Author Topic: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?  (Read 2301 times)

rulesofacquisition

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Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« on: August 16, 2019, 08:36:50 AM »
I realize I may need to post an updated spreadsheet/case study, but in a nutshell, my mother passed away last September and her sister, who lived with her for the last 10 years (got divorced, not enough income for housing) is still living in the house. She cared for her through a long cancer battle. I inherited the house, and it is left to my son in my will (son from first marriage, I am remarried and everything else is left to my husband). It was also agreed upon that my aunt would not be told to leave, and my son is on board with this as well if I die first. We are all very close with no drama. I have been paying the property tax (about $1000 a year) and the homeowners ins (they consider it a rental, about $1000 a year). My aunt is paying utilities, gets grass cut, keeps house spotless and is on top of minor issues (1950's cape cod), has paid to take limbs to dump, etc. The tub needed a new faucet and the ceiling fan in the kitchen was dying, and my husband made a comment about her paying for materials. We hadn't discussed this, frankly I've been having issues dealing with the estate and my own health issues, and I was caught off guard. There may be some issues here as husband's family is frankly crazy and needy, and will take whatever they can get out of you. I guess I want input on what would be fair in this situation.

House is paid for, our residence nearby is not, we have 2 rentals we just got last year, one cash, one mortgaged. We have a car payment. Not overextended, $35,000 in savings, both make around $60k a year. I'm about 50, husband about 10 years younger. We have considered moving in with aunt and renting our house but like the quiet area of our house.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 08:58:12 AM »
I guess I'd have a few questions.
How old is aunt and what's her life expectancy like? (Would be different if she's 90 versus 65 in good health).
What's her income? (If she's living off of $1,000 Social Security check it seems unreasonable to expect her to kick in).

I mean - she cared for your mom during her long illness. That's worth a lot. Think of the economic cost if you'd had to hire a nurse or quit your job to nurse your mom, as so many people do. 

Also, what is the value of the house?

I'd do what you feel is right and honors your mother's wishes.

merince

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 09:51:25 AM »
Would the house and your aunt qualify for HUD/Section 8? You might want to look into that and use the proceeds to cover capital expenses such as roof replacement, etc?

MsPeacock

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 11:02:05 AM »
Given the minor cost of the repairs that you mention (a new faucet and ceiling fan) I think you should just pay for them. Your aunt took care of your mother for a decade, which sounds like she was not working in order to do so, and has very limited income now. You have someone in the house who is taking good daily care of it, paying for the utilities, and did a great service to your mother (and to you and your husband because you did not have the cost of nursing care or residential care for your mother). It may be worth having some future discussion w/ your aunt about some nominal rent that she can afford - $200 a month or whatever, that you can sock away towards larger repairs (assuming she can even afford that). An alternative might be to see if she would be open to a roommate to rent out one room of the house to another older person for a bit of income on the property.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 11:14:17 AM »
She's about 67, average health, about $1000 a month social security.

House worth about $400,000, not selling, goes to my son, my mother wanted it to go to him after me.

There is a waiting list for section 8 vouchers in my state, I looked into it for my local rental, about 3 years but the state told me people have to die or get off section 8 for a new voucher to come up.

Sounds like I need to have a talk with my husband.

Rosy

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 11:36:22 AM »
$1K in SS? Leave her be. She's already paid you forward a thousandfold. Show her the human kindness that she afforded your mother and yourselves.

Watchmaker

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 11:50:40 AM »
She's about 67, average health, about $1000 a month social security.

House worth about $400,000, not selling, goes to my son, my mother wanted it to go to him after me.

There is a waiting list for section 8 vouchers in my state, I looked into it for my local rental, about 3 years but the state told me people have to die or get off section 8 for a new voucher to come up.

Sounds like I need to have a talk with my husband.

I'm not sure where this is, but 400k sounds like a lot of house for a single person. Does your aunt want to keep living there by herself? Does your son actually want the house, or would he prefer money? Could he move in with her now?

I wouldn't kick her out, but there might be a better arrangement for everybody.

And if you only have 35k saved (not sure I'm reading that right), that's a whole nother conversation...


