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Guest Post: Andrea Needham
Admitting you need help as a senior can be hard enough without having to worry about your home. If you are preparing for a move to assisted living, you may need some help figuring out which option is best for your home, your budget, and you. That’s why these helpful tips can be so valuable for seniors who are planning for a transition into assisted living.
Before you make the decision to sell your home, you should make sure that is the smartest choice for your situation. Start by using online real estate tools to pull up information about current home prices and sales trends, because these factors can help you determine whether selling your home is a wise financial choice, especially if you are expecting to use the proceeds to help pay for assisted living. In the Cincinnati area, for example, homes are currently selling for an average price of $163,000, and most homes sell for about 3 percent under the asking price. So, you have to weigh the value of your home against these statistics to see if you would have enough left over to cover assisted living expenses.
To learn more about assisted living facilities, use assisted living guides from companies such as A Place for Mom, which connects with 50 centers in the Cincinnati area, to find the best facility for your lifestyle. You’ll want to compare multiple facilities and schedule tours to see your top choices in-person. Monthly rates for Cincinnati assisted living do vary, so call to confirm prices.
If the current housing market is not favorable for selling your home, there is another option for using it to earn some extra income: You could always rent it out. Renting out a home can be a complicated process, so you may want to hire a property manager to take care of all of the smaller tasks that come with becoming a landlord. A quality property manager will be able to handle collecting rent, scheduling maintenance, and helping to attract prospective renters to your property. Before you sign any contracts with a property manager, you should ask about current rental trends and any other pertinent information that could impact how profitable or desirable your property will be. Cincinnati is currently America’s sixth fastest-growing market for rentals, so your listing should be in high demand. Of course, you may need to make some improvements to attract tenants, so include those costs in your budget.
Gifting a home to your children can be a smart financial decision if done correctly. You will likely need to complete either a grant deed or a quitclaim deed, the latter of which tends to be the most common. But you need to make certain that this is the best decision for you and for them. Because once your children own your property, they can sell it or dispose of it as they see fit. So, if there are trust issues or if you still need to live in your home for a while, hold off on this transfer. Another potential issue of gifting your home is dealing with penalties. For one, if you need Medicaid to help with health or long-term care costs in the future, your property gift could be grounds for denial if it occurred in the last five years. Gifting your home could also have consequences for your loved ones, especially if they decide to sell your home in the near future. That sale could be subject to capital gains taxes, which could eat up any profit. So, it’s important to have an honest conversation with your children before you decide to give them your home.
We all need a helping hand sometimes. If you’re a senior who is thinking about moving into an assisted living community, you shouldn’t be stressed out about this choice. You also shouldn’t be stressed out about how to deal with your home after the move. As long as you take time to research and weigh your options, you should be able to make a smart choice.