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This "charity" that has dreamed up this idea about us and our family homes!

(129 Posts)
jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 09:40:37

So, because we have got a bit older, according to them, we are supposed to move out of our homes we have raised our families in to allow young families to buy our three bedroom houses (which they wouldn't be able to afford anyway!)

We are supposed to find ourselves a tiny little house or, even better, I've no doubt, a flat, and cut our family off from us when it comes to overnight visiting. Oh! I tell a lie there; they allow us one spare bedroom.

And what do we do at Christmas and other family occasions when all the kids want to come home, bringing (hopefully) grandchildren with them?

And what about our grownup children who, still unmarried themselves, like to come home at weekends or other "leave" times to see us and meet up with their friends in the hometown area?

And what happens when we are finally isolated from our family because of the difficulties of lack of accommodation for them, and we become lonely and, perhaps, feel uncared for?

Have these sodding people really thought this through?

In my own case, I helped to build this house when DH and I started out. I l have raised my family here. I do not want to leave it.

So, sorry "Charity" or whatever you are, we're staying put till they carry us out.

[tongue sticky out emoticon]

biggran Wed 19-Oct-11 09:53:52

Hi Jinglej I was angry when I heard this on the radio this morning. I totally sympathise with your situation and if I was in a similar position I think I would feel the same.
My problem is rather the opposite end of the scale. I totally agree that this house is far too big for us. It is expensive to maintain particularly as we can no longer keep the large garden in check and have to employ a gardener, and I need some help with the housework. We have shut off the rooms that we don't use to save heating them and, basically I feel the house is dying along with us. I would love to sell it and move so that it can have the noisy big family that it deserves and needs to bring it to life again. It has been a great family home and could be again, but as you say - who can afford it? We still have a mortgage on it, so we need to make enough to clear that and to buy something smaller. I feel trapped.

jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 10:01:02

Yes, I appreciate your situation too, Biggran. But we don't need telling what to do about our own homes.


jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 10:03:29

And another thing I would like to add. My DD (single) has bought (and now paid for) her own home. But, it is, of necessity, a small one bedroom house. She needs her room at our house to store some of her belongings in.

Why do they think we stop being a family just because the kids become independent?

jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 10:15:18

And what happened to "An Englishman's home is his castle"?!

whatamess Wed 19-Oct-11 10:53:11

It's part of the 'punish you for doing well' philosophy that permeates a lot of political discourse, similar to 'the harder you work and the more you earn the more we will tax you' and 'the less you depend on the state and cater for yourselves the more we will take from you', goes along with an attitude that 'you must have been lucky if you do OK' rather than you must have put the hard yards in for the past 50 years.

Disclaimer: that does not mean I disapprove of help for those that genuinely need it. I am happy to pay my taxes for that and happy to help my family and charities, but I hate the green-eyed attitude of some to those who put themselves on the line to take risks and reap proportionate rewards.

Annobel Wed 19-Oct-11 10:53:34

I did downsize eleven years ago because my house was too big for me; I wanted to be mortgage-free and I couldn't cope with the sizeable garden. But the drawback is that it's difficult to accommodate the family and I certainly can't have them all at once. Luckily they appear to be happy to have me for Christmas and as both DSs are far better cooks than I am, that's an arrangement I am pleased to go along with.
But as I've got more decrepit, I'm now finding it hard to cope with a smaller and allegedly low maintenance garden. sad

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 19-Oct-11 11:04:34

Hope you saw Geraldine talking about this very subject today on BBC Breakfast show at 8.20? If you missed it do watch it on iplayer

fieldwake Wed 19-Oct-11 11:08:19

Where are all these small homes?

absentgrana Wed 19-Oct-11 11:11:54

jinglej You are so rightly indignant. Our own dear Geraldine pointed out some of these things on BBC Breakfast this morning and also added that many grandparents are responsible for a lot of childcare for their grandchildren in their own homes. That a bedroom is not slept in at night does not mean, she said, that the house is not being used as a family home during the day.

I agree with other posters that I hate being dismissed as a kind of general nuisance that has to be accommodated until I conveniently pop my clogs just because I am over 60.

Finally, this idea about a tax break in stamp duty for oldies who downsize is so London-centric that it is laughable. Having no pension, I invested in rental property in lieu. Three of my houses are two-bedroom with small backyards and the fourth is three-bedroom with an 80-foot back garden, a sizeable front garden and off-street parking. None of them reached the stamp duty threshold so if I downsized on this basis, which I am not going to, there wouldn't be any tax breaks. The town where I live is not alone in having lower than average house prices, whatever average means.

NanaNic Wed 19-Oct-11 11:38:35

I have needed more room not less since becoming a Nan. I raised my son in a 2 bedroom flat and am now trying to move to a 3 bedroom flat/house with a garden to accomodate my two grandchildren who stay with me most weekends.

I support the idea of people being helped to find the accomodation that suits their current needs so whether that is scaling up or down depending on how much room they need, but not based on a huge assumption that all older people need to downsize. My family and life is still expanding! :-)

jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 11:58:22

Was still plugged into Today programme at 8.20 (headphones in bed) but will definitely find that on i-player! Thanks Cari

harrigran Wed 19-Oct-11 12:18:30

I too am indignant, family gets bigger not smaller. I managed with a three bedroom house with just two children but when they married and had children the rooms were just not big enough. I agree with jinglej they would not be able to afford it.

