3 Choices Seniors Have When Downsizing

Deciding what to do with your current home once you’ve downsized can be challenging if you’re not sure what your options are. With that in mind, here are the main routes that you have available to you and what they all entail.

Option 1: Keep It in the Family

This is generally the least intensive of the routes you can take. In order to keep your house in the family, you’ll need to hire a lawyer and transfer ownership. You can either choose to be a joint owner with a family member or gift the house directly to your loved one. If you choose the former, you’ll still maintain some property rights, and there will be no hassle in deciding who owns the home upon your passing.

There can be tax consequences to taking these steps, so make sure you have all the information before going through with this. Per Investopedia, transferring ownership to a loved one may have implications for them when it comes to handing over a house that still has a mortgage.

Option 2: Become a Landlord

On the surface, this might seem like an attractive option for earning some extra money. Before you get comfortable with the idea, make sure you know what the process entails. As the Nest explains, you should determine if your property is eligible for rent before moving forward. If you’re still making mortgage payments, your lender may prohibit you from renting the house.

If all is well, you can move on to the next step. You’ll need to get the house checked by an inspector (usually runs $300–$500). That way you’ll know if there are any areas that need to be fixed before a tenant can move in.

Once the property is rented, RentPrep points out you’ll have to fulfill your responsibilities as a landlord, including purchasing landlord insurance, maintaining building safety, and performing repairs as required. If you can’t handle these responsibilities, you’ll likely need to hire a property manager to deal with the main duties, but you’ll still be the one who is responsible for any issues.

Option 3: Put Up the House for Sale

With this option, you can still add to your cash flow if you use the funds from the sale wisely. The steps involved in selling a house start with knowing how much it’s worth. Having determined that, you can get the property ready for sale by making major repairs, getting rid of clutter. Once it’s ready, you’ll be able to market the home and show the house to prospective buyers until you get to a signed contract.

While you can try to sell the home yourself, there are some distinct advantages to hiring a real estate agent. When you work with Mary, you get the benefits of their experience when it comes to negotiating with buyers and getting the right price for your home. But not all real estate agents are the same. You should make sure you screen potential agents before selecting the right one for you.

Move Like a Pro

Once you’ve decided what to do with your home, you can shift your focus to getting ready for the move. You’ll need to start planning your move as early as possible so you can have a schedule in place. Make sure to get help from friends and loved ones, so packing can be a breeze.

To enjoy a hassle-free move, consider outsourcing the biggest part of the work. Do an online search for the best moving companies near me to reduce your stress. By leaving packing, moving, and heavy lifting in the hands of the professionals, you can focus on tasks like transferring your utilities, getting your driver’s license and registration updated, and notifying contacts of your new information.

Downsizing can be challenging enough without having to muddle through the best options for your house. Make sure you have all the info before making your final decision.

A special thank you to Contributing Editor:
Michael Longsdon at
Elder Freedom