seniors holding mini home

Moving into an assisted living community is a beneficial decision for many seniors. If you notice common signs that you may need some support with your day-to-day routine, assisted living can help you maintain your independence and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Before making the big move, take some time to research and tour different assisted living facilities. Learn about the atmosphere, staff, and amenities offered at different places. It’s also important to consider the cost before making your selection. Regardless of where you live, give yourself time to review facilities, both in-person and online, so you can find the perfect fit.

If it’s time to move into assisted living, you must also decide what to do with the family home. Do you sell it? Rent it out? Give it to a family member? There are pros and cons to every option. Here are some things to consider before moving out of your home.

Cashing in by Selling Your Home

Before selling your home, you need to gather the appropriate paperwork (title report, deed, etc.) and consider the financial implications carefully. The profits from selling your home can help you pay for your assisted living expenses. Selling also means you don’t have to worry about covering your existing expenses like property taxes, insurance, and utilities. Selling your home may also be a good idea if you want to apply for Medicaid to cover your care expenses—Medicaid requires you to use up your assets before seeking assistance.

Remember, if you’ve lived in your home for some time, it may need some upgrades or repairs. According to USA Today, home renovations with the highest return on investment include budget kitchen and bathroom remodels, flooring replacements, and energy-efficient upgrades. It’s important to consider these costs before deciding to sell. Depending on the state of your home and your local real estate market, selling your home may not be the best option.

Renting the Home to Fund Your Care

If you want to remain a homeowner, consider renting out your home. The big advantage of renting is that you will receive regular, monthly income that you can use to fund your care or continue paying off your existing mortgage.

While managing a rental is a lot of work, you can hire a property manager to take care of everything for you. Of course, this comes with a cost. Property managers charge a variety of fees that typically include a percentage of the monthly rent. You’ll also have to cover the costs of maintenance or repairs to make your home accommodating to tenants.

If you don’t have another way to pay for your care and you still have a mortgage, renting may not be an option. It’s unlikely that you can charge high enough rent to cover your home expenses as well as assisted living care. SmartAsset recommends finding out what other landlords are charging in your neighborhood to determine how much profit you can expect.

Leaving Your Home in the Care of a Family Member

Having a loved one take over the care of your home is another way to keep it in the family. While this option may not help you pay for your care, it can allow you to qualify for Medicaid. You may be able to transfer your home without a Medicaid penalty to a spouse or a child, depending on your particular situation.

According to Investopedia, there are some reasons why you may not want to give your home to your child. Even if you don’t need the money right now, you may need it someday if you end up requiring skilled nursing in the future. Transferring the home to a child may also leave them with significant financial burdens in the form of property taxes or mortgage payments.

Deciding what to do with a home when moving into assisted living is tough. Ultimately, this is a personal decision that is best made after you’ve had time to adjust to your new life. Talk to your family and seek advice from a financial advisor if you need help sorting through your options.