Author Topic: Case study: Buying a parent a home??  (Read 4030 times)

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« on: June 12, 2019, 08:55:02 AM »
Obviously not the typical case study here but could use some MMM member insight.

Background:  40, single, female, no kids or pets, working full time from home in a major city in the Southeast.  No car, no health issues.  50% SR; planning to FI in late 50s (not really focused on RE anymore).  My 60 y/o mom lives about 4 hours away from me; I rarely visit due to her hoarding issues which continue to get worse.  I did however visit last month for the first time in two years and man...it's just, it's bad.  I'm finally at the point where I think I need to step in and do something.  For those who know my story, I've considered purchasing my own home for years now; I've come to the conclusion I'm ok with just continuing to rent for the unforeseeable future. 

So, I'm thinking of purchasing a home for her.  Alternatively I can fix up her current home.  Both big financial commitments, but there are big personal commitments involved as well:

If I fix up her current home, I think I could manage this from where I live now.  It would cost maybe $10k-$15k?  It would involve way less money than buying another house, but it doesn't fix the root of the problem which is I personally believe she needs to move out of the city she is in.  There are zero opportunities, way less amenities, and it's about an hour drive from her church home which is her foundation so to speak.

If I buy her a home*, it would be in the city where her church is located (as mentioned, about an hour away from where she currently lives).  It would also put her an hour closer to me.  I took her looking at houses last month and her reaction was slightly positive, but I think she's overwhelmed with the thought of moving and is feeling a lot of guilt.  Coincidentally one of her church friends lives in a neighborhood I would love to move her to...about 5 miles from her church, close to grocery, 2 major hospitals, retail, etc.  Small ranch style 2/2's are going for $80k there, so my plan would be to put maybe 30% down and just pay the mortgage on that for her. 

*To take this even further, I am considering moving to the smaller city where the home would be purchased.  The 2/2 I am looking at for her I thought was a duplex because that's how they are made, but I learned something new that they are actually "patio homes" meaning, they are two 2/2s attached to each other but sold separately.  That was a bit of a bummer because I was thinking originally perhaps I would buy a duplex for her, move in one half and once she's settled in, move out my half and rent to a tenant.  I guess a duplex is still an option but they are limited in that city and not generally located in optimal neighborhoods. 

Overall I've been laying low on this forum for a while and making decent progress with my savings/retirement so I don't want to derail my retirement savings but now that I'm pretty optimized with things I think I could handle a small mortgage on a home for her.  I got a promotion and raise about 6 months ago and will now start to receive RSUs at work; I planned to cash out some of these for the downpayment.  Looking forward to all thoughts/opinions. 

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 09:57:18 AM »
Ooh posting to follow, as I'm in a similar position & considering something along the same lines.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5395
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • Insert Snappy Title Here (Journal)
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 11:04:14 AM »
Can you talk about her current home: what kind of fixing up does it need, how much cohoe you sell it for? How much does she owe? Why would you be buying her something versus her selling and buying something closer to where her life is?

The hoarding issue is a separate one. Do you think her mental health problem is a situational one, and that moving closer to friends/church/amenities will help? Or is she just going to trash a home that you buy for her, losing you money and causing resentment?

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 11:48:16 AM »
Can you talk about her current home: what kind of fixing up does it need, how much cohoe you sell it for? How much does she owe? Why would you be buying her something versus her selling and buying something closer to where her life is?

The hoarding issue is a separate one. Do you think her mental health problem is a situational one, and that moving closer to friends/church/amenities will help? Or is she just going to trash a home that you buy for her, losing you money and causing resentment?

She's been there 27 years:
Central AC/heat doesn't work
Electrical issues I think (i.e, appliances like microwaves are constantly blowing out; one or two rooms central outlets don't work)
No running water in the house for over a decade
Nothing has ever really been fixed since moving in so minor stuff like paint and carpet needs to be done
Not sure about the roof

I really don't know how much I can sell it for.  My close friend who works in real estate however did guesstimate the exact same number I did which was $30k.  I assume she owes nothing and has paid it off.  She won't officially tell me but I think I can verify this.

I'd be buying her something because I planned to put the money from the sale of the home into savings for her.  It would be her first time ever having any sort of savings or investment/retirement funds.  She's lived paycheck to paycheck forever in other words.  Her life, so to speak, is really moreso in the new city I want to move her to.  It's an hour away from where she currently lives but where she currently lives, she is not active in that city whatsoever.  Her life is based around her church home.

I do believe moving will help.  She is already trying to make improvements over the past year in other ways that lead me to believe she wants to change which I never thought would happen.  She asked me for the first time to go to a therapist with her which was shocking (she's always said she would never go); but has said she will go only if I go with her so that's going to be hard to do from where I live now.  I sincerely believe that the combination of the counseling + new home/new(ish) city 'could' be very good for her.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1396
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 01:11:18 PM »
I'd buy the working house in the closer city, especially if you move there. The existing house sounds like a money pit, and you don't know what other disasters lurk there. A move would allow the hoarding issue to be tackled directly -- only move essentials in good condition. She may be more motivated to keep up with her housing if it is new (to her) and minimalist.

I'd put the title in my name. Chances are you'll be covering any house-related bills plus property tax. It's fair for her to cover utilities, but you'll want to monitor that they're getting paid on time. You've indicated that the proceeds from the existing house sale would be invested rather than put back into the next house, so she doesn't need to be a co-owner.

six-car-habit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 01:27:10 PM »
  ok, these answers are going to be a bit harsh -
Does she have a job in the town where she lives ?  Is she willing to look for new employment in a new city ?

 No way are you going to get HVAC system , various electrical issues, the well pump working again [ assuming not on city water ] , a roof put on the house, replace the carpet - fix/replace the wood/vinyl floors, repaint, general cleanup, dumpster rental, etc. -- for $10-15,000 . Unless you are a licensed general contractor with your own crew.  The roof is at least 27 years old - it will fail in a few years.  Carpet for several rooms will be $1000+. I don't think your fix-up #'s are anywhere close to reality.  Hopefully your LCOL means low wages and low materials costs, but some materials costs are just going to be fixed at "going rate of repalcement" no matter what COL the area is.

 Why is there no running water in the house ?  How does she flush the toilet or wash dishes, or wash herself ?  If it's city water they are responsible up to the meter, usually at the edge of the yard / property line  -- the piping in the yard and in the house are her responsibility. Was it shut off for non-payment ? Was there a leak that was never fixed ?  Does she have a well pump ? Does she bathe in a stream ?

 Might need a new main breaker electrical panel - $2000 minimum.
 HVAC - who knows - I can't imagine any service call costing less than $ 500 - way more $$ when components need replaced.
 Roof , even on a small [ <1500 sq ft ] house  - $5000 or more.
Interior painting you can do yourself. Exterior maybe - if it's a one story.

 Why would she not blow the $ 30 K , meant for savings, on hoarding / garage sales / home shopping network / 2nd hand stores ?
 Don't assume she owes nothing / no mortgage, if she did why would she not 'officially tell you' ?
She's living paycheck to paycheck forever , and won't put money into fixing the water situation, what would lead you to believe the house has no mortgage.
Credit cards ?

  Can you not figure out a way to get one day off during the week [ work a weekend day in exchange ] to meet her at an appointment in the new city for psycologist help - since you are able to work from home - Yes it would be a full day commitment with 6 hours of driving + the appointment time.
 I see you have no car. You can easily find a <$3000 Buick or Pontiac sedan with low miles, built in 1995 to 2005 time frame. Perfect for getting you to the appointments. There are loads of them on Craigslist and elsewhere, private party sale.

