3 Ways You Can Handle Your Home Before Transitioning to Assisted Living

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Moving into assisted living is the safest and healthiest option for many seniors, but in doing so, many leave behind a home full of memories that they created over the course of decades. While the thought of moving out of your home can feel overwhelming, you’ll still need to make the big decision of what to do with it. Here, Big Texas Homebuyers provides some helpful insight.

Choose the Right Community

Depending on the level of care you need, whether it’s assisted living or skilled care, it’s imperative that you find a community that’s a good fit for your lifestyle and circumstances.

This is your first step, and it can be a deciding factor in what you do with your home. Start by using online resources to peruse several communities in the Dallas area. The ideal community will offer social activities, housekeeping, quality meals, and the necessary level of care. Tour the communities you like the most to get a feel for what will be a good fit. Finding a place that you can make a home will go a long way toward making this an easier transition. 

1. Leave It in the Family

After you determine where to live, it’s time to decide on what to do with your home. A home holds sentimental value, especially for the senior who lived there for so many years. You may not wish to see the family home sell just yet, and would prefer that it stayed in the family. You can give it to a loved one, but due to being such a large and generous gift, you’ll run into a few tax implications. You can give $15,000 a year to anyone tax-free, with the rest resulting in either a gift tax or you filing the amount against your lifetime unified tax credit amount of $5.6 million.

Such a large gift could mean a hefty capital gains tax for your loved one should they eventually sell, as well as a transfer penalty for you if you’re on Medicaid. So, is there any easy way to do this with limited consequences? You could simply let your loved one inherit the home, sell it to them at a discount, finance their purchase of it, give it to them via a trust, or see if the bank will let them take over the mortgage.

2. Put Up the ‘For Sale’ Sign

Selling the home is the most common route when you have a home that’s left vacant after an assisted living move. If there isn’t a huge attachment to the home, selling it can offset the cost of assisted living if the current home sale trends work in your favor and the market is hot.

For example, homes in Dallas have sold for a median price of $302,000, which puts a large dent in assisted living costs. Keep in mind that selling requires a lot of work on your end, including sorting, packing, and downsizing your things, and any updates or remodeling that need to be made to help the sale such as painting and fixing poor plumbing. If you’re not in a position to make those repairs or you just need to sell your home as fast as possible, turn to the pros at Big Texas Homebuyers for a speedy solution that meets your needs. 

3. Rent It Out

Selling might not be a feasible option, and perhaps it’s the option you aren’t quite ready for. If so, renting means the home stays while also creating cash flow to pay for assisted living. If you want a loved one to live in the home but don’t want to deal with gift taxes, you could rent the home out to them. Not only will you be able to rest easy knowing someone familiar is living there, but you’ll know without a doubt there is someone trustworthy there to handle upkeep and maintenance.

If this isn’t a possibility, you can still rent it; just use a property management company to help you market the property, screen potential tenants, collect rent, and handle maintenance requests, complaints, and evictions. Keep in mind that these companies typically take 5 to 10 percent of the rent, but less time and headache on your part could outweigh the cost. You may find that being a landlord isn’t as hard as you or your loved one thought, but just remember that help is available if you need it.

It’s not too difficult to deal with the stuff you can’t take with you due to a move into assisted living or skilled care, but the house is a big one. You have some options to consider, and the best route for you will be different from another. Weigh each option, and discuss it with your loved ones, of course, to arrive at the decision that works best for everyone.

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