Can we move house?

I really want to move to be nearer friends but it would mean uprooting mother and selling her house (where we both live). It is likely that she wont want to do this but as she is only in one room and mainly sleeps who knows …

Would we be allowed to sell and buy a slightly cheaper place?

Will chat to family so!icitor just thought someone may know on here.

Tired stressed and fed up atm. Seen my dream house for sale near a friend …

Do you have financial Power of Attorney?

If not you would have to persuade her

I think it’s time you booked some respite, you need a break

Well, Jacqueline, there’s nothing really to stop you moving if Mum is agreeable, but:

a) do bear in mind what a huge upheaval it is, especially if you’ve been living there for decades, as I suspect. It’s not only the moving - plus the stress of finding buyers, getting into a chain, having buyers pull out/the person you’re buying from changing their mind etc. - but also the clearing out of decades of family clutter, getting rid of things because they won’t fit the new, smaller house. Whether you want to put yourself through that, let alone your mum, may be debatable.

b) also bear in mind the costs of moving. I’ve known so many people (including the people we were supposed to be buying from, referred to above) not factor in the fact that you are also going to have to pay all the various professional fees, stamp duty and so on, and that it may well cost you more than your current place is actually worth even if you’re moving to somewhere which is supposedly cheaper (which is why we ended up losing our “dream” home when the vendors re-did their calculations). So yes, do take advice from solicitors, local estate agents and see what you’d really be letting yourself in for.


Don’t do it!

You are already struggling, and mum’s life is nearing it’s end.
The upheaval will be huge and cause you both extra stress and general hassle.

Is it mum’s house?
That’s going to be an added complication if mum needs help from Social Services later, if you get a smaller house and realise some assets they will expect mum to pay the full cost of her care.

I know from personal experience how easy it is to think that some sort of change will “make things better” but it won’t. Nothing will make mum better. My advice would be to “sit tight” while mum is so ill, and then work out a “wish list” of things that you can do when your caring days have ended.

Some will he horrified by this, thinking I am wishing mum dead. Not so at all, but I’ve supported four elderly parents. We can’t give them their youth back, or stop the ageing process. We can only support them as they make their “final journey”.

I am still a carer, for my 39 year old brain damaged son. Often it is only the thought of my holidays in Greece that keep me going.

I suspect the urge to move house is actually the urge to move ‘away from your mum’???

The trouble is, where you go, she goes…

If you did move, how much time would you actually get to spend with your friends?

All that said, it is a difficult call to make. Why not, at the very least, do a ‘Feasibility Study’ that sets out the actual costs etc, so that you know just how much it would take to wake up ‘in a new house’. That might give you more help in making a deision one way or the other.

The trouble is with ‘waiting it out’ for your mum to ‘set you free’ is that it might still take years of your life…so, yes, in that case, maybe moving and grabbing what you CAN, and NOW, is better than ‘hanging on’ as you currently are, endlessly ‘trapped’ by your mum’s care needs.

Do I take it that it would be impossible for YOU to buy the new house, and it requires funding from your mum’s house to buy it?

I’m wondering whether it might be possible to, say, remortgage your mum’s house (assuming she owns it outright?), and use the mortgage money to buy the new house with? Then, ‘owning both’ (with the mortgage company!), you could take your time in gradually ‘moving across’ to the new house (again, I’m assuming you would be ‘downsizing’, so the new house costs less than the current one, so a mortgage would buy it??) (depends what Loan to Value mortgage you could get).

It could well be possible to rent out your mum’s current house, to raise the income needed to service the mortgage on the new one! If you get an interest only mortgage, that will be far lower service costs. You would then pay off the principle when your mum dies and you can then sell her current house.

This method of funding the purchase of a new house is not pie in the sky! I’ve seen it done, and it does work if you crunch the numbers accurately.

All the mortgage company really want is to ensure that (a) you can cover the monthly interest payments and (b) there is enough equity in the mortgaged property to give them their money back when you sell (or they foreclose!).