Sibley

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 03:39:29 PM »
Given that your husband seems to have the messed up family dynamics, he may simply not be accounting for a very different dynamic. The "rules" in his family aren't the same as the "rules" in your family, and he may not realize it/realize he needs to respond differently. Knowing something intellectually vs. really getting it and acting accordingly are two different things.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 03:53:26 PM »
The house is worth nothing - the appraiser said it was like a 1950's time capsule - but the land is valuable. The area is going commercial, lawyers, doctors, and is also a couple miles from the Atlantic. It's a small cape cod probably 1100 ft2 plus the second floor is one big bedroom and it sits on a basement. My great grandfather owned the land, I'm not ready to even consider parting with it.


I just talked to my husband and he feels we should either ask her to chip in for repairs or, like someone said, a low rent to set aside for repairs.

Yes, we only have $35k. I lost everything in a divorce except an old car and my clothes less than a decade ago and my husband had similar issues. We were deep in debt and just now are starting to have breathing room.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 03:54:39 PM »
Oh, my son is married and has his own house.

Watchmaker

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 04:05:47 PM »
The house is worth nothing - the appraiser said it was like a 1950's time capsule - but the land is valuable. The area is going commercial, lawyers, doctors, and is also a couple miles from the Atlantic. It's a small cape cod probably 1100 ft2 plus the second floor is one big bedroom and it sits on a basement. My great grandfather owned the land, I'm not ready to even consider parting with it.


I just talked to my husband and he feels we should either ask her to chip in for repairs or, like someone said, a low rent to set aside for repairs.

Yes, we only have $35k. I lost everything in a divorce except an old car and my clothes less than a decade ago and my husband had similar issues. We were deep in debt and just now are starting to have breathing room.

It still isn't clear to me whether your aunt wants to live there (alone), or whether maybe she'd prefer another option. You said you considered moving in with her at one point. Maybe she'd like that?

It sounds like the house itself wouldn't rent for much and you're not open to selling it, so maybe its best use would be as your home.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 04:19:39 PM »
I'm honestly not sure of market value rent, houses a little closer to the water rent weekly as beach rentals.

The area has built up a lot, my house is only a 12 minute drive away but much quieter. My aunt has mentioned the noise and traffic issues. It would be nice to move to one house.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 04:46:48 PM »


So based on your post, you own house free and clear, it has family/sentimental attachments and as of right now, you wrote it into your will that your son gets it if you still own it at your death.

Aunt has not been approached at any time since you inherited about her living situation? You haven't actually asked her or spoken to her at all other than glossing over the fact that she still is living there?

I'm not sure why you haven't sat down with your aunt and asked her what her plans are. So set that up.

Holding onto a property just because it belonged to family but isn't really logical or practical. If it were a really cool/historic house or has the potential to live there yourselves (like a small lakefront vacation home that's been used by the family for generations), sure, maybe keep it, live there and pass it on to the kid... but the only real issue here is that this nondescript, very old-and-needs-extensive-remodelng house belonged to family, and you seem to have a mental block separating the fact that it is just a piece of property that isn't going to do anything for you at all based on what you've said so far. You are going to spend the next X years paying for things that break or need fixing up, all the taxes and the insurance and never see a dime in benefit. So nothing but paying out on your end, never getting anything out of it at all. You are acting as a custodian and will come out poorer than when you started.

So it's a big sentimental attachment money pit basically. Not an asset since you never intend to sell/rent.

And you are extremely cash/investment poor right now.

Sentimentality aside, it's a really poor idea to hang onto this house. If your son wants it, is he planning on living there himself? If so, let him do so and pay you rent/upkeep on HIS future investment. Let aunt continue to live there with him.

All signs point to selling this as soon as you can arrange it if this is a hot market. You likely could assist aunt in locating a nice reasonable apartment that works for her without the necessity of anyone else having to pay for maintenance. Hell, you could kick in on her rent if you want to thank her for caring for your mom all those years. The invested proceeds from the house sale would kick off more than enough to help with this, and you'd still be able to leave a legacy for your son in a form that he'd likely better appreciate and use.

