Gransnet forums


should I move?

(33 Posts)
Artdecogran Sat 17-Aug-19 10:12:51

I wonder if you wise people could help me make a decision about what I should do next please. I will try to be succinct but it's a long story. I am 60 with poor mobility and my husband of 40 years died just before christmas 2018. He had been ill with stage 4 cancer for 7 years and whilst I had a few weeks of grief it all seemed to pass very quickly. I spent the first 3 months emptying our large house of everything I could and putting my house on the market which we had been planning for 13 years! I have 3 grown up sons all of whom are wonderful in their different ways. Now the crux of the matter is that I sold the house in 3 days! Not what I was expecting at all. I have found a small bungalow to move to but my heart isn't really in it, it's an okay house in an okay place near to where I am now. I must say at this stage that apart from my son who lives locally I have no friends at all and do not go out except to doctors. My husband didn't like people and all the friends I had as a mum have moved away. My youngest son lives about 1/2 hour away from me, in an area I don't know. He has a lovely wife and 2 sons aged 6 and 2 and we get on really well. The plan was for me to buy a house in their area and we would all move in together, but I really don't know what to do. Live on my own with my 2 cats that I recently got and struggle physically but have peace and quiet and control of my life or move in with son and have support but lose autonomy. His oldest child is autistic but very high functioning and we get on really well and his other child is just a funny delight. I could help with child care to a limited degree, at the minute my son is a stay at home dad but is looking to go back to work so I could help there. Moving in together will also take up all my house sale moneyas the area is very expensive and just leave me a little capital whereas if I moved to the bungalow it would give me a nice lump sum. My son is living in a cramped 2 bed flat and I would like to give the boys some garden and space to run about in. I am flipping backwards and forwards deciding one thing and another but iI need to make my mind up as the legal process has sstarted on buying the bungalow. I really feel like pulling out of it all but with my sons saying the house is too much maintainence and I need a property without stairs and having to climb into the bath for a shower I really have no choice. What would you all suggest? Thanks for reading the long post much appreciated.

Chewbacca Sat 17-Aug-19 10:25:17

When in doubt, do nowt.

I wish I'd followed this maxim when I recently sold my house and moved Artdeco. I was dithering about it for weeks but felt pushed into it because the legal process was quickly in motion. I regret it now.

Stop, work out exactly what you want and need and do nothing until your clear about that.

Buffybee Sat 17-Aug-19 10:38:39

Yes! I agree with Chewbacca, stop both the Sale and the purchase until you are sure what you want to do.
I'm not too sure about buying a big house and letting your son and family move in.
Is there anywhere that you have always wanted to live? Maybe near the sea!
Maybe buy a bungalow big enough for your family to visit, in a lovely area.
Now you have the chance, you can make friends in a new area.
Might be an idea!

aggie Sat 17-Aug-19 10:44:25


WadesNan Sat 17-Aug-19 10:47:39

When I was widowed I was advised to wait at least a year before making any major decisions. At the time I thought moving would take away some of the pain but I stayed and I am glad I did. I do plan to move in the near future but feel much more able to cope with it now.

midgey Sat 17-Aug-19 10:54:09

Hmm, a tricky one. I think on the whole I would take the bungalow option. You would be ‘future proofed’. Don’t share with family, life changes and families may need to move for work etc. The very best of luck to you.

quizqueen Sat 17-Aug-19 11:00:59

If you pour all your finances into one son, how will the others feel about that? Your son and wife are adults and can sort out their own housing.

Why not buy as close to them as you can and then you could still help out as much as you can. Do they want to take on the task of actually looking after you, if you have poor mobility?

Don't buy a place you don't really like, that's a big mistake. You can halt the sale/buying process before it goes any further.

BradfordLass72 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:03:26

Many, many parents here have 'granny flats' attached to or part of their adult children's homes. I'm assuming the same sort of thing is available in the UK.

Would that work?