  Do not buy into a "patio home", "townhome" with shared walls, etc.   This is unfair to the next door / on the street neighbors.  Maybe she is the type of horder where everything is inside the house, hopefully -- if she is the type of hoarder with crap furniture, broken items, overflowing garbage cans, ugly knick knacks and projects and other detrius strewn about the yard.... this is unfair to the new neighborhood -  unless the whole street already looks like this.

 If you are going to do this, please figure in the cost of the mortgage + taxes + utilities + insurance -  as the burden you will need to shoulder.

JoSo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 01:38:18 PM »
Iím very sorry for the position youíre in.  That sounds like a really tough situation.  Mental illness is rough on both the sufferer and the family.  Have you thought about both you and your mom speaking with 1 or 2 psychiatrists that specialize in hoarding to get a professional, objective opinion on the issue?  Perhaps individual therapy and speaking to both of you together would be helpful.  I just canít see how sheís going to modify her behavior without treating the underlying issue.  If you donít treat the underlying issue, youíre just going to have 2 houses full of junk.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 01:43:00 PM by JoSo »

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 02:09:01 PM »
I'd buy the working house in the closer city, especially if you move there. The existing house sounds like a money pit, and you don't know what other disasters lurk there. A move would allow the hoarding issue to be tackled directly -- only move essentials in good condition. She may be more motivated to keep up with her housing if it is new (to her) and minimalist.

I'd put the title in my name. Chances are you'll be covering any house-related bills plus property tax. It's fair for her to cover utilities, but you'll want to monitor that they're getting paid on time. You've indicated that the proceeds from the existing house sale would be invested rather than put back into the next house, so she doesn't need to be a co-owner.

All you have written above is the current plan if I do go with this option. 

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 02:42:24 PM »

Does she have a job in the town where she lives ?  Is she willing to look for new employment in a new city ?


She currently has a job.  Pays ~$9/hour.  Her current job is about 30 minutes away smack dab in between her current city and the new city I'd like to move her to.  So she could keep the current job and the commute would be about the same; she'd just be driving to work in a different direction.

No way are you going to get HVAC system , various electrical issues, the well pump working again [ assuming not on city water ] , a roof put on the house, replace the carpet - fix/replace the wood/vinyl floors, repaint, general cleanup, dumpster rental, etc. -- for $10-15,000 .

So I agree I may be underestimating here.  I honestly hadn't put together a list of everything I'd be willing to fix.  I guess because I'm a bit sold on the "just move her out" option where I feel like the money would be better spent.

Why is there no running water in the house ?  How does she flush the toilet or wash dishes, or wash herself ?  If it's city water they are responsible up to the meter, usually at the edge of the yard / property line  -- the piping in the yard and in the house are her responsibility. Was it shut off for non-payment ? Was there a leak that was never fixed ?  Does she have a well pump ? Does she bathe in a stream ?

It's been so long that I can't even remember the original reason that lead to this honestly.  I believe the issue was with leaks that weren't fixed.  There's a laundrymat in town that happens to have a random faucet attached to the outside of the building; since she washes clothes there she takes a ton of empty containers and loads up on water there to use at home.  I don't know she washes any dishes; she doesn't really have a way to cook so I don't think she uses dishes.

Why would she not blow the $ 30 K , meant for savings, on hoarding / garage sales / home shopping network / 2nd hand stores ?
Don't assume she owes nothing / no mortgage, if she did why would she not 'officially tell you' ?
She's living paycheck to paycheck forever , and won't put money into fixing the water situation, what would lead you to believe the house has no mortgage.
Credit cards ?

Well...I can't guarantee that she wouldn't blow the money.  Regarding not telling me about the mortgage, she keeps private about many things.  But I could press her on this now that we're having conversations about getting her some type of help.  (When her dad passed away she was in foreclosure and he left her with a lump sum of money; she may have used that to pay off the home.)

No credit cards.  She swore against them after filing bankruptcy once.

  Can you not figure out a way to get one day off during the week [ work a weekend day in exchange ] to meet her at an appointment in the new city for psycologist help - since you are able to work from home - Yes it would be a full day commitment with 6 hours of driving + the appointment time.
 I see you have no car. You can easily find a <$3000 Buick or Pontiac sedan with low miles, built in 1995 to 2005 time frame. Perfect for getting you to the appointments. There are loads of them on Craigslist and elsewhere, private party sale.

With this recent promotion, I'm not willing to rock the boat by asking for any adjusted schedule; I literally just got put onto one of my biggest projects yet.  Taking off a weekday several times a month would be frowned upon.  Which is why living near her and taking say a lunch break to accompany her to an appointment is wayyyy more doable for me personally.  Don't forget that without a place to stay I'm having to do hotels whenever I visit her.

  Do not buy into a "patio home", "townhome" with shared walls, etc.   This is unfair to the next door / on the street neighbors.  Maybe she is the type of horder where everything is inside the house, hopefully -- if she is the type of hoarder with crap furniture, broken items, overflowing garbage cans, ugly knick knacks and projects and other detrius strewn about the yard.... this is unfair to the new neighborhood -  unless the whole street already looks like this. 

^Fair point regarding being fair to the new neighbors...I wanted the patio home as there are rules about this stuff so if she knows she can't do it she is the type that won't.  Her stuff is mainly confined to being inside though.  I like the thought of the patio home or townhome because of the yard being taken care of through the HOA.

ETA:  Regarding getting an inexpensive car for cash, that is in the plans for myself soon regardless of the outcome of this scenario.

 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 02:44:41 PM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 02:48:08 PM »
Iím very sorry for the position youíre in.  That sounds like a really tough situation.  Mental illness is rough on both the sufferer and the family.  Have you thought about both you and your mom speaking with 1 or 2 psychiatrists that specialize in hoarding to get a professional, objective opinion on the issue?  Perhaps individual therapy and speaking to both of you together would be helpful.  I just canít see how sheís going to modify her behavior without treating the underlying issue.  If you donít treat the underlying issue, youíre just going to have 2 houses full of junk.

Well as mentioned above she has finally admitted to needing help and wants to see someone.  A huge step in the right direction.  I have located a few people that specialize in hoarding; I think she wants more general help at first because she doesn't believe she is a hoarder.  I'm fine with starting out with more general counseling and incorporating someone who specializes in this just a bit further down the line.  I've already had my fair share of individual counseling so I know I might need more if I take on this situation.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3015
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 02:57:45 PM »
No. Please don't do this.

I come from a family of hoarders, and any property you'd give them would be in the same condition as the current one in short order. Hoarding is a mental illness. You can't logic/reason/appeal to their intelligence/emotions - they are sick, and unless they get real, professional help, the symptoms of their illness - the hoarding - will come back with a terrible vengeance.

They are unable to recognize that their living conditions are as poor as they are. They will resist attempts to fix things - to the point of doing themselves injury in some cases or becoming furiously angry and doing harm to the relationship itself.

Has your mother asked for your help? If she won't even tell you the state of her finances, and has been living in a home without running water or HVAC and other serious issues, she's not likely to respond to your moving her out, and if she does accept your offer, the home you move her into will be filled with trash, destroyed and neglected and you will have the added bonus of dealing with an angry/embarrassed parent that refuses your attempts to fix things if they mean she has to deal with her hoarding/mental issues. She won't thank you, she won't be grateful and it will damage your relationship if this stuff isn't addressed before anything else.

