If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m pretty conscious when it comes to money and consumerism. Being careful with my spending allows me to build a cash cushion. I generally don’t have to worry about bills and small discretionary expenses during the month. My habit of saving also allows me to make an investment whenever a good opportunity presents itself.
That being said, I only spend my money on things that provide me with long term value.
So what the heck was so valuable that I spent $47,000 on? A house for my mom.
My mom’s and sister’s living situation recently changed. They were no longer living with my dad and they had to be suddenly uprooted from their home.
Even though there was a lot of support and family that could take them in temporarily, they were dealing with feelings of being unsettled.
The comfort of having a place to call their own was no longer there for either of them. All their belongings were scattered and some were even inaccessible.
There was no real plan with everything being so sudden. On top of this, they still needed to go to work, pretending that everything was okay.
While we were all trying to process what was going on, my mom had the toughest time adapting. Especially, when she had to come to terms that she could no longer return to the home she maintained for 30 years.
Problems Moving Forward
I took up the mantle in helping my mom move forward in her life. From working with legal services for my mom and dad’s divorce to finding her more permanent living and coaching her to help process her emotions, it was one exhausting month. I’m very grateful for having a supportive family who was involved throughout this transitional phase.
The biggest problem going forward was determining what would be the most ideal living situation for my mom. It was important for her to get her life back together as soon as possible.
The Pipe Dream
A couple of days after everything fell apart, I learned about a townhouse for sale on the same block where my younger brother and his fiance recently bought their home. It was in great condition and completely move-in-ready.
The location alone made it a preferable place for my mom to stay compared to the apartment she looked into.
She would be within a short walk of 3 drug stores, a grocery store, a gym, and best of all, a few minutes away from myself and my brother’s home.
Too bad this thought was just a pipe dream.
My mom already said she didn’t want to buy another home. By her standards, she was “ too old to buy a house”.
For the record, she is only 60. She can still run and beat anyone in a shouting match.
Going back to what she said about being “too old”. I think she meant that it would be too risky for her to empty out her savings for a down payment for a home..
Plus, she made it clear that she was not in a place where she could go through the home buying process and worry about a mortgage as she nears retirement.
Long-term, she didn’t want to stay with any family and didn’t want to get a house, she was deciding on an apartment but really didn’t want that either. She just wanted to return to her old home but knew she couldn’t go back.
Thinking it through
I sat for a while one night just thinking of the entire situation. Then my eyes crossed paths with the binder that I got together for an online real estate course I recently purchased but forgot about with everything that was going on.
I started mindlessly flipping through the pages when I had my “aha!” moment. I could buy the house for my mom. We were saving for an investment property, but there was no better investment than one in my mom’s health.
Not only did my wife think it was a great idea, but my siblings were on board as well.
We reached out to an awesome real estate agent and received a tour of the home the next day.
After the tour, my wife and I saw a smile on my mom’s face that I haven’t seen in what seemed like forever.
Making A Pipe Dream A Reality
After another rundown of all the numbers to be sure the down payment would not put us in the dumps, we further discussed to make sure this is absolutely what we wanted. It was an invigorating experience to make sure a big and sudden move, but we knew this was the best option for my mom.
It was an investment towards her health, happiness, and likely longevity.
Fast forward 30 long days later, the home was ours!
My mom is now living there happily. What she enjoys the most is that she:
- She can bother myself or my brother within minutes of walking/driving if she wanted to.
- She lives in a familiar location and does not need to worry about her commute to/from work.
- She has 3 times as much space as the apartment she was on the waiting list for and is paying less than what she would’ve paid.
- With more space, my sister and her fiance have moved in to save money on housing while they pay off their student loans, save for a wedding, and a house of their own someday.
- She could afford to retire without worrying about housing
Art is the founder of Flexcents, a blog created in 2018 to help others reach their fitness and financial goals through sharing insights as a physical therapist, personal finance nerd, and self-directed investor.