There is probably nothing sweeter than getting rich and being able to buy your mother a home. You notice that's the first thing celebrities do with their newfound wealth? It's a way of saying thanks, mom, for all your sacrifice. But one thing I always wonder is whether these celebs realize that they've really just bought themselves a home -- because homes require more than the payment for the home. There are yearly property taxes; there's heat and hot water; there are upgrades and fixes. If mom couldn't afford a mansion before her kid got famous, chances are she won't be able to afford it afterward either.
But people have a tendency not to think long-term -- and who ever thinks the money will run out? A former Olympic gold medalist found that out the hard way. He had to evict his mother -- and his siblings -- from the home he bought for them three decades ago.
Back in 1984, boxing champ Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker bought his mom a two-story brick home in Virginia when he was rolling in dough fresh off his triumph at the Olympics. But a boxing career isn't necessarily one that will pay off over decades -- unless maybe you're Muhammad Ali.
After awhile, the money stopped rolling in, and soon Whitaker found himself in debt and unable to pay for the upkeep of the home. But his mother, now 73, and several of his siblings were living there. So he gave them a choice -- either contribute to upkeep of the home or get out. They reportedly did neither. So he took them to court.
His lawyer says the situation is "sad" but notes the home would have gone into foreclosure anyway, as it had two mortgages on it that he could no longer pay.
First lesson if you buy a relative a home: Make sure you pay for the home in full. Don't take out any additional mortgages on it. And budget to make sure that you can pay the costs of the home for the next however-many years mom will likely be alive. Sounds like Whitaker didn't do that.
Since Whitaker still owned the home and his agreement to pay for it for his mom was verbal, the judge ruled it wasn't binding and evicted his family.
But don't worry, mom at least has a place to go. Now she'll live with one of her daughters.
Could YOU evict your mom? I can't think of a more difficult scenario. No one likes to think of mom out on the street -- and it's not always possible for mom, plus many of your siblings, to live with you. But it sounds like this guy had no choice.
One of his sisters reportedly said of the former boxer: "He’ll be a son forever until death do us part, but he is putting a rip through the family."
But Whitaker sounds happy about the whole thing, saying, "After 30 years, it's a beautiful moment."
Could you evict mom?
Image via WVEC