What Downsizing Seniors Can Do With Their Current Homes
Now that you’ve made the decision to downsize, you’re faced with another difficult choice: what to do with your current home. When it comes to moving on from your home, you can choose to leave it to a family member, turn it into a rental property or sell the property. Each of these options comes with their pros and cons, though, so it’s worthwhile to know what you’re getting into before making a commitment.
Transfer of Ownership
In this option, you would transfer ownership of the property to a loved one. You would need to consult with an attorney to complete what is known as a quitclaim deed which transfers ownership from you to a child. The process is a fairly simple one where you’re no longer responsible for the home, but it’s still in the family. Be careful with this one, though, because according to Music City Estate Law, there can be consequences when a transfer is made. Make sure your lawyer advises you about potential issues with the gift tax as well the capital gains taxes your child may face if they decide to sell it. Transferring ownership may also affect your ability to claim Medicaid benefits towards senior living facility costs as well.
Become a Landlord
If you’re thinking about putting your house up for rent, then Nationwide has some helpful advice for you. You’ll need to determine a set of requirements that both you and your tenant(s) are expected to follow. These should include the rent, lease terms, and maintenance. Next, you’ll need to find a tenant that’s the best fit and get in touch with a property manager that can take care of the day-to-day responsibilities. While being a landlord has the advantage of bringing in a monthly income and tax deductions, it can also come with high start-up and maintenance costs.
Put the Home on the Market
According to The Balance, there are a number of things you’ll need to think about when putting your home up for sale. It’s suggested that you enlist the help of a real estate agent to give you advice on what buyers like in a house and getting the word out about your property. It’s also vital to know what your selling price should be by checking on sales prices in your neighborhood. In Naples, the average home sale price is $325,000. You should also be prepared to host open houses and get movers in place as soon as possible so you can move out of the home quickly when the sale goes through. While you won’t have a monthly income, you’ll have a lump sum that you can use to pay for your expenses or invest if possible.
Getting the House Ready
Regardless of what you’ve decided to do with your home, you’ll need to get the house ready for the move. You should be prepared to sort through your personal items and decide what you can keep, donate or even sell if possible. When packing, be sure to start early and get help from friends and loved ones so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming. Make sure you put your important documents somewhere safe so you can find them easily (e.g., a lock box, which you can find for less than $35 on Amazon). While you can tackle moving by yourself, it’s recommended that you hire professional movers so there is less hassle. A senior-friendly moving service knows how to handle the special moving needs older adults usually have.
It may have been hard to make the decision to downsize, but knowing what to do with your house shouldn’t have to be. The tips in this article can be useful for comparing your options and choosing which one is right for you. Just make sure the one you choose also takes your future needs into consideration.
According to SmartAsset, the best place to retire in the United States, and one of the best places to retire in the entire world, is none other than Naples, Florida.
SmartAsset reps explained that it came to this conclusion after reviewing the tax burden as well as the prevalence of medical centers, recreation centers, retirement communities, and other seniors.
“The city is in the southwestern region of Florida, situated just on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Naples is such a popular retirement destination that fully half of its population are senior citizens,” reps for SmartAsset explained. “With golf courses galore and ample access to health care facilities, it’s no mystery why.”
It noted, for most Americans, Naples provides a great change of scenery and nearly ideal weather without the burden of having to move to a new country where they may need to adapt to a new culture and language. And, it added, it’s a mere 40-minute drive to a regional airport and just two hours to an international airport, so seniors can continue traveling as much as they’d like.
The only other U.S. destination to make the list was Beverly Hills, California. Though it’s still expensive, SmartAsset said it added it to the list thanks to its proximity to medical care, recreation, and ideal weather.
You have vacationed here for a couple of years. Maybe you’re looking ahead several years towards retirement. You want to buy a home you can enjoy between now and then. Usually this type of buyer wants to buy a condominium they can rent out during Season and use for themselves during the off season. What should our buyer consider with this scenario?
There are several things to think about. The first has to do with the condominium itself. If you want to rent out your condominium, you’ll want to look at it from a seasonal renter’s point of view. Is it clean and up-to-date? Comfortable and well stocked? Can your renter see themselves relaxing on the patio or at the community pool? Are there plenty of towels on hand for use at the pool and beach? How about beach chairs and toys?
Condominiums that are uncluttered, have newer appliances and great views are best. Flat screen TVs with cable and internet access are expected standard features these days. While most seasonal renters will go out to eat, they’ll want to know that the kitchen is well-equipped and there’s plenty of room for dining in if they choose.
Everything in the condominium should be in working order. When looking to buy, even though you might not mind dealing with certain blemishes the condominium may have, this is not so for your seasonal renter; they are staying for a limited amount of time and will not be happy if something isn’t working properly and they have to wait for repairs. They’ll be even less happy if they’re told they need to take time out of their vacation to be present when a repair person comes by. And please keep in mind that during season tradespeople are quite busy, so it’s tough to get prompt service. Happy renters come back year after year. It all starts with buying and preparing your condominium with the above in mind.
Next to consider is the community you select. The larger communities offer the most amenities. Something that I have learned is that these first-time buyers eventually decide to spend more time here. If that’s even a remote possibility for you, then I recommend looking at a community that offers multiple types of homes; not just one type of condominium, but also larger condominiums, villas and single-family homes. That way, as you make friends in the community over the years, you won’t need to move away from people and a community you’ve grown to love if your lifestyle changes.
Another thing to consider when selecting a community is whether or not the homeowner’s association is financially sound. Do they have adequate reserve funds? When the economy slumped several years ago, some communities were not prepared and they had to assess homeowners to make up for financial shortfalls. Your Realtor® will know which ones are stronger. They’ll also be able to assist you with other inquiries, for example if the community has a golf course, how easy is it to transfer the membership to your renter and how much does the homeowner’s association charge for that transfer?
Like buying a new car, you can test drive a community. Go there at different times to get a feel for the community. Most will let your Realtor® bring you in for lunch or dinner to evaluate their service. Golf course communities may even allow you to play a round of golf to check out the course. This kind of access can be a great way to really get a feel for the community you’re considering.
Once you decide where to buy, your Realtor® will provide a series of documents for you to review, but while you’re still considering your purchase, look at the rules and regulations of the community, as well as what’s called a Condominium Question and Answer Sheet. This fact sheet can give you some insight about the homeowner’s association you would not be aware of otherwise.
It’s an exciting adventure to find the right second home and there are a lot of things to take into consideration. I encourage you to let your Realtor® with their knowledge and experience be your helpful guide.