And as far as fixing the existing house: my dad's house was a small home, never had any updates since it was built. He lived there for over 40 years. There was running water for the most part. The roof was seen to, and the HVAC was okay. It still cost us over $25K to get it to sellable/livable condition and this is NOT counting the $10K we paid to have a hazardous cleaning crew get it cleared. Add in the cost of electrical, roofing, HVAC and plumbing... that house is likely a teardown, not a fixerupper. And we were able to do all of this because my dad was gone. If your mother is still around, she'll resist and interfere and blow up... this sounds like a horrible situation all the way around.


What I would suggest:

Your mother should be ASKING you for your help before you step in. I know it is terrible to see them living like this, but they are adults and as long as she has the ability in the eyes of the law (you don't feel you need to step in as a guardian/the are incompetent) then you should not attempt to step in and parent your own parent.

Offer help finding mental health services specifically geared towards hoarders.

Contact your mother's county health/aging services (or look on their sites) and ask about what your options are for an elderly parent. I would not give them her address, since that could mean they condemn her home and you may not want to fast-forward that option just yet, but it IS an option. Under the circumstances you describe, you could get a health/elder care social worker out to see her living conditions and they would make her move for her own health/safety and condemn the property. I considered this the nuclear option.

Offer to help find them an APARTMENT to rent. Living someplace where they can be evicted and has basic rules regarding upkeep means she would have more incentive to work on her hoarding, and she would no longer be responsible for fixing things that break either. She needs help, but she may need to still be on her own for the most part. She should NOT be responsible for a house or property tho since she is clearly unable to do basic maintenance or cleaning. It should be pitched as safer, for their comfort, and relieve them of the responsibility of upkeep on a property - there is ALWAYS stuff to fix, replace, fix up... but that is no longer a worry if you rent! This is only if she is also seeing a counselor to work on the mental issues. And it would also mean your help could be things like paying for a house cleaning every week, visiting once a month to help her sort out the latest collection of crap she might have trouble dealing with so it does NOT turn back into a full blown hoarding situation...

The house itself? If she lives in a reasonably sized area, there are hoarder cleaning companies (also if it's REALLY bad, can check "crime scene" cleaners - they do both). They can do as much sorting as you'd like, but they charge major $$ to do so. But the advantage is that they are fast, they are organized and they handle EVERYTHING - permits/dumpster rentals/sorting things that can be thrown away from things that must be disposed of (paint/chemical/refrigerants). Once it's cleared, you would need a general contractor to assess the condition and see what exactly should be/could be done. Sometimes it's surprising - we had thought we'd have to gut to studs on my dad's house but the drywall was in great shape everywhere but the bathroom and the floors in the common areas just needed a light sand/refinish to look amazing. But I would NOT pour tons of money into a property or purchase any property to let a hoarder have at it again. Just... no. That way is the way to madness, heartbreak, stress and exhaustion.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 02:59:43 PM by Frankies Girl »

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5622
  • Age: 1
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 03:11:10 PM »
Tough situation, but buying her a house is NOT going to fix things.

Others have given great advice, and I'm hoping you are able to find an approach that is less risky of backfiring or turning out poorly for you and mom.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2019, 03:13:09 PM »
^^^At Frankie's Girl:

Thanks for the post...you clearly have experience with this and I appreciate the insight.  Did you see my statements about her wanting help/therapy now?

This recent decision of mine arose when I asked her what she wanted for Mother's Day.  She usually says small things like incense and such.  This time she said help with the house (for the first time).  I asked her what she wanted and she said help getting stuff out.  I was shocked.  I don't know what it is, but I feel like it's a combination of her aging, having lost contact with my sibling due to her refusing to change, and I'm not sure whatever else in addition to that but she is surprisingly doing small things to change.  I got her on blood pressure medication when I saw her last month (and yes there was a lot of arguing due to fear/anxiety/whatever, but she finally agreed).  She was running like 250/160 and had been that way for years; I resigned myself that she'd never be willing to address it as that visit with her is the first time I've ever known her to go to a doctor.

So last month I hired someone to haul stuff out.  She didn't have them take out everything she told me she'd let them take, but....baby steps here.  She agreed to letting them come back too.  But she doesn't completely realize my plan was to get her used to getting stuff out; I have no intention of paying them to go every month for the next 5 years.  Anyways, I called them after and they quoted me $1500-$2000 to bring 2-3 trailers and do the whole house.

So based on what you're saying I need to step away and have a conversation along the lines of "Let me know what you need help with and I'll help" type of deal.  I respect that.  Geesh; it's just hard.  I alluded to this earlier but I honestly just want to see her live out her golden years happily.

I had trouble finding help for her a few years ago.  But I can look deeper into this again; she literally just got insurance last week (yes!).  She'll laugh at me when I mention an apartment but I'll mention it anyway...

Bernard

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 114
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Ojai Valley, Calif.
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2019, 03:18:55 PM »
Like the responses of six-car-habit and Frankies Girl.
Very detailed, very thorough, very thoughtful.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2959
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2019, 03:27:24 PM »
It's great that she's showing signs of being open to change and getting the help needed to make it.

I would NOT spend massive amounts of money based on that  alone.  If she continues therapy, gets the current house truly cleaned up, etc., then I *might* consider the plan you've laid out (though I'd still likely go with an apartment, like FG mentions), but not until then.  Even if that means you spend smaller amounts of money not (help pay for therapy, help pay for cleaning help and trash removal, etc.) in the short term while you wait to see if this change is real and sustainable, that's the much smarter move here.  For both you and her.    At a bare minimum, please don't do anything major (and expensive) until she has changed and proven the change is lasting.  Otherwise, you are most likely wasting your money (and effort, and heart) and potentially enabling her in a continued failure to get well. 

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6490
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2019, 03:32:37 PM »
She was running like 250/160 and had been that way for years; I resigned myself that she'd never be willing to address it as that visit with her is the first time I've ever known her to go to a doctor.

She's extraordinarily lucky to be alive. That sort of reading is literally off the charts.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1396
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2019, 03:50:32 PM »
She was running like 250/160 and had been that way for years; I resigned myself that she'd never be willing to address it as that visit with her is the first time I've ever known her to go to a doctor.

She's extraordinarily lucky to be alive. That sort of reading is literally off the charts.

My BIL had a hemorrhagic stroke last summer, the day after his 64th birthday party, because he wasn't taking his BP medication. He never recovered & died after being removed from life support 18 days later. 

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3015
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2019, 04:17:02 PM »
Just saw that your mom is asking for help - that's wonderful!

I feel so terrible about this... my dad was a hoarder and that was just... horrible to deal with. And my mom IS a hoarder (still alive) but I have gone no contact for reasons of long-term abuse and lack of boundaries.

Last time I had contact with my mom, she professed that she wanted help, but did not want anyone in her house (so just ME). She also refused counseling because like every freaking hoarder out there, they never think it's THAT bad... just a bit cluttered... oh, I'm just holding on to these things until I sell them/find a home for them/rescued them because I'm going to use them someday... all said while standing in small clearing of absolute crap stacked knee-high or better, in a house that has maybe 1/4 usuable space and at least one or more utilities in disrepair/outright unuseable. Denial is absolute in all the situations I'd personally dealt with. It is so bizarre, but the human brain is a freaking crazy piece of human engineering. 

So definitely counseling. And after a few months of her consistently working with a counselor, maybe attempt a "clean out week" with her.

