campaign.

    3.     Don’t take the money and buy in a commuter town to Dublin that I can afford. This way she won’t be able to guilt trip me or use the “gift” for something in exchange”

    4.     Move to one of the other cities where there’s slightly less amenities than Dublin.

    Appreciate the time of you read all that and TIA.


  • Registered Users Posts: 338 ✭✭iniscealtra

    1. Take the money, pay her back on time every month and set clear boundaries. You won’t be living with her. You can answer your phone as you please. Learn how to be vague and when you do commit to something do it. Limit your time with her and always be able to leave if you need to.
    2. Awful idea.
    3. Fine if you’re happy with it but you seem to have many reservations.
    4. Same as 3 just farther away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,922 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Did she actually offer your the monet yet?

    If so Did she stipulate any terms? Like any pay back etc?

    Also, have you considered a shift in the relationship if you do move out to putting her at arm's length without actually cutting her off fully?

    That way you could still maintain a relationship with father and siblings but protect yourself from your mother's behaviour?

    To thine own self be true

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,468 ✭✭✭JeffKenna

    I dunno, you don't mention it as an option but if I had a fully remote job and was in your situation I'd just move to Europe for the summer months. Rent somewhere near a beach and don't worry about buying a house or your mother for a few months. That's just me though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 bringinghomethebeercan


    Thanks for relaying those options. No. 1 seems like the best alright. No.2 is an awful idea. Not a fan of it myself either, but I'd be lying if it didn't cross my mind. Cheers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 bringinghomethebeercan

    @Purple Mountain

    She has offered it to me. It's coming from my parents and from my uncle if needed. The legitimacy of the offer isn't the issue, but the unwritten t&Cs of it is.

    Keeping her at arms length seems like the best option alright. That's the conclusion I'm leaning towards, albeit with some hesitancy as I imagine the worst version of each scenario (I'm seeking this advice to see if im on most level headed track). So it may not be that bad once I move out (that's what I'm hoping anyway).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9 bringinghomethebeercan


    I did that in the previous job, but the new one has some sort of VPN restriction to the RoI.

    A holiday of some sort doesn't sound so bad, though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,922 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    My tuppence is try to remain independent if you can.

    There are many reasons for this..

    1. You are in a very good financial position without family help, unlike so many others.

    Like, suburb life isn't so bad. You still can hop on a train on the weekends and be in Dublin. You're not going to be going to gigs every night of the week.

    Plus think long you want family? If you think commuter towns are family oriented, you yourself could be in that position in a few years time.

    I know a family who live in Maynooth. They love it. They are very immersed in the family side- great community vibe, sports, nice school but also the adults say its a lovely town to eat out in or go to a bar.

    They both commute to Dublin by train daily and often stay after work for nights out with colleagues or friends. They just find someone to stay with or pay a taxi home.

    Maynooth would also give you the option of renting a room to a student to help you along the way financially without family input. A student from the country might go home most weekends to give you privacy.

    2. Your hesitation about tying yourself to your mother.

    Money changes a dynamic in any relationship. I've seen too many fallout over money/land/co-signatory etc.

    It's all too easy for things to get messy when family and money are combined and that's not even factoring in an already toxic situation like yours.

    What happens if your mam or dad need care in the future? They could come calling back the money to cover it. Same with your uncle. He could technically look for his share back early too.

    It's not a regulated agreement so there's no parameters.

    3. Going back to your situation in the future again.

    If you meet a life partner who will be moving into your home.

    It's much less complicated if s/he is coming into the situation if your family are not involved.

    Your mother (if as nasty as you say) could decide: oh well X has a partner now, s/he is living there and should be paying towards the mortgage, I want my money back.

    Similar with your uncle.

    My advice would be to go solo. Be proud of what you've achieved but work around what you see as "limitations".

    You'll be middle aged in a few years and might appreciate the suburbs more, the Saturday GAA coaching and tidy estate committee 😁

    Hop on your train every weekend if you need to and enjoy your party life. Dublin Airport is only really an hour tops from any suburb now too and you're not going to be going on holidays every month.

    You can have the best of both worlds 🤗

    To thine own self be true

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,799 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    I wouldn't be able to take the money. I'm most likely projecting here, but just thinking of my own situation if it was my mother it would be mentioned frequently how, thanks to her, I have the house I have and I'd never be allowed forget it.

    There's no way in hell I would take a cent. Go with what you can afford on your own.

  • Registered Users Posts: 237 ✭✭89897

    You also need to consider if this is a loan, the bank will take into account the repayment capacity when looking for a mortgage, if its a gift there may be tax implications. A gift you will also need a letter from the 'gifter' confirming that and will they do that?

    If it were me, I'd rather do it alone as opposed to strings attached. I understand your reservations about being in a commuter town but they may not always be reservations. Like a poster above said most of the week will be working, a quick train journey into town on the weekends. Most towns have buses running for concerts etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,324 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    I definitely don’t think it’s a good idea to take the money, things were so bad you had to have therapy - do you want to further entangle yourself? The great thing about family is when you get older you can greatly minimise interaction- it might be a bit two faced if you take the cash and then block them out of your life.

    What commuter towns are you considering if you are saying it’s a 2 hour train trip, that’s not exactly commuter?

    Somebody else mentioned Maynooth - Maynooth is more expensive than plenty of Dublin. Maynooth is perfect because there are frequent trains for work and it takes about 45 mins and there are buses all through the night so great for social life - but I’m guessing if you can’t afford Dublin you can’t afford Maynooth and are looking at the likes of Longford?

    I don’t know what your budget it but could you settle for a slightly dodgy part of Dublin? Given you don’t have kids right now it would keep you nearby the city for your social life. But since you can work remotely what about the likes of Cork which presumably has good social options too, or is that also as expensive?

    Post edited by YellowLead on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,702 ✭✭✭zoobizoo

    If she/they are gifting you the money, there is a letter that needs to be signed by her, your dad and uncle saying that they have no claim over the property. The bank will ask for that!

    If it's a loan - it becomes more complicated. How long for? Monthly repayments? How and when can it the loan be called in? The above letter will still need to be signed - but can you imagine your controlling mother constantly 'threatening'/guilting you with "your poor father needs that medical treatment and we have it tied up in your house / we would have gone on that holiday but couldn't because of the money we gave you"

    What type of hold will she have over you if you take her cash? Unexpected visits? Requests / demands to have an input into the house? Expectations of stayovers? (sure we have an early flight the next morning) ....... and the constant "LOOK AT WHAT WE DID FOR YOU!!!!!" for the rest of her life.

    I read the recent articles about Narcasistic mothers and a family scapegoat - worth having a read of if you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 bringinghomethebeercan

    @Purple Mountain

    Many good points raised there that I'll have to consider. Thanks for going to the effort of typing all that out.

    Maynooth is out of my price range. Newbridge (or Gorey if I fancy living near the coast) may be more in tune with my budget.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 bringinghomethebeercan


    Sounds like something my mother would do airtight. You raise a good point alongside the suggestion to go solo. What stops me from doing that though is that i might be hampering aspects of my life - potential jobs, social etc. Maybe it's just a thought I've to get out of myhead. Cheers