It’s Your Home, and You Have Options

January 21, 2022

When you’re getting ready to make the big transition to senior living, you’re probably going to have to make a decision about what to do with your current home. Fortunately, you have options.

Should I sell?

Many seniors choose to sell their current homes to fund their retirement. This is a great option if you want to take a lump sum and don’t have heirs. Before you sell, make sure to have all of your proverbial ducks in a row by getting your paperwork in order. You’ll need to have a copy of your sales agreement and title report as well as the deed and any property tax information that you have collected over the years.  Most seniors find that selling their home frees them from the worry of future housing market price fluctuations as well as home maintenance.

Being A Landlord

If you want to keep your home, you might consider leasing it and becoming a landlord. For this, you want to make sure that you can charge more each month than your current mortgage. You also want to brush up on landlord-tenant laws, which Cornell’s Legal Information Institute explains are laws that govern the rental of your of property. Being a landlord does require some time and attention. You can hire a property management firm to take care of the work for you.

Keep It In The Family

Keeping your home in the family might sound like an easy option. However, although your house will remain your property, there may be some downsides to leasing to a loved one. For example, what if they don’t maintain the home or pay you rent?  This might irreparably damage family relationships. It can also lead to tension if you have multiple children as the one living in the home might feel more entitled to a larger share because they’ve taken care of it since you left. If you go this route, make it a legal agreement.

When it comes to your home, you have options. Whether you choose to sell, turn it into an income property, or lease to a family member, do your research first. While they are all viable options, only one is right for you.

 

This article was contributed by Rhonda Underhill.

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