Such remortgages are becoming increasingly common now, as older people seek to ‘release capital’ from their property. (DO NOT GO DOWN THE ROUTE OF EQUITY RELEASE - a total rip off!) (and far less flexible).

If this is at all of interest to you, let me know, and I’ll PM you -

Obviously bowlingbun knows rather more about your situation than I do, Jacqueline, so I’d go with her assessment. I’m also wondering whether downsizing might be perceived as deliberate depreciation of assets, which could cause a lot of problems.

The financial gamble is whether Jacqueline’s mum will end up needing residential care - and how old Jacqueline will be when that time arrives!

If I am recollecting it correctly, J’s got a couple more years to go before she hits the ‘magic 60’ mark, at which point the council can’t force her mum to sell the house to fund residential care, as J will be living in it as her sole property (is this right?).

So, if J is going to move, it had better be sooner rather than later, so that the mum has the ‘new house’ well before J hits 60, so the NEW house is then ‘preserved’ from being sold to pay for residential care.

However, yes, any ‘spare change’ left as cash if the current house sells for more than the next one costs, WOULD be immediately earmarked by the council to pay for residential care, whatever age J is.

On the other hand, if J’s mum needs residential care BEFORE J turns 60, the house would have to be sold ‘anyway’ or a council charge put on it (the latter would probably make the house difficult to sell while the charge was active, ie, before the mum dies and the council ‘settles up’ the final care bill with J)??

So, downsizing and freeing up the ‘spare change’ could make it EASIER for J to risk her mum needing residential care BEFORE J hits 60, as she can use the ‘spare change’ to pay the fees while desperately hoping they will last until SHE hits 60 and then the ‘new’ house is ‘protected’ from the council.

Personally, although it may be ‘safer’ all round to stay put, and less work and cost-of-moving, I also think that J putting her life ‘on hold’ until her mother dies (which could be years?), may NOT be the best ‘use of her time’. The older we get, the more we should ‘seize the day’ and make the most of what we CAN have. So manybe downsizing to be near friends is J ‘making the most’ of the albeit ‘limited potential’ her life currently holds…

In the end, sigh, caring always comes down to ‘gambling’ on just how long our parents will live…seems cruel, but it is so.

Just wrote a long almost intelligent post and its bloody well vanished.

Thanks for replies all.

So do I si iit out til I am 60 or move now and hope a care home isnt necessary before I reach the house saving age of 60?

God knows how much this place is worth. More than the one I want for sure.

Trouble is that my mum has limited savings so if I dont move now we wont be able to afford to move u til mother dies …

Shall I stay or shall I go now?!

Ps thanks for your pm jenny, I hadnt read these posts when I replied to you.

I cant think straight these days

Must book that break soon. Prob february.

Does the council ever fund breaks?

Edited to add OMG just done a quick money saving website house moving cost calculation. Around 16,500!!! Lets hope our house is worth loads!

Finding out how much your mum’s current house is worth is easy. Log into Right Move or one of those online sites, key in your post code, and see what sort of prices similar houses are on for. And what they sold for (click on ‘sold prices’)(very recent sales won’t be up yet, takes a few months for the information to come down from the Land Registry etc).

Then call in at a local estate agent and ask, and get them to come out and do a preliminary valuation (free). When they come, ask them bluntly what it would go on the market for, and what they would hope to achieve. Ask them if you got any work done - from repairs to redectorating, how that would affect the achieved price. Some refurb is worth doing, some not. The best is for small, cheap things (eg, repainting!), that have an uplift on price.

Then ask how long it would likely take to sell ,given the time of year - and the economic climate. Most sales are slowing down now as the uncertainty over Brexit is making buyers cautious. Plus it’s midwinter. the market traditionally opens again ‘in the spring’ for Easter etc, when houses photograph better anyway.