No more insurance, tax, maintenance, worry over potentials. And it becomes an actual asset to YOU.


I have experience with this sort of thing. I come from a family of hoarders and everything was "you CAN'T get rid of this" and taught from an early age that things have an almost magical quality if anyone in our family ever owned/touched/looked funny at it... it's taken me years(decades) to unlock the actual value from material things and the way we're taught to imbue emotional attachments to them. Basically you should try to start thinking of how to best benefit YOU, and your family NOW. The house is a house. It's does not represent your love for your family. It's not a test or a responsibility to keep for future generations, again, unless we're talking something of great historical import... it is just a house, just land. It's lovely that your family owned it, but they wouldn't want you to sacrifice your contentment or burden you with it (if they were loving, good people). If your aunt isn't absolutely dead-set in living there forever, then you should do all you can to help her find someplace nice for her that she can afford, and sell that place and put the money to work bettering your life, and the future of your family. 

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 05:14:16 PM »
I do agree wholeheartedly that I am having trouble making decicisions due to emotional bs. It makes no sense long term to keep 2 3 bedroom houses for 3 people. I need to finish going through the 60 years worth of stuff I inherited, finish some repairs to my house, and make some rational decisions. One house should be a rental at least.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2019, 06:38:27 PM »
If your aunt is only 67, did she give up ten years of potential earnings to nurse your mom? That's an awful lot to give up financially. If true, your H needs to back off.

Now - at 67, can't your aunt work a part-time job? Not so she can pay you, but so she can have some financial breathing room?

SwordGuy

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2019, 11:06:56 PM »
Is this house near you or near other family?

Is the aunt open to moving?

Because you could buy her a house and get it renovated -- new paint, new HVAC, new roof, etc. -- for way less than $100k in many parts of the country.

You keep $300k that you get to put to work and your aunt has a great deal for herself.



rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2019, 05:53:03 AM »
She retired at 64 about the same time things went really downhill with mom. So not early.

We live less than 15 minutes away so all of us moving into one house wouldn't be a stretch. If we sold for 400k I don't think we could buy even a simple house in the area for 100k, but should check current listings.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2019, 06:27:30 AM »


So based on your post, you own house free and clear, it has family/sentimental attachments and as of right now, you wrote it into your will that your son gets it if you still own it at your death.

Aunt has not been approached at any time since you inherited about her living situation? You haven't actually asked her or spoken to her at all other than glossing over the fact that she still is living there?

I'm not sure why you haven't sat down with your aunt and asked her what her plans are. So set that up.

Holding onto a property just because it belonged to family but isn't really logical or practical. If it were a really cool/historic house or has the potential to live there yourselves (like a small lakefront vacation home that's been used by the family for generations), sure, maybe keep it, live there and pass it on to the kid... but the only real issue here is that this nondescript, very old-and-needs-extensive-remodelng house belonged to family, and you seem to have a mental block separating the fact that it is just a piece of property that isn't going to do anything for you at all based on what you've said so far. You are going to spend the next X years paying for things that break or need fixing up, all the taxes and the insurance and never see a dime in benefit. So nothing but paying out on your end, never getting anything out of it at all. You are acting as a custodian and will come out poorer than when you started.

So it's a big sentimental attachment money pit basically. Not an asset since you never intend to sell/rent.

And you are extremely cash/investment poor right now.

Sentimentality aside, it's a really poor idea to hang onto this house. If your son wants it, is he planning on living there himself? If so, let him do so and pay you rent/upkeep on HIS future investment. Let aunt continue to live there with him.

All signs point to selling this as soon as you can arrange it if this is a hot market. You likely could assist aunt in locating a nice reasonable apartment that works for her without the necessity of anyone else having to pay for maintenance. Hell, you could kick in on her rent if you want to thank her for caring for your mom all those years. The invested proceeds from the house sale would kick off more than enough to help with this, and you'd still be able to leave a legacy for your son in a form that he'd likely better appreciate and use.

No more insurance, tax, maintenance, worry over potentials. And it becomes an actual asset to YOU.


