by Rhonda Underhill

 

Transition from the comforts of home to an assisted living facility is a difficult decision that many seniors face. However, an equally tough decision involves choices concerning your present home. You must decide whether to sell it, rent it or allow relatives to take care of it. During your decision making process, consider the following tips that will help you choose carefully.

Selling Your Home

If your home is worth more than what you owe, pulling the equity out of your home seems like an attractive move. By selling your home, you could use the money to pad your budget or pay for assisted living.  Plus, you would be getting rid of all the home ownership costs and duties.

However, there are several factors that you should consider—real estate market conditions, for example. If you sell when home inventory is low, there’s still no guarantee you’ll get an offer above asking price. For clarity on this issue, it would be wise to check with a local real estate agent. Find out the average selling price on homes in your area—for example, in Weston, home sales have averaged $1.46 million over the past month. Also, if you have done any senior friendly-modifications on your present home, ask the agent whether this has affected  the value of your home.

Renting

Renting out your home would give you flexibility. If your health improves, you can always move back home. Not selling your home would protect your assets from tax levies. Equally important, you could possibly enjoy a positive cash flow from the deal. Although you would be taxed on your rental income, you could deduct the expenses related to renting your home. Also, you can claim depreciation on your property.

Allowing Relatives to Oversee your Home

Allowing a trusted relative to take care of your home is a legitimate option. It usually offers you the opportunity to return home. Since the furniture stays, there is no major fuss during the move. However, most of these arrangements are informal with no setrules or guidelines. If the family member moves into your house, moving back in could be problematic. Financially, you would have dual expenses with the house and your assisted care. If you are considering this option, make sure that all parties sign a written agreement that includes all the details.

Making the Move

This time in your life can be very stressful, but being well informed and prepared will help ease the transition. Carefully consider all of your options—selling, renting, or leaving the home to a family member. If you’re going to be renting or selling, don’t go it alone; a real estate agent or property manager will help you get things taken care of so you can focus on moving into assisted living.