Buying your mom’s house can seem like a very nice opportunity to get a house at a great price, and one you already know and like, whose maintenance and neighborhood are already known to you. If your mom is ready to move out and live elsewhere, you might want to jump on this opportunity. But be careful, cautions attorney Liza Weiman Hanks, in her article on NABBW.com – the National Association of Baby Boomer Women. The transaction could be simplified and avoid broker’s fees, to be sure, but unless you want to deal with issues of gift taxes and/or trust violations, you must make sure of two things. First, the price paid and/or loan made must be at fair market value – no getting off with a ridiculously low price, without tax consequences. And second, if there’s a trust involved, make sure that your plan won’t violate any terms of it. “Get the house appraised, and hire a lawyer,” she advises.
Here’s another thought; even if your mother isn’t ready to move, what about buying her house, moving in, and living as roommates? If you owned the home, the dynamic between you might shift enough to make for a more balanced relationship and an amicable shared living arrangement. If the house is big enough, you might even bring in another roommate too, changing the balance in the home even more in favor of equal status among everyone.