I have experience with this sort of thing. I come from a family of hoarders and everything was "you CAN'T get rid of this" and taught from an early age that things have an almost magical quality if anyone in our family ever owned/touched/looked funny at it... it's taken me years(decades) to unlock the actual value from material things and the way we're taught to imbue emotional attachments to them. Basically you should try to start thinking of how to best benefit YOU, and your family NOW. The house is a house. It's does not represent your love for your family. It's not a test or a responsibility to keep for future generations, again, unless we're talking something of great historical import... it is just a house, just land. It's lovely that your family owned it, but they wouldn't want you to sacrifice your contentment or burden you with it (if they were loving, good people). If your aunt isn't absolutely dead-set in living there forever, then you should do all you can to help her find someplace nice for her that she can afford, and sell that place and put the money to work bettering your life, and the future of your family.

+1

My $.02:  It's a LUXURY for a single person of modest means to live alone in a single family home on valuable land.  You don't deserve to be burdened with the cost of maintaining such home.  Look at alternative ways of helping your Aunt. Stop the "guilt trip" and try emotionally detaching and come up with a more practical/capital efficient solution.

lizzzi

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2019, 07:53:10 AM »
I don't know your aunt, of course, but she's 67 and has just left the workforce at 64--look--it's not like she's 87 or 97 and really needs a lot of help. Her income is small, but others find low-income housing or some kind of room-mate arrangements and live pleasant lives without expecting to be supported by their relatives. I am 69--left the workforce at 63 to take care of family--yes, I lost the paychecks that would have raised my social security--but I'm able-bodied and more or less in my right mind--would not dream of expecting help or support from relatives at this point. The OP's husband is a little hard-nosed but he does have a point... I do think he and the OP need to  sit down and talk to the aunt--figure out what her expectations are and what everybody wants to do. For her to just inhabit that house for the next 20 years subsidized by the OP and her husband just makes no sense. I'm hoping the deceased mother didn't promise her that she could stay there forever--very difficult and unfair situation for the OP if that's what the aunt was told.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2019, 08:11:49 AM »
Your son's gonna sell that house as soon as he gets it. Sell now, move your aunt in with you and work on your finances, not your son's inheritance.

mistymoney

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2019, 08:17:50 AM »
Could you provide some clarity on what your mother's wishes were?

Also - you mention that this was land your grandfather owned - what did aunt get from grandfather? Why did your mother get this piece of land and your aunt did not?

Indexer

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2019, 08:28:46 AM »
So it's costing 2k/yr in fixed expenses + occasional repairs, and it's worth 400k+?

And your mother specifically asked you to let her live there?

I wouldn't ask her to leave, and given her low income I wouldn't ask her to pay rent. The property is costing you now, but long term it's going to net a big payday. It doesn't sound like your mother did this, but you can actually word a trust(maybe even a will) so that person A gets to use a property for their life and then it passes to person B. It sounds like that is what your mom wanted, so I would respect your mother's wishes, and treat the home as a future inheritance.

Now if she wants to move, more power to her.

Fishindude

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2019, 08:45:02 AM »
It's your sons house.   Sounds like he's an adult, let him deal with it.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2019, 09:42:40 AM »
So it's costing 2k/yr in fixed expenses + occasional repairs, and it's worth 400k+?

