Monday, January 14, 2019 / by Mike Shoaff
Author: Jim Vogel | November 14th, 2019
What Downsizing Seniors Can Do With Their Current Homes
Now that you’ve made the decision to downsize, you’re faced with another difficult choice: what to do with your current home. When it comes to moving on from your home, you can choose to leave it to a family member, turn it into a rental property or sell the property. Each of these options comes with their pros and cons, though, so it’s worthwhile to know what you’re getting into before making a commitment.
Transfer of Ownership
In this option, you would transfer ownership of the property to a loved one. You would need to consult with an attorney to complete what is known as a quitclaim deed which transfers ownership from you to a child. The process is a fairly simple one where you’re no longer responsible for the home, but it’s still in the family. Be careful with this one, though, because according to Music City Estate Law, there can be consequences when a transfer is made. Make sure your lawyer advises you about potential issues with the gift tax as well the capital gains taxes your child may face if they decide to sell it. Transferring ownership may also affect your ability to claim Medicaid benefits towards senior living facility costs as well.
Become a Landlord
If you’re thinking about putting your house up for rent, then Nationwide has some helpful advice for you. You’ll need to determine a set of requirements that both you and your tenant(s) are expected to follow. These should include the rent, lease terms, and maintenance. Next, you’ll need to find a tenant that’s the best fit and get in touch with a property manager that can take care of the day-to-day responsibilities. While being a landlord has the advantage of bringing in a monthly income and tax deductions, it can also come with high start-up and maintenance costs.
Put the Home on the Market
According to The Balance, there are a number of things you’ll need to think about when putting your home up for sale. It’s suggested that you enlist the help of a real estate agent to give you advice on what buyers like in a house and getting the word out about your property. It’s also vital to know what your selling price should be by checking on sales prices in your neighborhood. In Naples, the average home sale price is $325,000. You should also be prepared to host open houses and get movers in place as soon as possible so you can move out of the home quickly when the sale goes through. While you won’t have a monthly income, you’ll have a lump sum that you can use to pay for your expenses or invest if possible.
Getting the House Ready
Regardless of what you’ve decided to do with your home, you’ll need to get the house ready for the move. You should be prepared to sort through your personal items and decide what you can keep, donate or even sell if possible. When packing, be sure to start early and get help from friends and loved ones so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming. Make sure you put your important documents somewhere safe so you can find them easily (e.g., a lock box, which you can find for less than $35 on Amazon). While you can tackle moving by yourself, it’s recommended that you hire professional movers so there is less hassle. A senior-friendly moving service knows how to handle the special moving needs older adults usually have.
It may have been hard to make the decision to downsize, but knowing what to do with your house shouldn’t have to be. The tips in this article can be useful for comparing your options and choosing which one is right for you. Just make sure the one you choose also takes your future needs into consideration.