My daughter and son-in-law want me to live with them. Should I be worried about


My daughter and son-in-law want me to live with them. I am 75 and widowed; they are around 50. My daughter wants to build a home with two master suites. I have more than enough money for a down payment. They have excellent incomes. They would not want me to pay rent. I pay over $1,700 rent where I live now, and have no ties to keep me here. I keep to myself and am happy alone. They both work full time. I love them and would stay out of their way.

They are very good to me. I have no problem letting them choose the house and decorating it their way. My space would still be my own. And my Social Security would become spending/saving money.

Should I be aware of unforeseen consequences? What are the possible pitfalls? My will provides for a distribution of my financial assets among all of my children and grandchildren.

Sincerely,

Joint purchase with family

The Big Move’ is a MarketWatch column looking at the ins and outs of real estate, from navigating the search for a new home to applying for a mortgage.

Do you have a question about buying or selling a home? Do you want to know where your next move should be? Email Jacob Passy at TheBigMove@marketwatch.com.

Dear Joint,

Multigenerational living among families has seen a resurgence in recent years for myriad reasons. A report from Generations United, a public policy nonprofit, found that the number of Americans living in a household with three or more generations has increased 271% between 2011 and 2021. All told, they estimate that 66.7 million Americans over the age of 18 are living in such a household.

While some families find themselves in these situations out of necessity, many proclaim that there are advantages to this method of living. It can strengthen familial bonds, make finances and childcare more manageable and even can improve one’s health.

It’s wonderful that your daughter is being so considerate of your needs as to suggest that you move in together. This could give you a chance to grow closer with your family, but also has very practical benefits. By living with your family, they may be able to provide you with more assistance as you grow older and eliminate the challenges in lining up health care.

But you’re right to be cautious about rushing into such an arrangement, because for all its benefits it does come with some potential pitfalls that are vital to consider.

Financial fiasco?

While the arrangement your daughter and son-in-law devised certainly has its benefits — it can also present some tricky financial intermingling depending on how you all go about financing the home.

You say your daughter doesn’t want you to pay rent, but you also mention that you have enough money saved up for a down payment. To me, that suggests you might be listed on the mortgage as a joint owner. That might not be a bad idea per se — for instance, you might have a higher credit score than they do, which could net them a better interest rate — but it could complicate the mortgage…



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