Need advice: Buying our house from my aunt.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2005
Need advice: Buying our house from my aunt.
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 10:11am

Hello everyone, I didn't know where to turn for advice, etc so I will try here. To try and summarize, my parents and one of my aunts live in a house that is split 3 ways. It is owned by my grandmother but another aunt of mine is the one who handles all the bills of that property. Now my grandmother passed a few months ago and my aunt wants to sell the house. I believe it is stated in the will or deed that the sale of that property would be split 3 ways between the children of my grandmother so a portion would go to my father, my aunt that lives in a section of that house and another portion to my aunt that handles the bills. My aunt and my parents want to stay living in the property so the idea now is for me and my mom to buy the property from my aunt that handles the bills and from that sale, my father will put his portion towards the house so the mortgage would go lower and my aunt that currently lives there will just pay rent to us every month with her portion. Plus we'll be getting rent from the other renter that lives in the 3rd section currently.

Here I think are the Pros:

The property is split 3 ways so those sections can be rented out separately.

We can always sell the property in the future if things get too complicated.

The property can eventually be paid off and we'd be mortgage free.

It is a strong, sturdy good property that has withstood very strong storms.


Aunt will most likely want to sell the property to us at a high cost to try to make more money out of it.

We dont know how much all the bills will come out to now that we'd be owning it.


Basically I just dont know where to start to protect myself and my mom. Family business is very tricky, I just want to make sure we wont get screwed somehow in the end.

Any recommendations, advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.




iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-15-2013 - 12:05pm

So if I have this correctly, bill paying aunt (who doesn't live there) wants to sell her 1/3 share of the property to you & your mom?  If aunt who lives there owns 1/3 from the inheritance, why would she be paying rent unless you are going to buy her 1/3 also?  Your dad also owns 1/3.  I think you really need good legal advice to decide what to do--is the house paid off now?  Are you refinancing the existing mortgage?  You have to know how much the house is worth and if you think selling aunt wants to price gouge you, then you should agree on a method of figuring out what the house is worth before you talk about money--either agree on an appraiser or you could each select one broker to look at the house and average the prices.  The assessed value for city taxes usually isn't the real value of the house unless you just had a revaluation--it could be either too high or too low (but usually too low).  Why wouldn't you know what the bills would be?  The amount of taxes is a public record and can't you just ask bill paying auntie what the insurance and water bills have been?  Does every apartment have their own  electric and heating bills--they should if you have a tenant.  Other than that, you can have the house inspected (which you should do before you buy it and probably need to do if you are going to get a mortgage) to see if any major repairs are needed. You really need to treat this like a business transaction and not a purchase from a relative (unless she is going to give you a break on the price, which it doesn't sound like).  A bank won't give you a mortgage unless you have a purchase & sale agreement drawn up.