The Plan

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MissLulu, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    As some of you might remember, I'm finding it difficult to live in the same house as my 24 year old difficult son.

    He is relatively stable right now -- working, saving and paying his own bills. He hasn't had a meltdown in a couple of months, but we walk on eggshells around him, which I hate. We asked him to find somewhere else to live a few months back and he started to apply for rentals with a friend. Now the friend has decided he is going to live with his girlfriend. My son can't afford to rent on his own where we live, and in any case, he has applied for many rentals and been knocked back. (Demand for rentals is very strong here.)

    We could simply ask him to leave, but that would leave him couch surfing at best. I'm reluctant to do this because I fear it would start a downward spiral for him. On the other hand, I really want him out of my house.

    So my husband I have come up with a plan. It's one many of you have tried I think, and I know the risks of failure are high, but I we've decided to give it a go anyway. Our plan is to buy a house that he can rent from us. He will need a housemate to help pay the rent but we are happy to subsidise the rent for three months to allow him time to find someone. We will make it clear that if he doesn't find someone suitable, we will advertise the room and pick someone ourselves. We will employ a property manager, so that he pays rent to them rather than us. He will suffer the same consequences as a normal tenant if he defaults on the rent. We are also telling him that this is the last offer of this sort of help. If he mucks it up then he can't come home. It's rent from us or out on his own - no other choices.

    We went to look at properties this morning and my husband has an appointment with the mortgage broker on Friday.

    I hope he uses this opportunity. I really don't want him in my house anymore.

    We haven't told him yet.
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  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Lulu,
    I think it’s a good plan if it is within your means. Having a property manager is good. Rental contract and all that goes with it. He is a very blessed son to have this opportunity. I hope he realizes it and keeps moving forward.
    Have a wonderful weekend
  3. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Thanks Leafy. We are fortunate that it is within our means. We recently downsized from a huge family home to a more modest one. We did this as part of a plan to retire early. We had always planned to buy an investment property but we had not planned on renting it to our son. However, now we feel like renting to him will at least solve the problem of him living with us.

    You're right, he is extraordinarily lucky to have this opportunity. I hope he appreciates it. I'm not 100% sure he will. Nevertheless I feel like I'd like to give this a try. If he mucks up this chance, at least we will feel that we have tried our best to do everything within our means.
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  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Instead of a room mate situation, have you considered a small duplex?

  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    My daughter did not take care of the house nor pay. In retrospect, we feel it would have been better to have just paid her rent on somebody else's property, which we eventually did but that didn't work either since Lee and Kay broke the rules, used drugs and more importantly had loud fights that disrupted others and spilled into the hallways.

    We found that nothing worked and our bank account is not as it should have been or as we planned for it to be.

    I have no idea if your son is capable of or willing to take care of property long term. I think most of our troubled adults children are not. But we need to do what feels right to us. You never know.

    Sadly our daughter started out with a house, then we bought her a mobile home which did not end well either then a series of apartments until we quit. She got a low income apartment and they were evicted. Now she and Lee live in a ten year old camper on the curb of a street in California.

    I pray and wish for you to have a better outcome. Since all people are different, perhaps your son will step up to the plate. I sincerely hope so. Blessings.
  6. Barbaro

    Barbaro New Member

    We sent our son to another state, not because we wanted to but because he couldn't find work here. We rented an apartment for 6 months, figured if it didn't work out we'd only be out the rental. I prepaid for all of it. Could you do that?
  7. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Sounds like you have something worked out that will restore peace in your home. I am so glad he is being more responsible, but I would be remiss if I didnt show concern for you still walking on eggshells. Gosh, I hope this is a win win for you. I totally understand the need to have your own space. I am sure at his young adult age he is ready for the same. Great idea to have 3rd party involved. Keep us posted.

    Love and light
  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    With my son i will not put my name on anything for him because he doesn't pay if that is required ,and he is destructive. If it is in my name i am responsible. I don't know if that is a consideration in your case. I would have to own the property and i don't have the means to do that without putting myself and my retirement at serious risk. I also refuse to give my Difficult Child so much that my other 2 get nothing. If you have the means to buy him a house will he loose it by not paying taxes ? I wish i had the means to do it but i don't. If you do just consider if it is sustainable for you or for him.
  9. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Good morning lovely friends. Thank you to each one of you who took the time to reply and share your thoughts and experiences. I truly appreciate your concern for me.

    I want to reassure you all that we understand that this might not work, and that in fact, it probably won't, but we want to try anyway. It's a small a hope that this will be the answer, but a hope nonetheless.

    I'm not great at using the quote thingy, so I'm going to reply to each of you individually.
  10. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Hi KSM, I'm not sure what a duplex is. We might call it something else here in Australia. Perhaps a villa unit. In any case, I'll explain why we think a housemate is a good idea.

    1. My son's psychologist does not think he should live on his own. He does better when there are others living with him. He is usually better with people who are not us! His friends seem to all accept his mental health issues and even when he has meltdowns they seem to accept this and not let it affect their friendship. As I said, we're the main targets of his anger, although I have seen him be verbally unreasonably with his friends at times. He's lived with friends before and this worked out fine until one had to move out for financial reasons and the household book up.

