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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>DH has a job interview 20 minutes from where he grew up.  We have comtemplated moving for awhile into his GMIL's empty house.  Technically, it still belongs to DH's grandmother (she lives 1/2 mile away with one of her children).  She is way too old and frail to live alone (she was 94 last month and had a severe stroke a couple years back.)  The house is in a trust and when she dies all the assets go into this LLC that four of her five living children set up.  So while no one has official guardanship they all have there hands in the pie so to speak.</p>
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<p>The house is circa 1860's and well it has indoor plumbing it is pretty rustic.  It has a very, very long drive way.  I think there is going to be differences of opinion about what would be market rent for this place and what to do with GMIL possessions that are in the house. </p>
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<p>Any thoughts on how to not make it a huge drama and fair to all parties.</p>
 

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<p>I don't have easy answers.  My father has gone through this with his family's rural property, and the house I bought went through a foggy period like this for 7 years with it's ancestral family before it went on the market.</p>
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<p>I personally think the family will need a real sit down to discuss what everyone's needs and desires are with the house.  There's a lot of emotion wrapped up in old family homes.  I also think after that discussion some real legal documents need to be drawn up.  The trust should have someone who is overseeing the details and can act as technical owner if there is an impasse.</p>
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<p>Our family handled things by moving my grandmother's things out of the home and they were willed after her death.  We made sure everyone had a say about items of sentimental value.  We sold the house and split the sales amongst the children.  Since you are not selling and are figuring out rent for potentially yourself, that's trickier.  The cost of upkeeping older houses is high and the potential damage of the house if no one lives in it is higher.  We had thousands of dollars worth of water damage in our house to deal with because the families had left it vacant.  Pipes (from already "rustic" plumbing) rusted to the point of disintegrating, ceilings were damaged by moisture from the house being left unheated, even the furnace piping had water damage.  If the house is paid off and you are paying the utilities and upkeep, I think you actually shouldn't be paying rent, as you have done the family a service by keeping the house in repair.  As to how to state this without drama, I really don't know, it depends on how everyone gets along.  But if you worded it like, "We can take care of the place for everyone and stay on at the old house awhile as DH has a near by job.  Is there anything we could do for the house if we lived there?"  If the house is in good enough condition that it doesn't need significant repair and upkeep, and the family feels rent is fair, then maybe you should base the rent on what others in the community are charging.  It might take asking around as rentals are less common in rural locations, but they are there and there is probably an unspoken going rate.  Then the rent could be shared amongst family.  But in that case you shouldn't be left with significant utility costs (if it's cold where you live, remember old homes usually are less insulated and more costly to keep) and you shouldn't be the ones fixing the house.</p>
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<p>Also, you didn't say how used <em>you</em> are to rural living.  I'm born into it and love it, but it can be a little overwhelming if it's not what you're accustomed to.  I tried to prepare everyone for the move to the <em>community</em> more so than the house when we decided to move to our very rural location.  We spent a few months coming to the house on weekends before moving in all the way and used time to meet neighbours and learn some local news.  We planned for what sort of things we could do for recreation and made sure we had what we needed to make our own (for us: gardening supplies, wine making supplies, enough computer games for DH, kids joined some sports, started going to church just to meet the neighbours and now it stuck!).</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>My actual experience living in the country are pretty limited.  My "homesteading" skills set is much larger.  I grew up in town on a 20 acre parcel with chickens, a huge garden, a small barn, and wood heat. DH and I are eager to do these things.  DS1 loves it there.  DS2 is six and a bit less into it, but I think he will be fine too.</p>
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<p>We have lived the last several months in a town of 1300 and I really like walking to work, school, the bank, the library, etc.  We will be more car reliant.  We will have a ton of family around which we don't have at all currently.  I think the home I live in currently is a hundred years newer but it has some of the same issues and has been good practice.</p>
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<p>While getting down the driveway in a blizzard will be a PITA it is acutally <strong>less</strong> isolated from city stuff than our current location. We have a full size four wheel drive pick up too.   We currently live about 40 miles from a place with big box retailers, museums, and resturant variety.  All those sort of things will be about half as far. The things I mentioned walking to currently will be two or three miles away.  The house is actually on a paved road state highway if you can get to the road you should be in good shape.</p>
 

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<p>We live in gmil/gfils farm house- it is rent free and we maintain and fix everything and anything we want to change is fine.  We insulated and never even thought of asking for reimbursement... We also know that DH's mom will inherit the farm- so we don't have to worry about it being sold someday and having to move.  That would be my main concern in your case.  Like I wouldn't want my kids to end up loving it and wanting it to be a forever thing and then have to move in a year...</p>
 

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<p>It sounds pretty convenient if you can get some agreement about rent and stability.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>The trust that the land is currently in prohibits GMIL from selling it.  If any members of the LLC want out they have to first offer it at a discount to the other members so it is highly likely to stay in the family.  The problem is that it goes from having one owner to four when GMIL passes and at the next generation there would be eight owners.</p>
 

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<p>The only sensible thing I could think of is that you'd either stay on rent free but you do any fixing, utilities, upkeep, insulating, etc <em>or</em> you rent at the going rate and the rent is divided between all involved parties (with a discount to your DH being his portion) and expenses are divided between all members.  If I'm reading it right, your DH would be in the next generation of eight owners, which is a little unwieldly, even the four owners is.  My grandmother's house was owned by all four kids before point of sale, but my aunt (who was the oldest) was in charge of overseeing.  Does your family have anyone appointed to oversee?  It could be very slow to make any sort of decision with so many owners.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>My FIL is the current LLC manager, but DH's aunt is GMIL primary caregiver.   If we paid cash rent currently it would go to GMIL.  After she is gone it would go to the LLC. </p>
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<p>DH proposed that we would raise chickens and beef in leui of rent and all family members would get a meat share. </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mnnice</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343963/any-advice-for-making-a-smooth-transition-to-living-in-gmils-house#post_16865326"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>My FIL is the current LLC manager, but DH's aunt is GMIL primary caregiver.   If we paid cash rent currently it would go to GMIL.  After she is gone it would go to the LLC. </p>
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<p>DH proposed that we would raise chickens and beef in leui of rent and all family members would get a meat share. </p>
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<p>I think that's a great proposal!  It's something concrete that everyone would benefit from, and without the serendipity of market price on rentals.<br>
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p>DH's interview went well. Two of the four siblings have responded that favorabily.  One said she would think about it and we haven't heard from the fourth.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks for the update.  I hope it goes well with the other siblings!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<p>DH got an offer and they hammered out the details earlier this week.</p>
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<p>All the sibling were okay, but are going to meet to talk about the details.  They were talking about making a display area of family artifacts like a little musuem somewhere on the property.  It sound pretty neat.</p>
 
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