All this will give you a ‘working figure’ for what you could reasonably expect to get, and by when.

If you can, go and see the house you are thinking of buying near your friends’. Look serious as a potential buyer, and do a viewing. Look up Right move again to see what other properties are going for nearby that are similar etc, and check sold prices as well. Check out whether it will need expensive repairs (eg, structural) or refubs (new bathroom?) etc etc.

Allow AT LEAST a couple of thousand pounds for removal costs - it cost £2000 to move my MIL’s stuff from her two bed flat, three years ago, so a larger house, now, will be more. you can get quotes from removal firms.

Check out the commission the estate agents will charge for selling - it’s usually 1.5%.

As it’s your mum’s main residence there will be no capital gains tax on the sale and if she is selling it to buy her next main residence, there will be no stamp duty on the purchase.

If you do all this you will at least get a pretty good handle on the financial impact of moving.

Do you think your mum would agree to moving???

PS - one more factor as well as your age re 60, and your mum’s need/not need of residential care, and that is IF she is devlopiong dementia.

At some point if she is, she will lose legal capacity and ‘she’ will not be able to sell, or buy, her house.

Not unless you have PoA by then!

So, again, if you’re going to do this, better sooner than later?

Great info Jenny thanks.

I already have poa health and finance

She will not want to move but I am still looking into it in case I could bear to go through the upheaval and to be by the sea again …

Jacqueline, having been brought up on the coast near Bournemouth, I really understand your desire to be near the sea again. Apart from working in Switzerland for a few months when I was 18, I’ve always lived near the sea. If I’m fed up for any reason a walk or even just a drive along the sea front seems to have an effect on me.
Even if you don’t feel able to move at the moment, promise yourself that one day you will be back there. It doesn’t hurt to make plans for the future if it makes the present more bearable.

The Sea! The Sea!

Yes, indeed, air to breathe and places to walk, both along the beach and above on the cliffs etc. One is always ‘free’ by the sea.

Couldn’t agree more. :slight_smile:

Jaqueline - meant to say - so sorry, yes, your mum WOULD have to pay stamp duty on a new house, but only at ‘normal rate’ .I was thinking of the ‘rip off’ rates for second home owners.
That said, if you ended up owning both (ie, by leveraging the value of the first to raise a mortgage to buy the second one), you WOULD have to pay the second home stamp duty - unless you sold the first home within three years, then you can claim the ‘excess’ back (it, it would only end up being the ‘normal’ rate).

There are some good online calculators for what stamp duty is, at various categories, including second home, in respect of purchase price.

Hi Jaqueline
I remember the nearly 60 part of your thread but I can’t remember the health conditions of your mum that you are caring for, I think they were fairly extensive? I am wondering if you should read up on what a POA can and can’t do in terms of selling the house. Can you prove it is for your mum’s benefit and her best interests as opposed to what you want yourself?
I would be very cautious about moving at this time myself. The amount of stress with full time care, potential care home fundiong worries and possible End of Life concerns in the next couple of years , that is more than enough stress for anyone to deal with. Would things really be better in all the chaos and stress of moving? If you have an approximate time frame of caring in all liklihood for example 2 or 3 years , is it better to sit tight and deal with things at a probate stage?

There are strong pros and cons in either way, alas. No ‘easy decison’.

The thing is, in the end we all take a gamble on just how long our parent will live - it really boils down to that. Impossible to call it with any great degree of accuracy - even the medics never seem to be able to do so. They die when they die. It’s about all we can say.

I do think that taking two sheets of A 4 paper and starting to jot down the ‘pros and cons’, and listing any and all the issues that would have to be addressed if you move (including, of course, potential nursing care for your mum, and where the nearest hospital would be, etc etc etc), and then organise them into two overall lists - Pro and Con.

And see which is longer! (More or less!)

However, sometimes we just have to follow our ‘gut instincts’. It’s the chestnut - is it better to regret NOT doing something, or doing it??