I think this is a very important point.  If you assume long-term returns of, say, 6% if the money were invested, the house is costing you and your son $400k x 6%= $24,000 per year plus $2,000 in fixed expenses.  Depending on what number you use for long-term returns, that's around or well over $2,000 each and every month that you are paying to subsidize your aunt remaining in that house.  Now, she took care of your mother for a decade and I would absolutely feel an ethical obligation to help her in almost any way I could.  Caring for an elderly person for a decade is an enormous sacrifice, and adding cancer to that makes it even tougher.  On top of that, she is clearly carrying her own weight by keeping it spotless and kept up - even paying for small maintenance on a very limited income.  The kind of person who steps up in multiple ways like that definitely deserves family members who will help her when she needs it. 
It seems to me you have an obligation to help her out - maybe even by offering significant help.  However, this seems like an incredibly inefficient way to help.  Again - $2k / month when you are already behind in your own retirement planning!  I have to believe that there is some way of helping her that doesn't cost you such a vast sum of money.  I think the right approach is to talk to her about her wishes. 
Elderly people, particularly those who don't have immediate family and limited income/assets, can get scared at change that to younger people seems pretty minor.  She may be terrified that the house will be sold and she'll be out on the street even if you haven't indicated anything of the sort.  I would have a conversation with her about her wishes and fears, but would leave the option of selling the house aside for now.  Are you close enough that she'll be willing to say, "I'm scared about moving somewhere else", or is she the type of person who would hold that in?  Once you really understand her fears and desires, hopefully you'll be able to come up with a less costly solution.  However, if you decide that for her stability she needs to stay in the house - even for a little while - you need to continue to look for other options down the road. 
Finally, tell your husband to back off.  It sounds like the aunt has been a saint and short of a dire financial emergency a bit of help here and there is absolutely warranted for everything she has done.  But more importantly it's none of his business.  Hopefully when you said, "my husband made a comment about her paying for materials" it was just that - a comment.  But if it was anything stronger then he really needs to know that this is not the time to provide input on this situation. 

Good luck with your health issues.  I hope they're minor and passing but if they're not I hope you have someone like your Aunt who will be so generous when you need help. 

former player

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2019, 10:00:24 AM »
Hang on a minute, everyone.  I know we are all about maximising the finances here, but there is an important sentence in OP's first post -

"It was also agreed upon that my aunt would not be told to leave"

An inheritance is a windfall, not a right and not earned. I once turned down the opportunity to inherit a family house because I couldn't have kept to the condition on which it was going to be left to me (the owner wanted me to live there).  It would have been worth even more than OP's house.  No regrets that I turned it down.  If OP's mother left her the house on condition that the aunt would not be told to leave, and OP although not rich is doing OK (own home, rentals, cash in the bank) then it would be totally shitty for OP to take the house and then tell the aunt to leave.  Or to ask the aunt to leave and pay rent as a lodger in someone else's home.  I certainly couldn't bring myself to profit from a legacy while reneging on the main condition on which it was left to me.

So I do agree that OP should talk to the aunt about what she wants.  The house is dated and apparently in need of constant small amounts of maintenance, it is noisy and probably also too large.  So it is not ideal for the aunt, and the aunt might prefer to live elsewhere.  Except of course for the cost.   There aren't many (any?) people here even of the most mustachian persuasion who are going to be living on $1k a month including paying full value rent, especially as they age.  So if the aunt did want to leave, I would be looking at selling the house and putting part of the proceeds either to buying somewhere more suitable for the aunt to live in (a one-bed apartment?) which could eventually be left to the son, or paying rent for something suitable ($400k at 4% should provide more than enough income for this).

I do get the sentimental value argument on owning land that has been in the family for 4 generations and could be passed on for another two or more at least.  But I think the thing here is that the area has apparently changed from residential to commercial, and the value is in the land not the house.  If OP is going to keep the land after the aunt leaves (either dies or leaves voluntarily) then OP and her son need to be thinking about redeveloping it for commercial purposes.

As to the OP and her husband moving in with the aunt, or vice versa, I would only do this if it was the most personally and socially advantageous arrangement all round.  Doing it just to save money when money doesn't need to be saved that badly?  That's a hard no.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2019, 03:07:36 PM »
To answer why my aunt doesn't own part of the house, the property was from my father's side, she is my mother's sister.

We have both expressed feeling lonely, me because my son and his wife bought a house and moved out of my house, and my aunt because of my mom's passing and because the family next door sold their house and it is now an attorneys office. My house was purchased for children that never materialized and I have mixed feelings about it. Hard to separate emotion from logic, and I have just now started to feel stable enough to look at the situation. I was very close to my mother.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2019, 01:43:26 AM »
While it's nice that you would like to live with your aunt, I'd think twice about it since your husband sounds like he would be less than enthused. Maybe if you could sell both places and buy a home with a separate granny flat, but simply sharing a house with her might put a strain on your marriage.

mistymoney

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2019, 07:40:43 AM »
So it's costing 2k/yr in fixed expenses + occasional repairs, and it's worth 400k+?

