There are many factors to consider when decision-making for leaving your home to go into a senior living situation. Depending on a few key factors, you'll need to decide what the best course of action is for you.
- Is the required care a temporary situation?
- Is the home still occupied by a spouse or other party?
- To pay for care is the equity of the home required?
- What other options are available to pay for the care?
- Are there other options available for care financially, Medicare or other government programs?
Is the Care a Long Term Permanent Situation?
If the senior only needs to go into a care facility for rehabilitation, it might make sense to keep their forever home. Once they have completed rehab and are mobile again, they can return back home.
If this move is only temporary and there is no one else living there, let it sit vacant for a while the senior recovers. Keep in mind that there will still be expenses associated with the home during that time, though:
- Regular maintenance and seasonal up keep such as lawn care or snow removal
- Financial obligations, mortgage or other liens
- Homeowners insurance, taxes and HOA dues
Although your home is unoccupied, it's still crucial to frequently check up on its security. This includes making sure that doors are locked, windows are intact, and there are no trespassers. If you live in a colder climate, remember to leave the heat on or winterize your home to avoid frozen pipes.
Always Keep Your Insurance Agent in the Loop: If you chose to leave your property vacant, please speak with your insurance agent. In most cases, standard homeowner policies will not cover claims for houses that have been unoccupied for more than 30 days. You can get special coverage plans for empty homes, but they come at an increased cost.
Is the Home Occupied?
The opportunity to sell may not be available if the home is still occupied.
If the other individual is a spouse, they may prefer to keep ownership and remain in the house. They might desire to stay in the home for an extended time or if they too have health concerns, determine it is time to sell and relocate to a smaller more manageable property.
If your spouse wants to stay in the home but you need to use the equity to pay for care, a reverse mortgage is one potential option. If you or your spouse is on Medicare, we strongly suggest that you seek the counsel of an Elder Law Attorney to comprehend your choices and plan for the future.
Is the Equity Needed to Cover the Cost of Care?
There are several different methods to pay for long-term care. Furthermore, there are particular circumstances that need to be considered when applying for aid programs like Medicaid and the Veterans Administration pension system, which have asset and income restrictions on beneficiaries. Consult with an Elder Law attorney if you have any questions regarding your specific situation.
If no one is living in a property any longer, one of the most effective methods to access its equity is to sell it.
Is Now the Time to Sell?
After you've decided it's time to sell, the next step is to decide how you'll go about selling your property.
- Sell it yourself by owner
- Hire a Realtor to list it on the MLS to the entire market
- Sell it to an Investor As-Is
More than likely the condition of the property and/or time constraints will be the major determining factor.