This is sucky but likely the cheapest easiest option for you - both to assess the house/contents and to see whether she's really got any momentum to keep working on getting better. You go there for a week, and you and she sort out a room. If they're smaller, maybe you get to two rooms. I chose living room and bathroom when I did this with my mom as this were the two rooms with more "junky" junk that she wasn't as attached to (excavating deeper layers of stuff is harder, it was my theory the rooms with the newest stuff/closer to the entrance is likely the less emotionally-attached junk gets dumped, so may be easier to get right back out of the house), but honestly I started pulling a few bits and pieces from her bedroom as well as she'd created an obstacle course and she's a fall risk and WTH...

So she could only do this maybe an hour or two at a time and needed breaks to deal with the anxiety. I'd bring her a box/items, she'd examine and I'd ask her to stop thinking of any stories she's attached to them - did she need this? did she have a specific thing she was going to use it for now or within the next week? did she already have lots of this thing in the house? was this valuable/unique or could she go right out and buy 20 more if she discovered she suddenly needed it after getting rid of it? This is not a trip down memory lane, it should be "do you NEED this right now or could we donate this to someone that may actually use it now, and get another one later if it turns out you want it then?"

I also made a promise that nothing that she needed to really look at would be removed, but she had to trust me to remove actual garbage/trash. So boxes, useless paper, old broken things, plastic tubs... I recycled them or put them in the garbage and out for pickup.

The big thing that really helped was making sure to take HUGE piles of things to charity at the end of the day's sorting. We located several different types of charities to take all the stuff she'd agreed to let go because the only way my mom was going to let go of it was if she felt she'd "saved" it and given it to someone that would "appreciate" her efforts.

She spent close to half an hour agonizing over an ashtray carved out of a stone. She doesn't smoke. We don't know anyone that does. She bought it 30 years ago and never gave it to anyone or used it and smoking isn't really that popular and frankly the ashtray wasn't pretty or anything. But she barely was able to let me put it in a donate box because she spent $ on it and then spent years storing it - the sunk cost fallacy in action here.

So if you can stand it, get a nice hotel room close by to escape to, go spend the day with your mom sorting things and end of day make runs to donate the day's work (do this or else she may go out after you leave and bring stuff back in). At the end of the week, if you've been lucky enough to make decent headway, maybe call to have any large trash/items picked up. Check the area's Nextdoor for someone that might haul crap to the dump for you.

If she lets this happen, you may get the existing house clear enough to get repair people in. Start with the big things - plumbing, roof, electric. If she sticks with the counseling and you can help her clear it enough to fix, there isn't anything wrong with helping her fix her existing house up. You can help her to get there. It sucks that this route may require your time and money, but if she's willing and wants your help and you have a basically decent relationship, do what you can and once you're sure she's serious about getting better, throwing some $ at it to get professional help is not a bad idea either. 

If she can get it in basic livable condition, then what you could do is help her locate a nice little house/apartment for rent closer to you/her work in a year or so if that still seems like a good idea (I would, but then again it's easy to SAY that, and quite a different thing to put into action), and facilitate her moving/selling the old house. Basically be her helper and do the footwork/calling/scheduler and get her settled and make sure she has people helping her keep things tidy and organized going forward.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2019, 04:41:32 PM »
She was running like 250/160 and had been that way for years; I resigned myself that she'd never be willing to address it as that visit with her is the first time I've ever known her to go to a doctor.

She's extraordinarily lucky to be alive. That sort of reading is literally off the charts.

Oh yeah...trust me I know.  I'd been telling her that for years.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2019, 04:48:18 PM »
She was running like 250/160 and had been that way for years; I resigned myself that she'd never be willing to address it as that visit with her is the first time I've ever known her to go to a doctor.

She's extraordinarily lucky to be alive. That sort of reading is literally off the charts.

My BIL had a hemorrhagic stroke last summer, the day after his 64th birthday party, because he wasn't taking his BP medication. He never recovered & died after being removed from life support 18 days later.

I am SO so sorry to hear this! :(

I hate to hear stories like this...it breaks my heart...in cases like this where you feel the person could have potentially prevented what happened.  My heart goes out to the loved ones in cases like this.

A bit off topic but the day I was supposed to drive home to see my mom was the day I had scheduled people to haul some things out of her house.  I was supposed to drive there and be there by 2 pm when they were arriving.  I didn't make it in time because unfortunately upon waking that morning I had some symptoms from 2 days prior that had not only not gone away but seemed to be progressing (loss of taste right side of tongue, having slight trouble blinking right eye)...I had to go to my doctor's office and they said it was benign.  Although in the back of my head I was a bit freaked out (I was diagnosed with hypertension in my early 20s but take my meds regularly), I hopped in my rental and drove home, all the while experiencing progressing issues with my eye unfortunately.

Well...I woke up to the entire ride side of my face having DROPPED.  Ran to the ER.  Luckily it's only bell's palsy.  Still recovering.  To be honest, I think my mother having seen me like that and going to the ER with me and being evaluated for stroke 'may' have played a part in her decision to get on meds (a small part)...

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2019, 04:54:15 PM »

The big thing that really helped was making sure to take HUGE piles of things to charity at the end of the day's sorting. We located several different types of charities to take all the stuff she'd agreed to let go because the only way my mom was going to let go of it was if she felt she'd "saved" it and given it to someone that would "appreciate" her efforts.


I am CONVINCED we must be cousins because your mom and my mom are frikkin long lost sisters.

I seriously could have written what you wrote above word for word.

One of the reasons she says she won't let some things go is because she needs to ensure they're going to someone who needs it, who won't sell it for money, etc. etc. and so on and so forth. 

It's crazy how much hoarders care about STUFF.  The effort involved in throwing one single useless item away is tremendous.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2019, 05:02:29 PM »

So if you can stand it, get a nice hotel room close by to escape to, go spend the day with your mom sorting things and end of day make runs to donate the day's work (do this or else she may go out after you leave and bring stuff back in). At the end of the week, if you've been lucky enough to make decent headway, maybe call to have any large trash/items picked up. Check the area's Nextdoor for someone that might haul crap to the dump for you.

If she lets this happen, you may get the existing house clear enough to get repair people in. Start with the big things - plumbing, roof, electric. If she sticks with the counseling and you can help her clear it enough to fix, there isn't anything wrong with helping her fix her existing house up. You can help her to get there. It sucks that this route may require your time and money, but if she's willing and wants your help and you have a basically decent relationship, do what you can and once you're sure she's serious about getting better, throwing some $ at it to get professional help is not a bad idea either. 

If she can get it in basic livable condition, then what you could do is help her locate a nice little house/apartment for rent closer to you/her work in a year or so if that still seems like a good idea (I would, but then again it's easy to SAY that, and quite a different thing to put into action), and facilitate her moving/selling the old house. Basically be her helper and do the footwork/calling/scheduler and get her settled and make sure she has people helping her keep things tidy and organized going forward.


Hmmm...

Just thinking about all of this.

I had recently asked her to give it some more thought about whether she really wants to stay in the house or not because, well, I can either pay to fix up the current one 'or' pay to get her in another one...but not both.  In your scenario it seems I'd be doing both. 

I'm thinking more and more that moving closer to her and renting something temporarily while we work all of this out may still be the way to go (for me) for now (rather than trying to do this from where I currently live) as I could dedicate weekends and some weekend evenings to this but not a whole week or weeks at a time; plus due to her weird rotating 12-hour night shift job, she's never off for an entire week and rarely does much outside of laundry and sleeping on her off days because of the nature of the night job.  In other words, she wouldn't last in a de-cluttering session with me for more than 1-2 days anywho lol.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1396
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2019, 08:00:14 PM »
So sad about your Bellís Palsy. It took me 6 months to return to near normal after I had it. Stress is implicated as causal.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5676
  • Location: Norway
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2019, 02:28:20 AM »
I'm sorry for your physical situation, in addition to all the emotional stuff with this hoarding mother.

