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Written By: Andrea Needham
When it’s time to move to assisted living, you might be wondering what you should do with your home. While the need to leave home is often due to a safety issue, that doesn’t mean leaving it behind will be any easier. There are several options to consider and many aspects that influence what is best. Here are the highlights to get you started.
Selling your home is a common choice for seniors heading to assisted living, as there are definite benefits from selling. First, it takes homeownership off your plate entirely, making it one less worry for you and your family members during this time of change. Depending on how much equity you have, it also might give you a sizable amount of money to put towards the cost of assisted living, which is often high and typically isn’t covered by Medicare.
If you do decide to sell your home, it’s essential to make some preparations so you get the best price. HomeAdvisor points out finding a highly experienced realtor can be a big part of those preparations. The right realtor can guide you through several decisions, whether it’s making upgrades, staging the house, or even paint colors. On top of all that, a good realtor will also help take on some of the burdens that come with selling while transitioning to your new life situation.
Renting can be a good option for those that aren’t ready to part with their home yet, or that want to see it make money. This is also a good option for those that aren’t sure they will need assisted living long-term, or whose home is in a highly-desirable area for rentals.
One thing to consider is that you will likely need assistance from a family member, or the help of a professional property manager who can handle the business side of the rental for you since you won’t be able to do any on-site problem-solving.
Landlords are responsible for the home’s maintenance, as well as several other concerns, such as checking out potential tenants and dealing with bad ones. Keep all this in mind if you’re leaning this direction, and be sure to weigh all the costs involved.
Passing down your home to a loved one that would like to continue building memories there is a possible option. While this doesn’t necessarily give you any financial help, there are ways to work around that. If your family member is footing the bill for your care, this could be a way of paying them back.
You can gift it outright, but Block Advisors notes you would need to work through the tax implications related to that choice. You can also gift the maximum allowable and then ‘sell’ the rest of the home. If you have someone in your family that needs a place, you could rent your house to them. There are many ways this situation can work out, but it’s a complex choice best discussed with an attorney and family members.
Did you know that you can actually donate your home? Not only will this provide a decent tax break, but this can also be an excellent way to pay it forward if you don’t need the money to pay for your assisted living.
A Personal Choice
How you decide to handle the outcome of your home after you leave it behind is up to you. Each option has its reasons for why it would work, and you need to decide what will make you the most comfortable. With all the feelings that come with your transitioning lifestyle, the choice ultimately needs to be yours.