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Advice needed for unusual family situation

(18 Posts)
Nanamar Tue 11-May-21 13:35:42

I am in my early seventies, healthy and active right now. DH just died after battling cancer on and off for five years. I have no siblings and parents have passed. DS is divorced amicably and lives with me. His ex and DGS live a mile away. We have continued to function as a family unit. She has no parents so I’m DGS’s only living grandparent. We all wish to relocate - they only moved here to be close to DH during his illness. We are seriously considering moving as a family unit to a duplex type of home - so ex and DGS in one unit and DS and I in the other. They are only in their forties so of course I know if they take up with new partners that could complicate things but they are still DGS’s parents just as I’ll always be his GM. Plus I’m not getting any younger and I feel proximity to DS is important. Is this completely crazy??

Hithere Tue 11-May-21 13:54:00

I would only move forward with very clear plan - house rules, financial plan, what happens if this doesn't work, etc, leave no stone unturned

It sounds like a good arrangements if it goes right but what may happen if anything goes wrong? The risk is too high

I would personally move to another location but still keep separate living arrangements - this seems to be working very well now.

Redhead56 Tue 11-May-21 14:21:34

I would be optimistic personally as you appear to all get on. I would discuss an arrangement regarding the property that you do end up buying. Just in case your DS or his ex remarry to ensure it is secure for your GS future. So future partners etc cannot claim it as theirs.
My DH and I did something similar when we married as we both owned our own properties. I can’t remember the details but our solicitor sorted it out.
I don’t think it is crazy I think it’s a good idea it’s nice to think you could be close to your GS. I wish you happiness with the decision you choose.

threexnanny Tue 11-May-21 14:41:32

Is your son your only child? If not that could complicate matters.

Madgran77 Tue 11-May-21 14:46:44

I agree with *Hithere.

I am not sure why you are considering moving into a duplex home as opposed to all moving to an new area in separate homes that are nearby?

Septimia Tue 11-May-21 15:03:13

Only you can really know what your relationships are like and how well you can all get on in the sort of home you're thinking of.

I suppose a duplex home will be easier for childcare and other arrangements, so would be a good idea. It might be cheaper than two homes. Going for two homes, I think, would really depend on how close they are to each other - the same road at least, perhaps, otherwise there's not much point.

Nanamar Tue 11-May-21 15:14:17

To answer threexnanny, yes son is an only child like myself and DGS. The idea of a duplex came up because we depend upon each other for childcare, etc. and the fact that we currently are in walking distance of each other’s home has been a real advantage for everyone. We have the two homes to sell here and, as Septimia notes, one home can be a bit cheaper as well as more streamlined for us to maintain.

Hithere Tue 11-May-21 15:39:22

Have you thought about this arrangement when childcare is not needed?

How would it work long term?

Nanamar Tue 11-May-21 15:48:02

I am concerned that when child care will no longer be needed Nana care might - don’t want to be a burden of course but my DS will certainly want to help of I need it and the closer he is the easier that is on him. I know this because I was caregiver and health advocate for both of my parents and it would have been a nightmare if I didn’t live just 15-20 minutes away.

BlueBelle Tue 11-May-21 16:13:11

I think you ve made your own mind up already

I m not sure I know what a duplex is so I ll have a google
So I ve learned it’s a single building owned by one person with a shared kitchen and living room and two separate entrances and the rest of the rooms separate
So my question is who would own it and are you happy to share a kitchen, the old adage is that two women should never share a kitchen
Won’t you son feel curtailed about ever starting a new relationship if he’s living with a mother and an ex ?
It’s not something I would do but if you’re sure it will work for all of you and you all want this then at least that’s a good sign

Nanamar Tue 11-May-21 16:15:47

Sorry in the states a duplex typically refers to two separate units each with their own kitchen, bath, utilities, etc. Sort of like two attached houses or sometimes two unattached homes on the same plot of land.

Dinahmo Tue 11-May-21 16:20:42

I suggest, if you can afford it between you that you buy a house and convert it, completely into 2 separate flats. You should own the freehold, or possibly put it into your GS's name (not sure about the legality of that) and your son's ex could have a long lease. Should the need arise, and she wanted to move, the lease could be sold on, or the flat could be rented, if she preferred. There are various permutations but it should not be difficult to arrange.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 11-May-21 16:26:47

So would you be the one paying for both properties? If so what happens if DIL remarries?
Why can’t you all stay where you are? If you all live close together.

Nanamar Tue 11-May-21 16:55:38

No we’d be sharing the expense of the purchase. The three of us hate where we live. The only reason I’ve been here for years is because I was born and raised her as was DH and he never wanted to move. If DIL or DS remarry, then of course we’d have to figure something out but I’d ensure that the property goes to DH and/or DGS and that ex-DIL is considered a “renter” so to speak.

ExD Tue 11-May-21 17:03:56

Any one of the three of you may want to remarry. Yes, even you! My friend married for the second time at 79 and is blissfully happy.
I really feel you should think again.

Hithere Tue 11-May-21 17:47:43

This seems like a short term solution.

If you were to rent it, why not?

Buying + long term view of this arrangement makes this very uncertain

Summerlove Tue 11-May-21 23:46:26

Will you be splitting the cost of both homes 3 ways? So all three names on both mortgages/deeds? That would need some serious law work to keep fair. What If ex Dil wanted to sell? Would you have the money to buy her out?

To me, it makes more sense for you to buy one side, and her to buy the other. That way either party can sell when needed.

mumofmadboys Wed 12-May-21 07:33:26

I think 2 properties a few hundred yards apart would be a better solution. Well done to you all that relationships are so amicable.