Yes, you moving temperarily closer to her, sounds like a good idea, as it will take away some of your anxiety with time schedules.

But also your original idea of moving her to live in the church city is a good idea, but then in someone else's rental. That might be very good for her social network. Your name should in no way be put on the rental contract, as the landlord will come to you to get paid for the extensive repairs that will come when she moves out one day.

If you ever sell her house for her (with her permission), then don't put the money on a savings account in her name, but buy something that will pay out a fixed sum monthly (would that be a CD?, I am not into American accounts). That way she can continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Giving her the lumb sum will probably make her spend it all at once.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2019, 06:06:45 AM »
I'm sorry for your physical situation, in addition to all the emotional stuff with this hoarding mother.

Yes, you moving temperarily closer to her, sounds like a good idea, as it will take away some of your anxiety with time schedules.

But also your original idea of moving her to live in the church city is a good idea, but then in someone else's rental. That might be very good for her social network. Your name should in no way be put on the rental contract, as the landlord will come to you to get paid for the extensive repairs that will come when she moves out one day.

If you ever sell her house for her (with her permission), then don't put the money on a savings account in her name, but buy something that will pay out a fixed sum monthly (would that be a CD?, I am not into American accounts). That way she can continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Giving her the lumb sum will probably make her spend it all at once.

Thank you for the kind words; I'm very grateful it was 'just' bell's palsy. 

Regarding the statement in bold, to clarify, right now my 'preference' is indeed to sell her current home and move her into the 'church city'.  And I do think in order to do this I need to move to that church city myself temporarily to get all this done.  If I just had her current house renovated I think I could do that without having to move myself.

Of course by the posts I'm gauging most are leaning towards this not being a good move.  I'm primarily motivated by my mother's recent changes that show her own motivation to improve for the first time in her life.  I think it was Frankies Girl that mentioned however waiting to see major improvement with her before committing to getting her another place.

Excellent point regarding the money from the sale of the home; she has just recently started to express her guilt for spending all of the inheritance money from when her dad passed away (when her home was in foreclosure and she wasn't working); I believe she's more open now to doing it differently and preserving her funds with my help...

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
  • Location: Texas
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2019, 01:04:20 PM »
Have you considered using any of your FMLA?  If you can take a single day off and accompany  your mom to a therapist appointment, the therapist may be able to see that it's bad enough to write a note for you to turn into HR.  Taking care of an ill - even mentally ill - loved one is a valid reason to use FMLA, and you can take your days whenever you need, not all at once.

I'd be very wary of helping her to move unless she's started seeing a therapist.  (I'd also start with someone who specializes in hoarding - your mom doesn't necessarily need to know that part.)  You run the risk of helping her find a new place and discovering that she'll never part with her stuff so that you can'f ix up and sell the old place...or you clean out the old place and it triggers her into further dysregulation so the hoarding gets worse and the new place quickly looks like the old. 

Best of luck to you.

freya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2019, 09:48:01 AM »
Wow, this story sounds like the one in the Glass Castle...

My first question is whether the hoarding is due to a treatable mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia) or whether it is symptomatic of some form of dementia.  When you add in the high blood pressure, I think this really requires a neurological evaluation, then if the board is clear on that front, a psychiatric evaluation.  At the very least, you need a prognosis to help you decide what to do.

Of note, a BP of 250/160 is almost incompatible with life, especially long-term.  Where did you get that measurement from?  If it's from a home BP cuff, my first suspicion is that it's broken or not the right size.  The neurologist will check BP (a psychiatrist barely remembers how to spell it :-).  If there are no such specialists in the area, a general practitioner or family medicine doctor will do.

Second, the person you are describing here strikes me as someone who needs to be in assisted living - most certainly not in a single-family house!  These are popping up everywhere, and are basically apartments in communities with a lot of services available depending on need.  For your sanity if nothing else, you should at least think about this option and check out local possibilities.

The lower cost option is for you to basically assume your mother's care, either by sharing an apartment/house with her or both getting apartments nearby.  You have to decide if you want to do this, and it's a tough decision to be sure.   I'm dealing with this exact situation myself - my mother wants to move into an apartment in my coop, which I think would be really good for her.  Instant social life, places to walk to and things to do, that don't involve sitting at home alone with nothing to do except go shopping.  And, we will have separate apartments which is key!!  Anyway I anticipate my mother will need more and more attention and care as time goes on, as she's showing early signs of dementia, and the same is probably true in your case.  Certainly it will be a lot easier if she's nearby.

Sorry for your situation, it sounds rough.  BTW Bell's palsy is not due to stress.  It's usually from a virus affecting the nerve that controls face muscles (the nerve affecting taste rides along with it).  Like getting a cold, just in the nerve.  It will improve but will just take time, because nerves heal slowly.  But no worries about blood pressure and it's not a stroke.



EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2019, 04:05:13 PM »
Wow, this story sounds like the one in the Glass Castle...

My first question is whether the hoarding is due to a treatable mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia) or whether it is symptomatic of some form of dementia.  When you add in the high blood pressure, I think this really requires a neurological evaluation, then if the board is clear on that front, a psychiatric evaluation.  At the very least, you need a prognosis to help you decide what to do.

Of note, a BP of 250/160 is almost incompatible with life, especially long-term.  Where did you get that measurement from?  If it's from a home BP cuff, my first suspicion is that it's broken or not the right size.  The neurologist will check BP (a psychiatrist barely remembers how to spell it :-).  If there are no such specialists in the area, a general practitioner or family medicine doctor will do.

Second, the person you are describing here strikes me as someone who needs to be in assisted living - most certainly not in a single-family house!  These are popping up everywhere, and are basically apartments in communities with a lot of services available depending on need.  For your sanity if nothing else, you should at least think about this option and check out local possibilities.

The lower cost option is for you to basically assume your mother's care, either by sharing an apartment/house with her or both getting apartments nearby.  You have to decide if you want to do this, and it's a tough decision to be sure.   I'm dealing with this exact situation myself - my mother wants to move into an apartment in my coop, which I think would be really good for her.  Instant social life, places to walk to and things to do, that don't involve sitting at home alone with nothing to do except go shopping.  And, we will have separate apartments which is key!!  Anyway I anticipate my mother will need more and more attention and care as time goes on, as she's showing early signs of dementia, and the same is probably true in your case.  Certainly it will be a lot easier if she's nearby.

Sorry for your situation, it sounds rough.  BTW Bell's palsy is not due to stress.  It's usually from a virus affecting the nerve that controls face muscles (the nerve affecting taste rides along with it).  Like getting a cold, just in the nerve.  It will improve but will just take time, because nerves heal slowly.  But no worries about blood pressure and it's not a stroke.

I do not the actual "root cause" of the hoarding.  She has a diagnosis that could be causing it but I'm not sure.  I always thought it was in the obsessive compulsive realm of disorders though.  Good question and it makes sense she would need further evaluation to determine 'best' next steps. 

BP was taken with one of those sit down machines in the drug store.  Then the pharmacist came out with a home cuff and took it and confirmed it.  However, I had taken my mom's pressure yearrrrrs ago both in a drug store and with a home cuff and it was running just under this.  Her mother had high BP.  I was diagnosed with it in my early 20s.  At the time I was diagnosed (while at work we were taking each other's readings and mine was 190 something over 140 something).  We thought it was until we had our nursing friends come over and take it manually and confirm it so it definitely runs in my family.