Gally Wed 19-Oct-11 12:36:08

Every so often I complain about the size of our house, the waste of a number of unused rooms and the amount of cleaning I have to do, but when all the family return as they did this summer, the house immediately appears too small. So long as we can afford to stay and manage the maintenance, then we will. I can at least get away from 'him' and he can get away from me when it suits us, so I would definitely miss that in a smaller place. We cut the size of the garden by half when we sold the bottom part as a building plot and now have a manageable one. The 'children' all throw their hands up in horror if we even mention the downsize word and consider this house as their base. The day will come soon enough when we have to make a decision, but that decision will be ours not anyone else's.

Gally Wed 19-Oct-11 12:48:08

Cari I don't think you can get Breakfast on iplayer which is a shame. Next time give us all due warning and we will get up early and tune in!! grin

GoldenGran Wed 19-Oct-11 12:48:15

I agree with the other posts, I was screaming at the radio when I heard this. We are a generation who have worked hard and given our children as much as we could in the way of education support nurturing, love etc. , the works, but now we are to be punished for it. I am tired of hearing of how we are the greedy selfish generation. I missed Geraldine but will catch up on i-player

susiecb Wed 19-Oct-11 12:49:46

Perhaps they would like us to shoot ourselves and rid the world of our troublesome presence.angry

jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 13:29:52

Oh no! Looks like Gally is right!

What a bummer! sad

Really wanted to see what Geraldine looks like hear this.

Gally Wed 19-Oct-11 13:47:58

Jings I wanted to see hear her too - maybe they could put up a rogues gallery of GNHQ matrons?

enterprisegran Wed 19-Oct-11 13:54:34

Geraldine did brilliantly this morning.
We sold our lovely, 4-bed detached house 7 years ago and moved to an equally lovely 2-bed bungalow. Our two daughters were making their own way - one married and buying their house, the other living rent-free in a house that my father had bought as an investment. There is no way that she will ever be able to buy a home - she works hard but doesn't earn enough to get a mortgage, let alone save £30 000 deposit! Because of her grandad's kindness, she has learned to budget, be self-sufficient, run a car and pay bills on time.
All was well for a while.....then along came 2 lovely grandchildren. Now, they come to Grandma's often and we have toys strewn everywhere, as well as buggies, highchairs, travel cots etc etc. We've made the decision to sell the bungalow and move nearer to my daughter and back to a 4-bedroomed property. That way, the girls can come and stay overnight any time they like, the boys can have their own room when they stay without having to rearrange the spare room which acts as a multi-purpose space with a bed settee and lots of storage space.
I do feel sorry for our young people and young families. The housing market is stagnant and buying and selling is so hard at the moment. Added to that, we have good building workers claiming unemployment benefit because they can't get work. We need to build more affordable housing to solve these issues, not asking older people to downsize.
Family is immensely important to me and having the space to have get-togethers and spend time together is what I want from my home.

nannysgetpaid Wed 19-Oct-11 13:57:28

I was furious when I heard this on our local radio. Who has the right to tell us where we should live. susiecb They don't need us to shoot ourselves just send us into hospital and they can kill us off there. I am sick of hearing that we have an aging population because people are living longer. Maybe they should build lots of "little boxes made of ticky tacky," stick us all in them and forget about us. angry

olliesgran Wed 19-Oct-11 13:57:38

I heartily agree with all posts above! The shortage of decent family housing is not our fault. Builders build smaller and smaller houses, so as to have maximum return on sales. I recently saw a 3 storey, 5 beds house, which sounds fine for a family, until you look at it's "footprint". the ground floor only has a kitchen/breakfeast room, and a living/dining room. Not enough living space for a 5 beds house!!!!! But sold at a staggering price! I have seen my mother and my husband's grand mother go into dedicated "old people" flat, and I have no intention to follow. Who ever thought that a bedsit was a suitable place for any one?? Who, at 80 or over is going to be happy with visitors sitting on their bed? And as for visiting, if you live a long way from your parent, where are you going to stay? When I go to see my mother, I have to stay in a hotel, or at my sister, 20 miles away! When there is no other way, when health fails, it's a other matter, but suggesting we down size on the ground of age alone is a disgrace!!!

jinglej Wed 19-Oct-11 14:07:54

Good idea Gally. They would have to hold up a copy of today's paper, to prove it was recent.

No cheating!

NannaAnna Wed 19-Oct-11 14:12:01

I can understand everyone's indignation, but I wish I had that problem. My beautiful family home went as a result of my divorce, and thanks to my (expat so no-one can touch him) ex-husband not paying what he was supposed to, I have spent the last 16 years downsizing again and again. Right now I am selling my tiny 2 bed flat and buying an even tinier 1 bed flat in a town I don't want to live in, because I can't afford anything where I am.
I'm sure many divorcees are in similar situations.
2 of my 3 daughters are married, and so far I have one grandchild.
I had all those lovely dreams of big family Christmasses, and growing grandchildren staying over etc. etc.
As they say, life's a b!tch sad

gracesmum Wed 19-Oct-11 14:14:04

What a hoot! OK offer me enough for my not very big 4-bed (3 +study actually ) house and I will move, but in the meantime, it's ours, we paid for it out of hard-earned money at a time when mortgage rates were extortionate and I feel like saying like Martin Luther "Here I stand, I can do no other"
AND anyway it's not even big enough anyway to accommodate all 3 grown -up children plus partners and GC to stay!