I agree so much depends on your age, and how close you are to 60. That, at least, is predictable, even if nothing else is!

Pertinant point about whether selling the current house is in your mum’s interests! I guess you could argue that if you don’t, you might not be able to continue looking after her yourself??

My interests are mothers iterests! I want to be nearer friends and therefore support, I do have friends here as well but the village by the sea was my home before I moved in with mother.

She says I should do what is best for me as does my brother.

It would free up lots of money so surely the council would be glad!?

Do want mother to be at home as long as poss. I will be magic house saving 60 in two years time. I want to live now.

How can I prove that a move would be in my mums best interests? How could anyone prove that it wasnt?

Good point re stress but hoping to drastically downsize thus letting go of most of our possessions therefore minimising stress!

Life hey?

Got some great carers here.

Going to do the A4 lists. Thanks all x

Hi Jacqueline
Have found this in one of the Ombudsman cases today and thought you’d be interested,

Ms T says the Council failed to apply a property disregard.
For the first 12 weeks of residential care, the value of a person’s home is not taken into consideration by the Council in its assessment of how much they should contribute towards their care home costs. This is to allow someone time to decide whether they want to stay in care permanently without the pressure of having to sell their property immediately.
This did not apply in Mr R’s case because he had capital significantly above the threshold of £23,250 and so was not eligible for the property disregard scheme. The scheme only applies to people who do not have enough savings, income or assets apart from their property to pay for the full cost of their care.

I didn’t know the last bit before now


“Drastically downsizing letting go of possessions”. I have emptied the houses of two people who have died, and gradually I too am reducing the amount of “stuff” in my own house. Streamlining it to the bare minimum. However, there are many demands on my time, and it takes, far, far longer than you would ever believe. We converted our garage to a Granny Annexe for me after a serious car accident. It was full of “stuff”, especially as it had a loft area, I miss having somewhere handy to put things out of the way, although I do have a very large shed in the garden.

If you are thinking about downsizing, it will be much easier for you, whenever you do it, to start now, so that when the time DOES come to move, it will go as smoothly as possible.

Perhaps you should have a PROJECT MOVE ring binder, with Jenny’s pros and cons in one section, and want stuff needs to go.
If it is useful, but of little value, sign up to Freecycle so it can be collected from your home.
Donate stuff to charity shops.
Sell on Gumtree (I sold my mother’s Ercol furniture collection on Gumtree and raised over £10,000. The advantage of Gumtree over ebay is that you have more control over the price, and it’s very easy.
Anything of sentimental value that you don’t want to sell but are not currently using can go in a Really Useful Box from Staples or similar. Do NOT buy above the 60 litre size unless it’s for something like Tupperware, as it will be too heavy to sell.
Be sure to label the boxes clearly!

I still have lots of stuff I’m giving the Evil Eye to, but I don’t have a lot of free time. I doubt you do either, so the sooner you start, the easier the move will be.

Good advice! And it will ‘put you in the mood’ as well, and something to ‘get going with’ over Xmas and so on.

Hopefully, too, if you get your mum to help select what goes what stays etc, it will be nice ‘memory and reflection and bonding’ time with her.

Only thing I find when sorting out ‘stuff’ is that the ‘Keep’ pile is easy (no brainers, definitely want to keep) and the ‘Chuck’ pile is easy (again, no brainers, definitely don’t want it)…but it’s the ‘Hmm, Can’t Decide!’ pile that is the nightmare!!!

One rule I try and adopt is the ‘Representative Sample’ rule. So, for example, if you have a pile of ‘similar things’, then you keep a ‘Representative Sample’ but check the rest. It can prune down that wretched Cant’ Decide pile!

My other tip is this - put everything you don’t want, and intent to either take to the rubbish tip or give to charity, into a big bin liner, then tie it up and DO NOT OPEN IT AGAIN!!! If you open it again to ‘check’ you’ll end up NOT getting rid of most of it!!!