Assisted living?  I'm ignorant about those facilities honestly but isn't this a bit premature? 

How old is your mom?  So are you going to move her into your apartment complex?  I do also think my mom will need more care as she gets older so I'm trying to proactive about setting her up in a place she would want to live and have things to do/be close to things she needs which she is not quite in that case now. 

I do understand the Bell's Palsy causes but also recognize stress can hinder healing of course.


GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1396
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2019, 10:17:49 PM »
Independent Living is the next step from living alone. Itís typically an apartment building geared to seniors with some dining & housekeeping provided. Sometimes the facility also has the ability to transfer to Assisted Living, with omits a kitchen in the unit & provides some caregiver assistance, or Memory Care for those with dementia. Independent Living can be a better solution than living with a relative because it usually offers more opportunities for a social life with peers.

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2493
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2019, 03:57:00 AM »
I'm glad that Frankie's Girl chimed here as I think she has the most experience with hoarding parents. She also chronicled the clean out and sale of her late father's home on this website including photos. Hoarding is a horrible affliction.

I want to offer my own Mom as another data point. She is also a hoarder, also lived in her home for >40 years and let it basically fall down around her. For example, the bathroom floor rotted out from a leaking toilet so that only the toilet pipe was holding up the toilet, she let the furnace die by never changing the intake filters then threw out the repair guy (in Colorado!), the fence was rotted and falling down, the yard completely overgrown, broken appliances, she never painted anything in 40 years, the vinyl tile so worn and scratched away that you could only see it had a pattern if you looked under the cabinet baseboards, etc. She also had pet birds that she let fly around the house . . . yeah, your imagination about the bird poop situation is correct. My brother and I tried to help her, and she would be initially receptive and then get really nasty. I stopped trying to help because I have boundaries about being treated badly. My brother helped a couple of years longer and he got the rotted out floor replaced so she wouldn't fall into the crawlspace, then he also stopped.

Me refusing to visit her home (I'd stay in a motel 6, which offended her) and him telling her he was done trying to help her fix things and that he also wasn't going to visit her anymore seemed to be rock bottom for her. It took her an entire year, but she managed to cull her hoard enough that she could move. After she was out with what she wanted to take with her she told two "down on their luck" neighbors they could take whatever was left behind and sell it as long as they took it all. They kept their word and took it all out. She acts like she was doing them a favor by letting them have her precious hoard leftovers, but I think they were more happy to get her out of the neighborhood because she was dragging down their home values. She then sold it "as is" to a flipper.

She bought a new modular home near my brother. Yes, she still hoards, but it's not as bad as it was before. For one thing, she doesn't have the birds anymore, just two dogs and a growing collection of cats. I'm hoping the cats at least keep the vermin out (she had a vermin issue in her previous house.) She also lives in a tiny town now with less opportunity for finding stuff to hoard. Family checks on her daily.

EconDiva, at one time I entertained buying her a home, but now I'm glad I didn't do it. She is trashing her own new house. She tried to pressure my brother and his wife into picking out everything for it, saying things like "it's all going to be yours some day", but they refused to humor her. So, she picked the color of the carpet she is destroying. My nephew moved in with her for awhile and that seemed to help (he did stuff like vacuum and mow the lawn.) She's also run out of money which makes spending on her hoarding affliction more of a challenge. But, it is still just a gradual slide into this home ending up just like the last one. As Frankie's Girl said, it's a disease.

That all being said, I do think that overall the move was very positive for her. Like your Mom, she would have refused to go into an apartment, which she views as throwing money away. Ironic, isn't it?

If you can get your mom to move, then that will be a big step in the right direction. If you buy a home for her, though, expect her to trash it and don't get upset when she does. My advice would be to buy the absolute smallest home you can find that is in good condition. If you can get something in cash on hand, do that rather than a mortgage. Do put only your name on the title. Hiring a maid service to clean biweekly would be a big help, I'm sure, if you can afford and she will allow it (my own mom never will allow maids into her home.) Good luck!

freya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2019, 09:53:48 AM »
My mother is 83, and managing a 4 bedroom house and a job (she runs a business) is starting to be too much for her.  I'd be happy for her to move to a senior housing complex in her town, but she's adamant that she'd rather be near me.  Plus I think she just likes my neighborhood better.  Her two best friends and her older sister have done the same, and it's worked out well for them.  And conversely, she and I have watched as another of her sisters, now with severe dementia, and her 93 year old husband have refused all help and continue to live in their suburban split-level house.  The husband is still driving with an unregistered car, and his wife throws trash in a nearby creek and around the yard, prompting occasional police citations (it's an upscale suburb).  Both have fallen and broken bones in the past several months.  The husband has diabetes, and the only food in the house are tubs of ice cream and Campbell's soup cans.  Neither of them are taking their medications regularly.  We are just waiting for disaster to strike. 

If you are up for having your mom as a neighbor, that's a great way to go - although not a single family house, unless you want to be the one to maintain it!  If that's not what you want, then assisted/independent/"senior" living is something to consider.  People are moving into these in their 60s, so no not too early.   I thought of this because you're basically saying your mom can't manage living in a single-family house on her own.  What prevented her from getting the plumbing fixed in her house?



mistymoney

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2019, 10:18:50 AM »
I'm glad that Frankie's Girl chimed here as I think she has the most experience with hoarding parents. She also chronicled the clean out and sale of her late father's home on this website including photos. Hoarding is a horrible affliction.



Is this thread still around, can anyone link us?

My mom is kind of in the low-key hoarding category. Here place is very livable - But I truly dread the clear out, I am the executor.

mistymoney

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2019, 10:23:07 AM »
I'm glad that Frankie's Girl chimed here as I think she has the most experience with hoarding parents. She also chronicled the clean out and sale of her late father's home on this website including photos. Hoarding is a horrible affliction.

I want to offer my own Mom as another data point. She is also a hoarder, also lived in her home for >40 years and let it basically fall down around her. For example, the bathroom floor rotted out from a leaking toilet so that only the toilet pipe was holding up the toilet, she let the furnace die by never changing the intake filters then threw out the repair guy (in Colorado!), the fence was rotted and falling down, the yard completely overgrown, broken appliances, she never painted anything in 40 years, the vinyl tile so worn and scratched away that you could only see it had a pattern if you looked under the cabinet baseboards, etc. She also had pet birds that she let fly around the house . . . yeah, your imagination about the bird poop situation is correct. My brother and I tried to help her, and she would be initially receptive and then get really nasty. I stopped trying to help because I have boundaries about being treated badly. My brother helped a couple of years longer and he got the rotted out floor replaced so she wouldn't fall into the crawlspace, then he also stopped.

Me refusing to visit her home (I'd stay in a motel 6, which offended her) and him telling her he was done trying to help her fix things and that he also wasn't going to visit her anymore seemed to be rock bottom for her. It took her an entire year, but she managed to cull her hoard enough that she could move. After she was out with what she wanted to take with her she told two "down on their luck" neighbors they could take whatever was left behind and sell it as long as they took it all. They kept their word and took it all out. She acts like she was doing them a favor by letting them have her precious hoard leftovers, but I think they were more happy to get her out of the neighborhood because she was dragging down their home values. She then sold it "as is" to a flipper.

She bought a new modular home near my brother. Yes, she still hoards, but it's not as bad as it was before. For one thing, she doesn't have the birds anymore, just two dogs and a growing collection of cats. I'm hoping the cats at least keep the vermin out (she had a vermin issue in her previous house.) She also lives in a tiny town now with less opportunity for finding stuff to hoard. Family checks on her daily.