I think this is a very important point.  If you assume long-term returns of, say, 6% if the money were invested, the house is costing you and your son $400k x 6%= $24,000 per year plus $2,000 in fixed expenses.  Depending on what number you use for long-term returns, that's around or well over $2,000 each and every month that you are paying to subsidize your aunt remaining in that house.  Now, she took care of your mother for a decade and I would absolutely feel an ethical obligation to help her in almost any way I could. Caring for an elderly person for a decade is an enormous sacrifice, and adding cancer to that makes it even tougher.  On top of that, she is clearly carrying her own weight by keeping it spotless and kept up - even paying for small maintenance on a very limited income.  The kind of person who steps up in multiple ways like that definitely deserves family members who will help her when she needs it. 
It seems to me you have an obligation to help her out - maybe even by offering significant help.  However, this seems like an incredibly inefficient way to help.  Again - $2k / month when you are already behind in your own retirement planning!  I have to believe that there is some way of helping her that doesn't cost you such a vast sum of money.  I think the right approach is to talk to her about her wishes. 
Elderly people, particularly those who don't have immediate family and limited income/assets, can get scared at change that to younger people seems pretty minor.  She may be terrified that the house will be sold and she'll be out on the street even if you haven't indicated anything of the sort.  I would have a conversation with her about her wishes and fears, but would leave the option of selling the house aside for now.  Are you close enough that she'll be willing to say, "I'm scared about moving somewhere else", or is she the type of person who would hold that in?  Once you really understand her fears and desires, hopefully you'll be able to come up with a less costly solution.  However, if you decide that for her stability she needs to stay in the house - even for a little while - you need to continue to look for other options down the road. 
Finally, tell your husband to back off.  It sounds like the aunt has been a saint and short of a dire financial emergency a bit of help here and there is absolutely warranted for everything she has done.  But more importantly it's none of his business.  Hopefully when you said, "my husband made a comment about her paying for materials" it was just that - a comment.  But if it was anything stronger then he really needs to know that this is not the time to provide input on this situation. 

Good luck with your health issues.  I hope they're minor and passing but if they're not I hope you have someone like your Aunt who will be so generous when you need help.

yeah - I'd really hate for aunt to made to feel like charity case here.

Whatever life circumstances got her to 1k/month in SS - that's done and there isn't much she can do about that. She did a wonderful thing for you mother, your mother wanted her to have use of the house, and to me, that is a done deal.

If she was a hoarder letting it go, that would need addressing, but she is being a good steward, and you/son will be rewarded due to appreciation. Look at it as a good dead and a long term investment, and move on.

mistymoney

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2019, 07:44:03 AM »
To answer why my aunt doesn't own part of the house, the property was from my father's side, she is my mother's sister.

We have both expressed feeling lonely, me because my son and his wife bought a house and moved out of my house, and my aunt because of my mom's passing and because the family next door sold their house and it is now an attorneys office. My house was purchased for children that never materialized and I have mixed feelings about it. Hard to separate emotion from logic, and I have just now started to feel stable enough to look at the situation. I was very close to my mother.

You certainly make a good case for your and aunt compatibility, what about dh?

Catbert

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2019, 01:43:34 PM »
I was in a similar situation years ago.  DH's mother and her sister had lived together for years (30+) since their husbands' deaths.  It was my MILs house from her marriage.  Both had SS and nothing else.  My MIL had a stroke and while DH and his sister helped, a lot of day-to-day work fell to the MILs older (and elderly) sister.  After MIL died DH and my SIL inherited.  I don't think it occurred to any of us to charge her rent.  She died 8 years later in her 90s and still in the house.       At that point it was sold.

This situation might be different than yours.  We didn't need to money.  DH and his sister were very close to the Aunt their entire lives.  Aunt never had children and doted on DH and SIL has children.  In our area we knew that the house would continue to appreciate so no money would be lost in the long run. I'm not saying you need to do the same, but don't feel like a sucker for not charging her rent.  IMHO your DH needs to butt out since it's your inheritance.

