Weighing Your Options, Paying for Care: Renovate, Sell or Rent

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Weighing Your Options, Paying for Care: Renovate, Sell or Rent

Assisted living can be an ideal solution for older adults who need care, but some people simply can’t pack up their entire house and move. If you’re a senior homeowner, deciding what to do with your house can seem difficult. Selling might be your only hope of financing assisted living, though you may be reluctant to part with your home because it reminds you of happier times. If you’re not sure what to do, rest assured that you have options.  

Time for Assisted Living?

If mobility has become an issue and normal activities of daily living are too difficult, it’s probably time to consider moving into an assisted living facility. Most communities these days offer a wide range of activities, allowing you to thrive physically and mentally. However, you need to do some research and visit different communities, as they differ in amenities and pricing.

Selling Your Home

Putting your house on the market makes good financial sense if you’re unable to continue living at home. Assisted living combines the care you need with an active lifestyle, but it’s expensive and can be out of reach for older adults who lack financial resources. If that describes your situation, then you probably need the capital that a home sale can provide. Your earnings can help cover moving expenses and the month-to-month fees that assisted living communities require. It also means you’ll be free of burdensome mortgage payments and home maintenance expenses. You can use a home-sale-proceeds calculator to get an estimated sale price for your home.

If you’re worried that the proceeds from your home sale will eventually run out, consider purchasing a lifetime annuity, which guarantees an ongoing monthly income. It’s a smart move and a more attractive option than watching it slowly dwindle away. Unfortunately, selling a house can take time, sometimes months. If that happens to you, a short-term bridge loan can see you through until you’re able to find a buyer, or if you need to hire an architect who can renovate your home and get it ready to sell or rent.

An Architect’s Touch

Your home’s layout may not be conducive to renting or reselling; if so, consider consulting an architect about making renovations. According to BobVila.com, you need an architect, not just a builder, for a renovation. The reason: An architect is trained to envision the big picture and can ensure that your design concept comes to fruition. Architects combine a sensitivity to aesthetic nuance with knowledge of building code requirements.


Renovations can turn your home into an attractive rental property. Whether it’s for short or long term, renting provides an ongoing monthly revenue that can pay for assisted living care. However, if you’re interested in this option, keep in mind that a paid-off mortgage is usually the best scenario; otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of that monthly revenue to mortgage upkeep and general maintenance expenses. Presumably, an older adult moving to assisted living would find it difficult to play the role of landlord, take care of maintenance, and meet a tenant’s needs. You may need to find a younger relative who can take care of the property or even hire a property manager if renting is going to be a viable option. When hiring a rental manager, look for a company that provides quick online booking and an on-site team for 24-hour support.

Bear in mind that renting isn’t an option if you’re planning on using Medicaid as a source of financial assistance. A home not lived in by a Medicare beneficiary isn’t considered an exempt asset, meaning you need to live there or sell it and use the proceeds to finance assisted living.

Many seniors thrive in assisted living, enjoy making new acquaintances and engaging in new pursuits that keep them stimulated and busy for many years to come. Assisted living facilities provide the care you need, but remember that they’re not all the same. So, do plenty of comparison shopping and take the time to find a place you can call home.