EconDiva, at one time I entertained buying her a home, but now I'm glad I didn't do it. She is trashing her own new house. She tried to pressure my brother and his wife into picking out everything for it, saying things like "it's all going to be yours some day", but they refused to humor her. So, she picked the color of the carpet she is destroying. My nephew moved in with her for awhile and that seemed to help (he did stuff like vacuum and mow the lawn.) She's also run out of money which makes spending on her hoarding affliction more of a challenge. But, it is still just a gradual slide into this home ending up just like the last one. As Frankie's Girl said, it's a disease.

That all being said, I do think that overall the move was very positive for her. Like your Mom, she would have refused to go into an apartment, which she views as throwing money away. Ironic, isn't it?

If you can get your mom to move, then that will be a big step in the right direction. If you buy a home for her, though, expect her to trash it and don't get upset when she does. My advice would be to buy the absolute smallest home you can find that is in good condition. If you can get something in cash on hand, do that rather than a mortgage. Do put only your name on the title. Hiring a maid service to clean biweekly would be a big help, I'm sure, if you can afford and she will allow it (my own mom never will allow maids into her home.) Good luck!

In regards to not moving to the apartment, do you all think that is some kind of status point for them?

Owning your own home vs renting perhaps was a really important step in economic life in decades gone by, and they are holding on to that?

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2493
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2019, 11:03:46 AM »
^Yes, I think this is exactly it. My mom always seemed to regard the apartment complex near where I lived as the trashy part of town . . .

Plus, when you own, no landlord can make you do their bidding or make you move. My Mom is uber paranoid and any stranger having keys to her home would freak her out.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5739
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2019, 12:24:35 PM »
Assisted living is expensive. If she can work she can live in a apartment by herself. Have her apply for low income senior housing.  I wouldnít buy her a home or fix hers. Itís time for her to be a adult and experience the consequences of her actions.  We are the same age and she will be fine.

Awesomeness

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2019, 06:08:45 PM »
Iíve had some experience with this in my own parents. Several years ago I cleaned out my dads house while he was hospitalized.  His own living conditions likely made him sick.  It was a huge transformation but he didnít change his ways at all. 

I think if you keep your expectations low this could work.  My dad was never able to clean his place and chose not too even when he could.  He barely threw basic trash away or did dishes, the everyday basics. Every time I came over I did a big house clean up to help out. I came to expect it and it didnít bother me too much. 

Doing a big reboot like moving her to a whole new place sounds like the best plan. Then w you nearby you can help maintain everything. At 60 she is not thriving or even coming close and thatís still so young.  Hopefully you can help her change her ways or at least help keep her going. Mental health issues are tough but thereís more help out there than ever before.  A visit to her primary care doctor to get a physical and blood work would be great. Low vitamin D can mess you up. Something else can be going on too. Frequent UTIís are common in older people and they can mess w you mentally.  A good multivitamin and maybe some St. Johnís wort could go a long way.

Iíd caution you on investing her house proceeds.  If she needs state aid sheíll likely not qualify w savings in the bank. Or what if she needs to file bankruptcy again. The money may be safer in house equity.  States have exemptions on home equity, amounts vary, Medicaid will allow you to have a home but not lots of cash in the bank. It also may be better for you to keep the house in your name or both of you. Everything in her name risks her getting a mortgage on the house, liens or lines of credit etc.  If you co own or itís all yours then youíd have to sign also so at least youíd know if she was trying to get funds.  Think worse case scenarios and how the house and money will survive and go from there.

Itís wonderful youíre able to help but this is a tough road. You have to take care of yourself too and keep a balance here. Itís hard to see loved ones not care for themselves and even act in very self destructive ways.  Caring more about their situations than they do, at some point I had to remind myself that theyíre free to make these choices. 

My brothers bailed out both my parents. Bought them homes, they both were trashed from bad housekeeping and animals that werenít properly cared for,  putting it mildly. It was very difficult to visit them over the years. I ended up being the opposite of them and Iím naturally good at house keeping and maintenance. I tell my kids if my house gets that bad to please help me, something is seriously wrong.   

And yes the apartment thing is a status issue.  My mother lived in them briefly and it didnít go well. She was much happier in a detached home.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5676
  • Location: Norway
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2019, 01:27:08 AM »
But if the OP sells her mother's house, puts the money in her name and buys a new house for her mother, then I would think the OP must pay some inheritence money if that is applicable where you live. And if the new house will get trashed, the OP will loose money that was invested in the house. I would suggest that the OP does not get her own finances involved with her trainwreck mother. Just helping with practicle and moral things, but not economically, other than giving away money as a gift, not expecting anything of it back.

Yes, maybe paying for a housekeeper to keep mother's new home clean every other week, would be a good investment...

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1508
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2019, 05:52:53 AM »
Sent you a pm

The general sense of which is:

I'm dealing with a neat identical situation except that literally everything about my mom's situation is orders of magnitude easier, and still it's a HUGE challenge that should not be taken on lightly...or at all even.

Also, anyone in this kind of situation needs their own therapist to help them process the inevitably complicated emotions of having their parent struggle and feeling the need to step in and help.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2019, 06:30:12 AM »
Have you considered using any of your FMLA?  If you can take a single day off and accompany  your mom to a therapist appointment, the therapist may be able to see that it's bad enough to write a note for you to turn into HR.  Taking care of an ill - even mentally ill - loved one is a valid reason to use FMLA, and you can take your days whenever you need, not all at once.

I'd be very wary of helping her to move unless she's started seeing a therapist.  (I'd also start with someone who specializes in hoarding - your mom doesn't necessarily need to know that part.)  You run the risk of helping her find a new place and discovering that she'll never part with her stuff so that you can'f ix up and sell the old place...or you clean out the old place and it triggers her into further dysregulation so the hoarding gets worse and the new place quickly looks like the old. 

Best of luck to you.

I haven't considered doing this.

To be honest I don't want this impacting my job; I prefer not to do this.  I'm 6 months into a promotion/new position and don't want to 'rock the boat' in any way.

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2019, 06:34:57 AM »
Independent Living is the next step from living alone. Itís typically an apartment building geared to seniors with some dining & housekeeping provided. Sometimes the facility also has the ability to transfer to Assisted Living, with omits a kitchen in the unit & provides some caregiver assistance, or Memory Care for those with dementia. Independent Living can be a better solution than living with a relative because it usually offers more opportunities for a social life with peers.

I think anything other than living alone my mother is going to lump all into the same category as places that aren't for her and are rather for "other older people who really need care".  In other words I really don't see her agreeing to this.

I imagine this is also more expensive than getting her the $80k 2/2 patio home I was looking at. 

I thank you and others for these ideas though; I really hadn't started thinking about alternatives other than getting her another (smaller) home with an HOA in the newer city.  I just figured some of these other options now being posed were moreso for further down the line. 

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2019, 06:43:48 AM »
^Yes, I think this is exactly it. My mom always seemed to regard the apartment complex near where I lived as the trashy part of town . . .

Plus, when you own, no landlord can make you do their bidding or make you move. My Mom is uber paranoid and any stranger having keys to her home would freak her out.

I totally agree with this as well.

I mean, my mom was a single parent of 2 children with no support from either father.  She worked minimum wage jobs all her life as she only had a h.s. diploma.  Add on mental issues on top of that and I sometimes wonder how she even managed doing that.