    2. We would like to buy a two or three bedroom house because we think this will be a better investment for us in the long term. Where we are, houses seem to be better investments than apartments or villa units. We want to charge my son the market rental price (or close to) for this house which he will not be able to afford on his own. We can afford to let him pay half for a few months while he finds someone, but after that we'd need him to pay the full amount if he doesn't have a housemate.
  11. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Busy, I'm so sorry it didn't work out for you and I know very well that it might not work out for us either.

    There's not such a financial risk for us, I don't think. We will own the house and will have the property managed through a real estate agent, which means he will sign a rental agreement with the agency and will have to pay or be evicted. If he is evicted we will then we rent the property to someone else, which was our original intention.

    He has rented property before and not ever been evicted, so he has that in his favour, I guess. He has never damaged any of our property, he isn't physically violent - his abuse is usually verbal - but neither does he look after things well, so there is a risk that he won't maintain the property properly. But I figure that is always a risk when you rent out property to anyone. We will have landlord's insurance to help mitigate that risk.

    Thank you for your kind words and your concern x
  12. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Hi Barbaro, thanks so much for your reply.

    We could certainly afford to pay for a rental for him but we would have to be guarantors (I think in the US it's called co-signing?) and I'm not prepared to do that. He has been unable to find rental accommodation locally and as he has a decent job here, we really want him to be able to live nearby.

    We had always intended to buy a house and rent it out - we just didn't anticipate we'd be renting it to him.
  13. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Thanks Blindsided,

    You're right, he's still not "right" and I'm not sure he ever will be. He's had years of therapy and help and at 24 he's a proper adult now (not that you'd know it from his behaviour!) We will always be walking on eggshells while he is in our home and I can't bear it anymore.

    We think this is a chance for us to have peace, without turfing him out onto the street. It's also our line in the sand. The last thing we will try. If he stuffs this up, he's on his own.
  14. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Thanks for your reply TNT,

    My son has not ever been destructive so I'm not so worried about that. He is neglectful and lazy though, so whilst he wouldn't deliberately destroy the property he probably won't maintain it the way I would. I think that's a risk we'll have to take.

    I am very mindful of my other two kids not receiving less than him and in part this is why I would rather buy a property than give him other assistance. We expect him to pay rent and we will have a process put in place to ensure this happens, so we won't be giving him any money - he'll be paying us. We are definitely not buying the house for him. It will be our house and will form part of our estate, so if we were to die our other two would inherit equal parts of that house as part of their inheritance.

    We're looking at the property as an asset that we are prepared to rent to my son to allow him to get on his feet. We don't see it as somewhere he would live forever.

    My middle son is at university and we pay his rent. I expect my youngest to go to university and we will do the same for him. I'm happy to pay rent for them while they are studying because they are both hard working, responsible young men. We've never paid rent for our difficult son. He lived at home while he 'studied'. (We paid for him to go to vocational college, but he did no work and eventually dropped out.)

    If he doesn't pay rent or he destroys any part of the property, he will be evicted and we will rent the property out to someone else.

    I know that this might not work, but I'm just not at the point yet where I can tell him to leave when he has nowhere to go. I wish I had that strength. but I'm not there yet.
  15. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    MissLuLu, We came up with a plan similar to yours. We put a huge down payment on a house so the monthly rent would not be so hard for my 37 year old daughter. We bought the home when my daughter was 26. You have to have nerves of steel to rent a home to a wayward adult child. We bought a very nice three bedroom 2.5 bath home in a great neighborhood with wonderful security. When my daughter would mess up and we threaten to evict her she would look for places to rent and in reality could not come up with anything as nice as she has and for such a good price. When my daughter goes off the rails she goes way off the rails..She does get room mates from time to time. My daughter's boyfriend lives with her now and they have been ok with making the rent. Sometimes they are a week late but seem to cough up the money since they know we are not joking about eviction. I sleep better knowing she is in a good place, she is close enough that we can have a meal or two together. She is renting to buy, knowing the money is going into her owning the home someday. I really like her home, lots of arches, open concept, small yard, nice neighbors that look out for each other. My daughter has lived in the house 12 years.

    It has not been easy, it has been trying and rewarding, you have to have patience..Good luck and I pray it works out for you.
  16. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    New Start, thank you so much for this reply. It gives me hope!

    I'm pleased that your daughter has somewhere safe to live. Life is never easy with these kids and as their parents, we must do what we can live with. I know this will not be easy, but it's not easy having my son in my house either. I'm lucky that we can afford to do this, as I know it wouldn't be an option for everyone.
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  17. Barbaro

    Barbaro New Member

    We didn't really co-sign because we leased it for 6 months and I paid the entire amount. He must renew it in April if he wants to stay there, which he has already said he wants. He has to have saved up half of what I paid for another 6 months, then I'll pay the rest. The idea was to see if he could hold down a job, which he has done. I'd just hate to see you buy a property if things don't work out
  18. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Thanks so much for your concern, Barbaro. I appreciate you taking the time to reply.
    We’re buying the property anyway, as an investment, but we had originally planned to rent it on the open market. If my son defaults on rent then he’ll be evicted by the real estate agent and we can rent it out like we’d originally planned. So we won’t be giving him any money or property. We had hoped he would find a place on his own but he’s been unable to find anywhere. He’s applied for dozens of places without any luck. There’s a rental shortage here and many working people are homeless.
  19. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you have worked this through so i hope itvworks out for you and him. Prayers.
  20. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Sounds like maybe there are more safeguards in Australia. I forgot you were not in the U.S.

    I wish you the best.
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