3 Things You Can Do With Your Home When Moving to Assisted Living
Updated: Aug 17
If you or your loved one are a homeowner moving into assisted living, you may already be dealing with a dizzying array of challenges. And when it comes to what you should do with your home, there are even more considerations to make.
First, it’s helpful to understand the three options that seniors face: they can sell their home outright, pass it down to a family member, or turn it into a rental property. There are pros and cons to each option, and your decision will depend on your specific situation and needs.
Today, Suzi Farajiani shares some practical information and advice to ease your stress as you navigate this major transition.
First Thing’s First
Before you decide what to do with your house once you move, obviously, you need to decide where you’re moving to. There are many assisted living options out there – including many to choose from in the Los Angeles area. It can be intimidating, in fact, trying to sort through all the options. A good place to start is by checking online ratings and reviews, making a list of what seem to be the best and most affordable fits for your needs, then contacting them with questions. You should also tour the facilities, if possible, and ask your questions again face-to-face. Once you’ve made that decision, it’s time to decide what to do with your house. There, too, you have options.
1. Sell It
While it requires a lot of work, selling your home could be an excellent option for helping you pay for assisted living. If you go this route, make sure that you research current price trends in your local market to get an idea of what to ask for.
Depending on your specific situation, you may be required to pay capital gains tax if you sell your home before owning and living in it for two years as your principal residence. Therefore, you should seek the advice of your accountant to ensure that you are working with the best tax scenario.
Before selling your home, you will need to get it in tip-top shape so that you can sell it quickly at your desired price. This includes thoroughly decluttering and deep cleaning every room and space, tackling any necessary repairs, and making any improvements to the interior and exterior that can attract buyers. One way to get an idea of what types of upgrades could boost your prospects is to research other homes in your area to see what features buyers are going for.
2. Pass It on to Family
Say that you have family living nearby or who are willing to relocate to live in your home. If you choose to gift your home to a relative, be sure to hire an experienced elder law attorney to help you navigate the process and avoid any unpleasant surprises. Many seniors go this route because they like the idea of keeping their home in the family.
Another option is to keep ownership of your home and let family members live there. If you don’t urgently need funding for your assisted living expenses, this could be a viable option, especially if you have always planned on doing it.
Some seniors opt to do nothing about their homes. However, leaving your home empty is generally regarded as the least desirable option, whether or not you have someone who can go by and check on your property now and then.
You must consider that the bills do not stop coming because you don’t live in your home. You will still have property taxes, utilities, and other costs, and if you neglect to pay your bills, it can negatively impact your credit rating and potentially your estate. Not to mention, InsuranceHub notes that many homeowner policies do not cover damages to an unoccupied property.
3. Rent It Out
Finally, you can make money from your home by renting it out. Many seniors view this as the best option because it allows homeownership while boosting their monthly income. Nonetheless, being a landlord is a lot of responsibility, which is why you should consider hiring a property management company instead of putting that burden on relatives or yourself. Along with taking care of any necessary maintenance, All Property Management points out that a good property manager will effectively promote your property, screen potential tenants, ensure you are timely paid, and maintain positive tenant relationships. Otherwise, if you want to manage the property yourself, learn how to maximize profits by attracting the best tenants and staying on top of any potential maintenance issues.
You have plenty to think about if you or a loved one is about to transition to assisted living. That is why it is best to determine what to do with your home sooner rather than later. Consider the information and advice above as you decide whether to sell, hand down, or rent out your property. And keep researching to learn more about the process involved so that you can minimize unforeseen issues and have peace of mind that you made the right decision.
Article Submission by: Amy Collett