How to convince elderly parents to move in to an apartment rather than buying a house?

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Mom wants to assume a mortgage at 85 years of age when she has mobility issues and her husband as CPOD, full-time reliance on oxygen and a heart condition rather than renting an apartment and agreeing to some home care support.

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HelpMe, please don't go there. Really, do you and your husband want to buy a house, pay a mortgage and take care of it? And frankly, I suspect that parents would very soon be refusing to pay "rent" and expect to be taken care of for free. This sounds like a bad idea for you and your husband and would delay the inevitable placement in assisted living and nursing home - why would you want to get involved in this train wreck? Sounds like parents need to understand that preserving their way of life is not your responsibility, that in fact it cannot be done unless they are able and willing to pay out tons of money, that no one is obligated to meet unreasonable demands, need I say more?
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HelpMe52, regarding your title question... can your parents even qualify money wise to assume a loan? Plus put a down payment which would be the difference between the amount of the loan and the market value of the house?

As for your husband buying a house and his parent rent from him, the only way he would "profit" is if he charges his parents a higher rent than what are his mortgage payments, plus any future maintenance/repair on the house. Are they able to pay for all the utilities? If they plan to live in a house then they need to take the responsibility that comes with the house, like PAYING for weekly lawn mowing during the season, and PAYING for snow removal especially if the house has a sidewalk that is used by the neighborhood.
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We found that a move from a different part of the country, did not work, with grandma. The change in climate and time change, sent her out of control. She didn't last a week, in the new environment. She had to be flown home and put in a NH.

So, I vote no on this plan to move and certainly "no" to a mortgage. I see it is your husband getting the mortgage. What if either one of them needs medicare in the next 5 years? You don't want your $$ commingled with their's, for sure.

Reading your second post, this just doesn't not sound like a good plan. The grandchildren are going to avoid doing the heavy lifting, I bet. One way to keep from being at their apartment several times a day, is not to start.

Did this couple care for their parents, in this same way?
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Actually my in laws are moving from another part of the country to be closer to their family. My husband would buy them a house and they would rent it from him. His sister their daughter would probably end up doing a lot of care giving when she is available but… as they are elderly and in bad health they will need more help than family members can offer and they are dead set against home care from professionals. They were living rent free in another province and feel any money they spend on rent is a waste yet they are willing to let my husband rent them a house as he will make a 'profit' from it. Very unrealistic as they may only be able to live there for a short time before they need more care than anyone family member can provide. They want all the same perks they had where they lived but expect family to take care of all their needs plus have very specific ideas as to where they want a house bought for them, within walking distance of their grandchildren and expect those kids will shovel snow and cut grass. Won't pay for anything.
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As long as they're going to move, move them into assisted living. Ah, but how to convince them, right? Take your mom on a tour of a few places you've picked out. Let her see how nice and convenient everything is. Work on her a little bit. If she is dead set against it and is insisting on buying a house you can always withdraw your support because you know it's going to be you who cares for that house, not your mom. She's too old. "Mom, if you insist on making such a bad decision then I don't want anything to do with it." I know that'll be difficult but whatever house she buys will become your responsibility.
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Why not leave them where they are and get home care? If they can't cook meals or clean or do laundry, Assisted Living would make more sense.
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