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Elderly Relative Wants To Buy

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Hi HPCers

I'm wondering whether you can help. I have an elderly relative who has been renting for a while but has now come into some money and is looking to buy. Here's an example of the sort of thing they are looking at.


They would be a complete cash buyer. Their current landlord is looking to sell up so there are constant visits from people looking round which isn't very pleasant for them. The relative is pretty fed up with the uncertainty of the current renting situation (no rental contract) and believes that buying would give them a more secure future. Also, the returns they have had from investing the money have been so low that buying and therefore not paying rent would provide a better 'return'.

I've pointed out the risk of a fall in value of a purchased propety and that all of their eggs would be in one basket but I've been pushing the HPC line for so many years now it's starting to get hard to keep it going, even with a change finally looking like it's just peeking over the horizon. It'd be incredibly galling to have encouraged them for years to put off buying in a rising market only to have them end up buying at the peak.

Anyone able to add anything to back up my argument?


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Don't forget to ask about the service charge and length of lease. Also if there's a lift....looks nice but good to look to the future and will the flat be OK if there are any future health issues?

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Personally I wouldn't try to advise. If the person has set their heart on buying, the only sort of advice they'll want, or probably take any notice of, is that which agrees with them. And if your advice turns out to be correct, and the value goes down, they will very likely resent you for being right. Best to keep your own counsel, IMO.

Given the combined circs of coming into money, and being mucked about by a LL so that they have to move anyway, maybe it's not so surprising that they want to buy.

Previous advice about service/maintenance charges etc. is very sound. Many EAs will not volunteer this info and not even know if asked. Best to insist on all this in very specific writing.

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If they're getting their rent aid or are on benifits then it's not worth buying at retirement age, tell them to go and spend the money and wenjoy themselves! If they're paying the rent out of their own income and the rent's more than the interest they could get from 'Rate Setter' or 'Zopa' then it would be worth them buying a place.

It's might be worth them considering shared ownership too.

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