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Thread: Loving and leaving our home

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Loving and leaving our home

    An Apartment: A Love Story

    This article by Nora Ephron sums it up for me.

    So things are winding down and I have news about my house that are going to make some of you go "There she goes again!" I wasn't going to mention it until I had to but we found an occupant for my house: My son, DIL and 2 grandsons. They are going to rent our house, covering the mortgage, until they a) move out or b) decide to buy it.

    They contacted us when we told them the house was going on the market this spring. My DIL has always talked about how she loves the neighborhood and the schools. Apparently when they saw the door closing on a chance to live here, they decided to ask us if we would rent it to them for a year or two. One of the nicest things my Type A clean-freak DIL ever said to me when she explained why she wanted to move here was "The house we're in now doesn't feel like a home. Your house feels like a home."

    There are a number of advantages for DH and I. He has had a very bad winter health-wise. Turns out his liver isn't doing so great. He's OK--nothing terminal, but it has been a roller coaster of specialists and tests. There have been weeks at a time when he saw a doctor or had some kind of test every business day.

    So, that has really impeded our ability to aggressively fix up and pack the house the way we should if he hadn't had these issues. We still have to get rid of our stuff so they can bring their stuff, but we will be able to store overflow stuff in the basement or garage for a year or so. It makes the transition much easier for us. We are going to do a legitimate rental agreement so that all the grey areas are covered. I am praying that it works out--all the cautions going through your minds are going through mine, but there's a part of me that LOVES the idea of my son living in this house.

    I know a lot of you have downsized and moved and you seemed to do it without any whining or crying. But I'm doing a little of both these days. DH in particular is feeling very regretful and sad that we're moving out. I've told him that it's inevitable. We simply don't have the money to stay--the taxes in NJ alone set us back almost $1k a month. I tell him, we love our house in VT, and we never gave our house in NJ a thought last summer. But now, as we prepare to sell the stories of our possessions, it's not easy, particularly for him it seems.

    Any words of advice or support from those of you (like pinkytoe) who had to leave a home you've lived in for most of your adult life?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
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    Charge enough rent that it covers all costs related to the house.

  3. #3
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    To this day, I still whine a bit internally after moving so far away from my "identity." It remains an effort to stay in the present as I think about what we left and what the future might hold by staying here; those thoughts can take up way too much space. It has been three years next fall and though I could continue to make a life here (and have), DH is struggling - misses his family, his food, his "home". I too miss being close to our new grand-twins but know too many seniors whose whole life revolves around grandchildren and I like a bit of distance (maybe not this much though). I have made a very intentional effort to belong HERE with volunteer groups, classes, book club etc. Haven't made any real friends but met lots of nice people with common interests who I enjoy being with. I love seeing Pike's Peak everyday and would miss that terribly. We briefly considered renting our beloved house to DD before we moved but the taxes alone would have made the rent to cover prohibitive for them plus it wasn't big enough for 100 lb dogs, twins, chickens and all their stuff. And we needed the cash to buy here. Our stuff is minimal as I don't function well with clutter - I am constantly tossing and organizing. With this experience behind me, my belief is that it takes a minimum of two years to feel more at ease with your decision. New things become more familiar and the old slowly fades. I have no regrets for trying this even though there is a good possibility we will move back. That's the thing - circumstances will always change and we can adapt. Better to have tried then to wonder what if. Sounds like in your case, renting to family would allow a little bridge for not letting go completely.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I can relate, Cath. DH and I had earlier talked about selling and moving nearer the 'kids' but we preferred to stay. We were finally home after moving around with his job. DH said that he wanted to go out of the house 'feet first' and had his wish.

    I left (my dream since age 10) farm on which DH and I had built our simple little house and his shed, planted a 1/4 bushel of daffodils , developed gardens including a long row of peonies, a large pink magnolia, the pin oak tree and the columnar English oak started from an acorn; add in the 55 acre woodlot we walked daily filled with trilliums, trout lilies, spring beauties, may apples, wild ginger, turkeys and deer and the 15 acres of trees we had planted; add in the collection of wild birds that visited out gardens every year. After DH passed, it was too much work for one person and I knew that I would need to move within the next five years. After a massive snowy winter and a downpour when the ground was frozen triggering 24 hour monitoring of the sump pump on my own with power outages complicating the pumping, I made the decision to move.

    Things then unfolded beautifully.

    I found my little house in the neighbourhood of my choice and the price of houses has since leaped so the timing was good. My family and friends are still the same and my new dog completes the scene as my 'cuddle bug'. My gardens are so much simpler and easy to maintain but flourishing. I am looking forward to a significant bloom on my service berry and redbud trees this spring as the buds are starting to show colour.

    Change is always a challenge to cope with even if it is the wisest step to take. What I have found helpful is regularly counting and cherishing the blessings of the old and savouring the new. I now can walk to everything I need. I am able to go swimming in the local pool every day year-round. I can walk and greet neighbours and their dogs creating a whole new circle of acquaintances/friends. I truly love my little house and its convenience. I am prepared and settled for the next stage of my life however long that lasts.

    You and your DH will find your comfy niche as well. While I think that it is wonderful that your son is renting your house, I am concerned that the revenue from the sale of the home is not yours right now but if or when they buy, it will work out. Nothing in life is guaranteed, is it?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    I think it’s fine to rent for a year which gives them enough time to decide if they want to buy it. However, I wouldn’t let it go on indefinitely. The house in Wisconsin where I raised the kids for 14 years was the hardest to leave for me and my kids missed it too. I am now in a smaller house that I love. Having been here 22 years we have a great set of close friends and we would never leave. You guys have no choice with those taxes. We couldn’t afford that either.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I think it sounds like a great plan. If you said you were renting it to your DBIL, that would be a very different matter!
    Sorry for all your DH's health issues and I'm glad he is doing better. That brush with mortality might be making him a little extra sentimental about possessions and their associated memories, understandably so.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We i’ve been in this house for 30 years and DH made everything that I see when I look around: the cabinets the woodwork install drywall he did all the painting this is all his work so it will be hard to leave.

    Also this time of year the garden is so gorgeous it is hard to leave that.

    catherine, it is nice that your son has this opportunity but I hope he concludes his business quickly To buy this house within a couple of years. If I remember correctly he cannot afford this house thru conventional means, so I’m not sure where the money comes from to buy it from you. A formal rental agreement is nice but since you will never kick him out I wonder about the utility of it.

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    I didn’t know they may not have the means to buy it. If so it’s a foolish move. Time to stop sacrificing for others.

  9. #9
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    The downside is that you won't have the cash from the sale of the house. Also lots of details to think about like who pays for insurance, repairs, etc. Would their rent cover all of that? We have a similar situation in our family with a niece renting my MIL's house (gone to assisted living). We thought it best to sell the house while market is good and use the funds for MIL's expenses, but DH's brother wanted a place for his 34 yo daughter to live and moved her in instead. She only pays $300 mo. rent which is not nearly enough to cover taxes and insurance. It is not a good idea as she is somewhat irresponsible and the house needs repairs but we're staying out of it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I didn’t know they may not have the means to buy it. If so it’s a foolish move. Time to stop sacrificing for others.
    The OP said she knew the risks, so—so be it.

    P.s. I can see the advantage to storing stuff in the basement.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 5-9-19 at 10:39am.

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