Are the Older Parents wearing the Pants?

Real Estate Agent with William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services

Yesterday, I was showing homes to an adult daughter and her elderly mother. Mother lives part time in Florida, and part time with daughter in Massachusetts. Daughter wants mother to eventually come live full time with her, so she will be taken care of. In order to accommodate mother, daughter needs some down payment money from mother for a slightly larger home. Daughter could buy less of a home by herself, but needs the two full baths for mother, and a first floor bedroom. Daughter wants mother to be happy, so mother is picking out the home.

During the first home I was showing them, mother was picking it apart. Well, that was fine, we will see the next home. Home number two happen to be totally done over, and showed like a new home. The family met us there, and they all loved this home. It met every need. We spent some time there, when I found out that they have been "looking" for three years. Daughter wanted to buy this week end to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit and have a purchase and sales agreement in hand by the end of the month.

Well, after an hour of discussion with the family, mother wanted to go home. Mother's discussion boiled down to leaving Florida, and not being with her friends down there. You would of thought that after three years, this would of not been an issue. Her family is trying to look after her. I felt real bad for the daughter. It is only a matter of time, when her mother will not be able to live by herself in Florida. She was sincerely looking after her mother.

This is a frustrating situation for the family, and from my view point we will be dealing a lot more with this situations. More and more older parents are moving in with family to save on living expenses. I know difficult it must be to think you are giving up your independance, BUT where do you draw the line?

Comments (3)

Jeff Craig
Hang Me Up Photos - Jamestown, NC
Greensboro Area Real Estate Photography

I have been through this same situation and it can be extremely frustrating.

Apr 19, 2010 02:58 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I had this same situation with my own Mother after my Father passed away.  She was just diagnosed with Parkinson's and already with Diabetes, Heart Disease and Strokes.  There is a very fine line between allowing them the respect and dignity that they deserve and them having total control over the decisions.  At some point the roles do need to reverse but not at the expense of the relationship.  I'm happy to report that we found a fabulous home with a 900 sq ft ground floor apartment attached - we're only a doorway away and my Mother is protected with a Panic Button for emergencies.  (although this was for my own peace of mind!)  Good luck to you Deborah - I hope this family resolves their problem.

Apr 19, 2010 03:03 AM
Ruth DiRienzo Whitehead
Keller Williams Real Estate, Horsham, PA - Horsham, PA

I agree that we will be seeing this situation much more often, especially since nest eggs have been impacted with the markets.  I had a similar situation where the siblings were involved and had high involvement with what was best for the mother.  I find that a better buyer's consultation probably could have helped with my situation. You also have so many dynamics going on there though!

Apr 19, 2010 03:43 AM