I agree that with the neighborhood changing and her now alone you should discuss with what she'd like.  Maybe a smaller better located place would be her preference.  The neighbor moving gives you a good reason for discussing.




mistymoney

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2019, 01:52:50 PM »
I do agree wholeheartedly that I am having trouble making decicisions due to emotional bs. It makes no sense long term to keep 2 3 bedroom houses for 3 people. I need to finish going through the 60 years worth of stuff I inherited, finish some repairs to my house, and make some rational decisions. One house should be a rental at least.

maybe put any thoughts about changing the status quo on hold for 6-12 months.

Cassie

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2019, 01:56:08 PM »
Take some time to grieve and worry about this a year from now. Talk with your aunt about what she wants. I wouldn’t charge her anything for repairs or rent.

kei te pai

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2019, 02:37:52 PM »
At the core of your mother's wishes was the desire to ensure her sister always had a home. I think you can fulfil this intent in a number of ways, only one of which is the current situation.
Give it time. Gently explore with your aunt, your husband and your son all possibilities. You have good relationships, so preserving these is really important. The house is just a  symbol of family bonds and rellationships, selling it and treating your aunt with love and respect does not devalue the family values if done in the right way for the right reasons.

socaso

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2019, 03:17:45 PM »
We currently pay $8k/month for nursing home care for a relative. It seems to me your aunt provided a really valuable service plus from your comments it seems you are fond of your aunt. I'd have a frank conversation with her about finances and ask if she can pay a "rent" of a few hundred a month. Maybe just put it in a bank account you can both access and that way there is some money set aside for expenses.

Then there needs to be a separate conversation about long term plans, what happens if she needs care, etc? Not facing these questions and planning for them is a huge mistake.

Rosy

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Re: Charge Relative Rent/Expenses?
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2019, 10:40:53 AM »
Hang on a minute, everyone.

I know we are all about maximizing the finances here, but there is an important sentence in OP's first post -

"It was also agreed upon that my aunt would not be told to leave"
SNIP...

 If OP's mother left her the house on condition that the aunt would not be told to leave, and OP although not rich is doing OK (own home, rentals, cash in the bank) then it would be totally shitty for OP to take the house and then tell the aunt to leave.  Or to ask the aunt to leave and pay rent as a lodger in someone else's home.  I certainly couldn't bring myself to profit from a legacy while reneging on the main condition on which it was left to me.

So I do agree that OP should talk to the aunt about what she wants.

 The house is dated and apparently in need of constant small amounts of maintenance, it is noisy and probably also too large.  So it is not ideal for the aunt, and the aunt might prefer to live elsewhere.  Except of course for the cost.

  There aren't many (any?) people here even of the most mustachian persuasion who are going to be living on $1k a month including paying full value rent, especially as they age.  So if the aunt did want to leave, I would be looking at selling the house and putting part of the proceeds either to buying somewhere more suitable for the aunt to live in (a one-bed apartment?) which could eventually be left to the son, or paying rent for something suitable ($400k at 4% should provide more than enough income for this).

I do get the sentimental value argument on owning land that has been in the family for 4 generations and could be passed on for another two or more at least.  But I think the thing here is that the area has apparently changed from residential to commercial, and the value is in the land not the house.  If OP is going to keep the land after the aunt leaves (either dies or leaves voluntarily) then OP and her son need to be thinking about redeveloping it for commercial purposes.

As to the OP and her husband moving in with the aunt, or vice versa, I would only do this if it was the most personally and socially advantageous arrangement all round.  Doing it just to save money when money doesn't need to be saved that badly?  That's a hard no.

Plus one - you do have an obligation towards your aunt and should do right by her.
I think a talk with the aunt, discussing her preferences and willingness to move is a good starting point. The changing neighborhood and the current high real estate market of the land are talking points to ease into that conversation. She may well be happy to move, but afraid to discuss since she knows that on her own she has no options.
There is no need to act in haste. Be prudent - you have options.

This is a good problem to have, now you just need to sort out what is best for yourself as well as your aunt. It is a good thing and it is the right thing to do to include your aunt in the next step. It is what you agreed to do and it is honoring your Mom's wishes.