Leaving her house for an apartment would definitely be seen in her eyes as a failure.  She not only had to let go of all of the emotions/memories from the one thing she probably feels like she was able to accomplish in life (purchase a home), but she'd also likely come to the conclusion she wasn't ever capable of successfully maintaining that one accomplishment. 

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2019, 06:53:28 AM »
Assisted living is expensive. If she can work she can live in a apartment by herself. Have her apply for low income senior housing.  I wouldnít buy her a home or fix hers. Itís time for her to be a adult and experience the consequences of her actions.  We are the same age and she will be fine.

She went into foreclosure on a home that had a $200/month mortgage.  Now granted, we've never discussed the details as I know it was some sort of mortgage where there's a "balloon payment" or something at the end...no clue what it's called.  So maybe that was the timeframe at which it happened.

A decent 1/1 apartment in a safe neighborhood if she stays in her current city (not ideal) will likely run $700ish and in the newer city closer to $900ish.  At $9/hour (only been on this job a year and it's a temp job) she cannot afford an apartment at either price point by herself.

I personally do not think she has a mortgage right now and she's not paying to get the lawn cut (it's a huge problem) and car stuff goes monthsssss without getting fixed and these items are not near the costs quoted above for an apartment.  (However, she did just recently profess to me she has saved up $1k as she wants to take a trip up northeast to visit my brother so she spends on wants before needs all the time although she'd argue that seeing him is a need...)

Anywho, the 2/2 patio home option, at $80k or less would be cheaper than a $900/month apartment as long as I got a 30 year and put enough money down.

This is why I posted in this forum...everyone is giving very good insightful advise and I do need to consider every angle.  I think after not having been home in 2 years and upon visiting last month I just immediately went into "action" mode and was like "time to make moves; I've gotta get her outta here".  But this does require quite a bit of thought; starting to get a bit of anxiety about all of this because I really could be stepping over into the 'dark side' so to speak here by intervening.  Sometimes I think I should take my sibling's approach to all of this but I just can't do that...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 07:42:45 AM by EconDiva »

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1508
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2019, 07:16:58 AM »
^Yes, I think this is exactly it. My mom always seemed to regard the apartment complex near where I lived as the trashy part of town . . .

Plus, when you own, no landlord can make you do their bidding or make you move. My Mom is uber paranoid and any stranger having keys to her home would freak her out.

I totally agree with this as well.

I mean, my mom was a single parent of 2 children with no support from either father.  She worked minimum wage jobs all her life as she only had a h.s. diploma.  Add on mental issues on top of that and I sometimes wonder how she even managed doing that.

Leaving her house for an apartment would definitely be seen in her eyes as a failure.  She not only had to let go of all of the emotions/memories from the one thing she probably feels like she was able to accomplish in life (purchase a home), but she'd also likely come to the conclusion she wasn't ever capable of successfully maintaining that one accomplishment.

Moving to an apartment would be a failure, but living in a home without running water is okay???

Prepare yourself for what it means to deal with someone who thinks that way.

mistymoney

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2019, 07:22:00 AM »
^Yes, I think this is exactly it. My mom always seemed to regard the apartment complex near where I lived as the trashy part of town . . .

Plus, when you own, no landlord can make you do their bidding or make you move. My Mom is uber paranoid and any stranger having keys to her home would freak her out.

I totally agree with this as well.

I mean, my mom was a single parent of 2 children with no support from either father.  She worked minimum wage jobs all her life as she only had a h.s. diploma.  Add on mental issues on top of that and I sometimes wonder how she even managed doing that.

Leaving her house for an apartment would definitely be seen in her eyes as a failure.  She not only had to let go of all of the emotions/memories from the one thing she probably feels like she was able to accomplish in life (purchase a home), but she'd also likely come to the conclusion she wasn't ever capable of successfully maintaining that one accomplishment.

wow - such an eloquent and sad POV on this. I can feel it right along with her.

I don't know what the best path forward is, but wishing you both the best!

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2019, 07:34:23 AM »
But if the OP sells her mother's house, puts the money in her name and buys a new house for her mother, then I would think the OP must pay some inheritence money if that is applicable where you live. And if the new house will get trashed, the OP will loose money that was invested in the house. I would suggest that the OP does not get her own finances involved with her trainwreck mother. Just helping with practicle and moral things, but not economically, other than giving away money as a gift, not expecting anything of it back.

Yes, maybe paying for a housekeeper to keep mother's new home clean every other week, would be a good investment...

Not sure how much of the thread you got through but my mom's current home isn't in a condition to let housekeepers in.  She's got some pretty serious fundamental things going on in the house such that housekeeping is pretty low on the list of priorities.

Or did I misunderstand and you were instead saying to get my mom housekeeping if I were able to get my mom to use the proceeds from the sale of her current home to purchase another home herself?

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2019, 07:38:00 AM »
Sent you a pm

The general sense of which is:

I'm dealing with a neat identical situation except that literally everything about my mom's situation is orders of magnitude easier, and still it's a HUGE challenge that should not be taken on lightly...or at all even.

Also, anyone in this kind of situation needs their own therapist to help them process the inevitably complicated emotions of having their parent struggle and feeling the need to step in and help.

Got it ;)

Thank you!  I've got a lot to say in response to your pm....

Also, just so you know, I've had my own therapist for years now.  I actually discussed this with them first; overall they did provide a bit of an opinion in that I should be careful not to sacrifice my own QOL whichever route I decide to take in trying to help out with all of this.  And be realistic about the change I'm expecting/be forgiving if it doesn't turn out as good as I am hoping it will...

EconDiva

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2019, 07:43:40 AM »
^Yes, I think this is exactly it. My mom always seemed to regard the apartment complex near where I lived as the trashy part of town . . .

Plus, when you own, no landlord can make you do their bidding or make you move. My Mom is uber paranoid and any stranger having keys to her home would freak her out.

I totally agree with this as well.

I mean, my mom was a single parent of 2 children with no support from either father.  She worked minimum wage jobs all her life as she only had a h.s. diploma.  Add on mental issues on top of that and I sometimes wonder how she even managed doing that.

Leaving her house for an apartment would definitely be seen in her eyes as a failure.  She not only had to let go of all of the emotions/memories from the one thing she probably feels like she was able to accomplish in life (purchase a home), but she'd also likely come to the conclusion she wasn't ever capable of successfully maintaining that one accomplishment.

Moving to an apartment would be a failure, but living in a home without running water is okay???

Prepare yourself for what it means to deal with someone who thinks that way.

In her mind....yes.  Totally.

I'm trying to prepare for it although I don't think I'll ever be 'totally' prepared. 

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5739
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2019, 09:15:34 AM »
She should get on the list for low income senior housing.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1508
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #48 on: June 17, 2019, 02:15:03 PM »
She should get on the list for low income senior housing.

100% agree.

Again, if she considers this unreasonable, then that's a her problem, not a you problem

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2959
Re: Case study: Buying a parent a home??
« Reply #49 on: June 17, 2019, 02:54:05 PM »
She should get on the list for low income senior housing.

100% agree.

Again, if she considers this unreasonable, then that's a her problem, not a you problem

Absolutely.  You can't want this more than she does.  That will never, ever work.  If she's not willing to make sacrifices like living in a [perfectly nice and spacious] apartment, then so be it.  She can continue to live in her hoard.  If it's not worth it to her to make that supposed sacrifice, then how can you have any real hope that she has truly seen why the hoarding is problematic and needs to change?  Likewise with low income senior housing--if she's only willing to change if she gets to do so by spending as much of your money as she deems necessary, that's not fair to you and it's not indicative that she's committed to this.