Purchasing for retired parents in Dun Laoghaire

SleeplessInDunL

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My parents decided to return to Ireland as they are in their 80s and want to be near their grandchildren. They sold their apartment in France and wanted to live somewhere very central in Dun Laoghaire, the same suburb that I live in.

However the first apartment fell through due to fire safety issues after several months, the second due to the vendor and the third due to both fire safety and water ingress issues. Each time we have stretched the budget further. The third apartment was one they dearly loved and was absolutely perfect. However, the architect and solicitor said it would 7 figures of rebuilding within the next few years and at that price we couldn't afford that risk.

As a result of all of this, thet have been bouncing between our house and a hotel for the post 4 months and thoroughly sick of it. They were reluctant to rent long term as it would eat into their capital and reduce the options of what they can afford.

Last week, the agent from the first place came back to tell us about a property that had just had a sale fall through on it, that we could have if we could get an offer in that was just 7k less than the previous sale agreed price. However it is 30k above the previous place which was already a stretch.

The place is imperfect, for example it has stairs and is a little farther from the centre of Dun Laoghaire then they'd like, it has nothing in the way of a view from any window, while the last property had a lovely view where you could just about see the sea.

However, after having looked for so long and being so frazzled we put it in the offer and it was accepted. To make it work, I need to give them a 'loan', which I can manage but the are uncomfortable with it.

None of us have slept since the last apartment fell through and I have no idea what the right thing to do is here. Currently I am thinking they just need to get in somewhere and take a breath but I just don't feel I am thinking entirely correctly.

If anyone can offer any advice or thoughts, I would really love to hear it.

Thanks in advance!
 

Leper

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My feelings and thoughts on the matter:-
1. I must commend you for reaching out to your parents and offering them a "loan" of a considerable amount of money to help them achieve their objective. I'm guessing that this loan won't be repaid to you financially during their lifetime (nothing inferred and it's none of my business).
2. I bet your parents were kind in many ways to you over the years and now you are returning some kindness. Your parents are not comfortable with your financial "loan" and I can identify with that. We've advised all our children (now adults) that their "financial independence" is the key to any happy future. Your parents think no differently. It's just the other way round.
3. Let's say you had wished to join your parents in France and live near them. It would not have been prudent for you to jump in and buy whatever is available. Moving to any area needs lots of effort especially in old age. Like what has been pointed out rent in the area before buying and this reduces the risks and the money paid is not a bad investment.
4. Your parents need to live and be independent and over-investing would considerably interfere with this. You're taking the hit on the chin and you know what? - there are far more problems around than just money.
5. Perhaps you have brothers/sisters who wish to "contribute" - if so, a chat on-the-quiet might alleviate matters.
 
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NoRegretsCoyote

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It's kind of hard to give advice when we don't have an idea of your parents' capital and pension income, and your own income and wealth.

I think renting makes sense. Rents have fallen a bit and there is plenty on the market at the moment.

Renting will help them get a feel for what works and what doesn't, and they can pounce when they want.

Agree with Brendan that ground floor makes most sense for people of their age. Newer apartments (post around 2000) generally have wider entrances more suitable for people in a wheelchair or with reduced mobility. You should look out for this.
 

iamaspinner

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177
I wouldn't rule out anything other than a ground floor. Some apartment blocks have lifts. I live in a top floor (with lift) and am very happy not to be woken up every morning buy my non-existent upstair neighbours!

To the OP, I appreciate that you're all at your wits end and I'm not. But like others, I'd say this kind of decisions must be made with a clear head and it sounds like that's not the case right now. Renting would give you all some much needed space, both physical and mental.
 

Thirsty

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Thinking wider, would you consider pooling your resources and buying a property that had an attached apartment or the potential for creating one?
 

almostthere

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Dun Laoghaire is an expensive place to purchase. What other areas have you looked at nearby? There are some nice areas, close to supermarkets, transport etc. that might be more suitable.
I think I would count to 10 before moving forward with your plan.
 

Leo

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Agree with the others, there is very little on the market at the moment and the estate agent may be sensing your desperation and rightfully trying to secure the best deal for their clients. They could offer less than the agent is seeking and look at renting until something suitable comes up.
 

dereko1969

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What sort of budget are you looking at? Because you mention one of the apartments needing more than a million to fix up (7 figure sum) which seems very odd when you're having issues with a 7k increase in bid as well as a 30k increase on the previous limit.
 

Leo

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What sort of budget are you looking at? Because you mention one of the apartments needing more than a million to fix up (7 figure sum) which seems very odd when you're having issues with a 7k increase in bid as well as a 30k increase on the previous limit.
I presume that would be split among the units.
 

SleeplessInDunL

New Member
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Wow, thank you to everyone who has responded. I usually have a sense of what the best thing to do is, and it is totally absent in this case so I am just continually second guessing myself. I've also realised that they are looking to me to decide what is best much more than I had realised so I have to be somewhat careful in what I suggest.

I can afford to give the 'loan' out of my own savings, it isn't a problem for me (a small problem for my partner, but manageable!). Their current income from pensions is around €3.6k per month.

Prior to this property becoming available (and we just went sale agreed today, including paying a booking deposit), I had already arranged for them to take a 12 month lease on an apartment in the same building as the one they loved. I wanted them to stop being in a position of desperation where they were lurching from one property to the next and the continuous crises. They are supposed to move in tomorrow and sign the lease. The lease of course, states that if they break the lease before the end of the lease term, they both lose their deposit and are liable for any rent until it is let to a different tenant.

The property they have gone sale agreed on is a small house, thus the stairs. The price is 560k. They do love the space of it - as a house, it has 30% more space than the biggest apartment they looked at as well as a private back garden and own entrance. It is in very good, turnkey condition.

I feel like we are committing to two contradictory paths at the same time - signing a lease and going sale agreed on a house at the same time (with the expectation that we can close on the house by Christmas), and I don't know which is better.

We could take the 12 months rent and keep an eye out for something which is 'perfect', yet perfection has not been found in a year of searching. They are in their 80s. There is a pandemic happening, they want to be somewhere and be able to unpack all of their stuff which is currently in storage. The apartment is fully furnished so they would not have the opportunity of unpacking there.

How long can they put their lives on hold? Should they just take something now that is imperfect but their new lives in Dun Laoghaire can actually start? They don't want to consider anywhere else - they want to be somewhere they can walk to anything they could ever want as I have forbidden them from driving again - for good reason.

Yes, the 7 figure sum for repairs would be split across all units, the cost to their unit would likely be in the region of €70-90k.
 

sadie

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Take the house. If you haven't found anything in a year then you are not compromising enough.
If there is room to turn a downstairs room into a bedroom at a later stage that might work if someone gets immobile.
If they can walk to the sea and to shops/church post office - whatever else then it sounds OK. I would go with the house even if it's not perfect.
The private garden (hopefully it gets some sun) will be an absolute godsend for two elderly people.
It will provide a lot of entertainment and occupation in the summer months. Bird feeders etc. there's always something to do and something to look at.
The house will be a better long term use of everyone's money. Neither of them might become immobile.
If that happened you could rent out the house and use the rent to rent them an apartment at that stage.
 

luckystar

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I think I’d go with the house, a stairlift can always go in. House in theory should offer far more privacy. The one thing you can’t change is location - nail that one.

but if it was me I’d strongly consider a rental until the ideal place comes up. My understanding re RTB is under 6 months either party can part ways with 28 days notice
 
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