I’m Moving into a Nursing Home, What Should I Do With My House?

There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. What you choose to do at the time of moving to an assisted living center depends entirely on your situation. Or, maybe, your parent is needing to move into a nursing home and you’re the one responsible for determining which route is best to take. Regardless of who is making the final decisions about the transition, consider all of your options and choose which best serves you and your family.

Before Moving into Nursing Home, Consider Your Options:

  • How much will living costs be at your new assisted living center? What can you afford?
  • What is your home currently worth?
  • What do you need to prepare for if you choose to sell it?
  • Are there any repairs or maintenance required before selling?
  • When is a good time to make the move and relocate?

Option 1: Rent your house out to support costs. By retaining ownership and renting out your home, you may be able to use the profit from the property to cover assisted living expenses. Because nursing homes can be very costly, this could alleviate a lot of stress. In addition to covering your monthly costs, the money earned from your renters may be able to provide financial support for everyday expenses (groceries, travel, etc.). The major caveat to keeping the property under your ownership and renting it is the fact that you’ll have to manage the property. In some cases, property management can be easy if you have good tenants. In others, it can be added stress to your life.  Your other option is to have a family member take over landlord duties for you. If you don’t have anyone that can take on that responsibility, this may not be your best option. The one thing we’d recommend you not do: don’t do nothing. By not doing anything as you transition into assisted living, your home will sit vacant while you’re still paying for it. So whatever you do, do something with your real estate asset so it isn’t costing you unnecessarily.

Option 2: Transfer your home. Many elderly choose to transfer their properties to a family member when it comes time to move into a nursing home. If you choose to go this route, be sure to consult with an elder law attorney so you are protected. This can be a good idea if you’re concerned with the possibility that Medicaid (or Medi-Cal in our case in California) will go after your assets to cover costs. But, you can easily incur costs or penalties if you do this incorrectly. A home can be transferred without a penalty to a spouse or to a child under the age of 21, or to an adult child who has a disability. In California the laws are looser because it has not implemented the DRA, so you may be able to transfer to a trust or any one…but do your due diligence, and consider how this will help support you financially.

Option 3: Sell your home before moving. If you have a lot of equity in your home, there can be some immediate benefits in selling and unlocking that equity to support you financially for years to come. If you do choose to sell, there are some things you should keep in mind: work with someone you can trust, understand the sales process and which aspects you’re okay with, and consult with an expert before you list about pricing your home to sell.

Should I sell before or after I move into my new home? This also depends entirely on your situation. If you choose to sell the home with an agent, consider the fact that you will be required to prepare the home for showings, which could mean maintenance and repairs. Once it’s time to put the home on the market, you’ll also have to accommodate buyer showings, which can be very inconvenient for some. In most cases, it is easiest to make the transition of moving into a nursing home before you list your current home. This will give you and your family the opportunity to clean and declutter before it’s listed, and you won’t have to plan your life around open houses.

Is there a Simpler Way to Sell before the Assisted Living Move?

An alternative solution to selling with less hassle, would be to sell directly to a cash property buyer like us. In this scenario, you wouldn’t have to be concerned with getting the home ready to sell by making any repairs or doing any cleaning. Another great added bonus, is you can take what you want to bring with you to your new home, and leave what you don’t. It can be incredible easily to accumulate belongings and things over the course of your life, and you may be surprised by how much you have to sort through when it comes to time to move. We can help you by coordinating a garage sale and obviously have family come by to take keepsakes, but don’t give the junk or things you want to throw a way a thought. We’ll take care of it all. In addition, you don’t have to stress about the transaction being long and drawn out. You simply tell us when you’d like to move out, and we schedule your closing date accordingly.