Annexes are not only highly desirable for people with older relatives. Extra space that can be used for working from home or as accommodation for a younger person not at university or college is very much sought after.
First, how you decide to finance your purchase can be complicated if your relative is hoping to get a mortgage.
This is because many lenders won’t do this on only a part share in a property.
Also, there’s usually an age restriction meaning your relative may not qualify for lending.
Your solicitor will be able to give you more detail on the ownership implications.
All parties need to think about the following questions both for the present and the future:
Is your relative going to pay a lump sum on the purchase or make monthly contributions?
Will you be able to afford it in the event something happens to them?
What is happening to your relative’s own home?
Are you selling it to partly fund the new purchase?
Or are you planning to rent it out to generate a monthly income?
Manage the stress
You need to fully agree on what is going to happen to your relative’s current property and factor in emotional attachments they may have to it.
It may hold many happy memories for them and coming to sell it may be harder than they imagine.
Depending on what kind of property it is can dictate how long it takes to sell and you need to have a plan if they sell before the annexe is ready.
Do you have room to accommodate them and what about their belongings?
Helping them to move can also take a lot longer than you might think because they will be downsizing.
Plan ahead with the purchase
Joint ownership as tenants in common is often how people buy a property with an annexe because it allows each of you to own a fixed share that reflects the different contributions you’ve made.
However, in the event of your relative passing away, their share will pass to the person they’ve indicated in their will.
This can result in you sharing your home legally with someone you’d never intended to.
You also need to make provisions for what happens if your relative needs to go into care in the future or if indeed something happens to you or if you want to move.
Your solicitor can help with all this.
Once you’ve found the right property to buy with an existing annexe or potential to create one, you need to future-proof it. Think how the annexe will meet the needs of your relative as they get older.
Think of features which may be a help rather than a hindrance, such as:
Something on one level is going to be better than stairs.
A separate garden is a fantastic idea but will they be able to look after it?
Low maintenance with a non-slip floor is a good idea with wide doorways that can accommodate a wheelchair.
A wet room rather than a bathroom and no shower cubicle can be more practical.
Also, think about safety and accessibility:
An open fire may not be such a good idea as it could be a safety risk.
Think about plug sockets and light switches being in easy reach and not positioned too low or high.
Think about how windows open; can someone older manage the catches?
Are the kitchen cupboards out of reach for them?
What about when they get older and need special care:
Consider installing a panic warning system so your relative can get help if something goes wrong.
How easy would it be to introduce equipment you may need for someone elderly as time goes on?
Could you get a hospital bed through the door?
And although it’s hard, what you would do with the space in the event of your relative passing away:
Could you manage using the annexe for something else?
Could you manage financially not using the annexe at all?
Using a professional property finder to buy a house with a granny annexe
So, there are many considerations when buying a house with a ‘granny annexe.’ There are many things to think about which involve the emotions too.
With this kind of purchase, you need someone trained to look at all options to find the right property.
Please contact Garrington as we have a trained team who can find a property with an annexe that matches your individual needs.
Save time and money finding the perfect property with the help of a buying agent