That way you would keep your independence but have someone close if you needed them.

Seems to me you really value being in control of your living arrangements, so don't give that up.

Riverwalk Sat 17-Aug-19 11:05:40

If it were me I'd continue with the sale of the house and buy the bungalow. I assume your mobility problems are not going to improve. Also, you were very lucky to get a buyer so quickly - the way the market is in certain parts of the country who knows if another buyer will come along anytime soon

Moving in with son and DIL? That would be a no!

I can see how you feel obliged to help them out but I'd advise against this. For one, you are only 60 and have by all accounts led a restricted life with no friends because of your husband - you should think of yourself at this time.

Two, if you have mobility problems how much assistance could you actually give to your son and his family?

You will lose your autonomy and your DIL may not always be lovely!

starbird Sat 17-Aug-19 11:08:51

Why did you buy the bungalow if the plan was to buy a house with son? Does that tell you anything? If the house sold so quickly perhaps the price was too low? Might be worth getting another agent’s valuation. (On the other hand perhaps you were lucky and should grab it while you can!) What are the chances of your son renting a better home if you don’t help them? - sometimes a housing association can help if he does not qualify for a council house?

If you can afford it how about buying a house with a granny extension and live there with son and family - keeping your granny bit strictly to yourself?

Also, at 60 you could have a long life ahead of you. Whatever you decide about living conditions, you should investigate technology to help you get about, and join in some social activities - even get a part time job or volunteer if you fancy it.

eazybee Sat 17-Aug-19 11:14:23

I wouldn't stop the house sale, but I would rent whilst you consider your options. You don't want to waste money on the bungalow if you really don't like it very much, but I think you should aim to be near to one of your sons.

Luckygirl Sat 17-Aug-19 11:16:29

We moved to a bungalow 3 years ago and from the point of view of the accommodation I have not regretted it - OH is now totally disabled and it is ideal as it is flat with wide doors.

However, I miss dreadfully the village we moved from - it is only 20 minutes away and I am back and forth all the time joining in everything that is going on there with my friends.

TBH if a bungalow were to come on the market there I would look at it very seriously, because being part of a community is very important to me.

So.....swings and roundabouts!

I think that if you have any reservations at all about throwing your lot in with your son then it is probably wise not to do it. But it does work out well for some people, especially if you have a separate annexe for you to maintain your privacy a bit; and the same for them.

It is a hard decision I know and I wish you good luck in all your deliberations.

annep1 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:22:01

Do nothing. Much too early to make a good decision. If you feel you got a really good price then sell and rent for a while. Otherwise back out.
Be careful about including family as this could cause problems in the future. You are very young yet with possibly many good years ahead.

seacliff Sat 17-Aug-19 11:23:41

Have you talked to all your sons separately? What do the other two sons feel about it, if you bought a house and moved in with one son? He would get a nice big house which he cannot afford on his own, and possibly built in baby sitting.

It would take most of your money, so there would be little inheritance for the other two. That doesn't seem quite fair, although if you are going to be able to live there forever with son and wife looking after you, that's a consideration. Will it be a house with a ground floor area for you, if you have trouble with stairs?

Living 24/7 with children is quite a tiring prospect possibly? If there were a granny annexe with own kitchen etc, that would be better. Living with a son and young family could put a strain on your relationship. It's good to have a bit of space.

I think perhaps postponing is best, as you are so unsure. You need to do what's best for you.

fizzers Sat 17-Aug-19 11:41:26

I think you have put yourself and your longterm needs first, I think you should go for a bungalow. Buying a large house for yourself and son could possibly be fraught with problems in the future

Lessismore Sat 17-Aug-19 11:54:27

Stop the sale of the house right now. If it sold so quickly , it will sell again.

There fore you have bought yourself time to think, to consider, to talk to family, to see a therapist.

GabriellaG54 Sat 17-Aug-19 21:10:04

ACs are wonderful...until you live with them or vice versa.
Nevrr in a million years.
'We're jyst nipping out to the shops for an hour mum...can you keep an eye...?'
'Tom's asked us for drinks tomorrow...would you give the kids their tea and up to bed...?'

It won't stop there either.

GabriellaG54 Sat 17-Aug-19 21:10:48

Nevrr Never

notanan2 Sat 17-Aug-19 21:18:22

I think you should stay near where you are for now until the dust settles.

But rent dont buy so you arent commited to a location until you are sure

GagaJo Sat 17-Aug-19 21:36:41

After my grandmothers death, when he was becoming infirm, my grandfather bought a big house with my uncle and lived with him, and his family. Then, when my grandfather died, my uncle (and his family) automatically inherited the whole house. Cutting out my father and both myself and my brother. My grandparents had always had a plan for who would inherit what, but none of it ever came to pass.

It split our family. My father and my uncle (brothers) are totally estranged. My uncle and his family are cut off from myself and my brother.

Very sad.

crazyH Sat 17-Aug-19 22:17:21

Artdeco, you can see by the responses, that your plans are not ideal. You have 3 sons. You have to be fair to all three. And you must always have control of your situation. I love my three, a daughter and 2 sons. I would never consider selling up and living in the same house or in an annexe with any of them, and I am years older than you but I love my independence.
I understand you have poor mobility and therefore feel vulnerable and insecure and need to be near family.
As someone suggested, have a family meeting. Listen to your other sons, see what they have to say
You are very lucky to have sold so soon. My friend is doing the same as you. She sold very quickly and is putting her stuff in storage and moving in with her middle son, till she finds something she likes.
Good luck whatever you decide to do. Do let us know

Nannarose Sat 17-Aug-19 22:29:47

Your mobility may not allow this, but I would consider going ahead with the sale, then renting.
I would say to your son that you feel very unsure at the moment and would like a little space to think. You could consider renting a 'retirement flat' or even a static caravan near your son. You could get a feel for the area, maybe spend a bit more time with them. You could even, if finances allow, rent a house and have them stay over some of the time to see how it works.
Your post about your son's family's needs raises a lot of issues and I wonder if you could think about them, and your own wishes, more clearly in a more comfortable & suitable space of your own?
Renting would then allow you to move more quickly on a purchase once you have decided.
Although your own needs have to met first,you may find pleasure and purpose in helping the family, I just think you need some space to think about it.

Nannarose Sat 17-Aug-19 22:31:04

PS: I forgot to say that you could put good furniture in to storage, but have just remembered the cats, that may an issue with renting!

Mapleleaf Sat 17-Aug-19 22:57:07

Think very carefully about moving to a place with son & DiL. Lovely as they are, you are all used to your independent ways. Don't rush into anything until you feel clear about what you want, but I do get the feeling that you relish your independence. This would be compromised to some extent if you moved in somewhere with your son, DiL & their children. As others have mentioned, how will your other children feel about this proposed arrangement?
Do not underestimate how tiring helping to look after two young children might make you feel, too. Would you feel obliged to do more than you are physically able to simply because you are sharing one roof? Also, is a house, with stairs a good idea for you? By all means, be close by, but I would suggest that a degree of independence and distance (not far), would probably be the best solution for all of you.
Try to take a step back, and consider carefully your options and possible scenarios before making a decision, which will havea lasting effect on all of you ( including your other children). Put yourself first.

Grammaretto Sat 17-Aug-19 23:01:38

When DM was widowed and recently retired, she became quite nervous of living by herself in a fairly big house on a pension. We were wanting to move to a larger house at that time so rather on impulse, we bought a house together.

After 3 years we all realised what a mistake it was however it was a solution for a time and we managed to buy her share back enabling her to find much more suitable accommodation in a place she liked. The house we were all living in was a bit like a building site.

This doesn't answer your question but I think what I am trying to say is that it need not be forever.