Thursday, April 5, 2012

When It's Time to Sell the House

We often work with clients who are making long term care decisions, and these decisions often mean moving out of a house. There's no easy answer as to when it's the best time to sell the house, if ever, but here are some things to keep in mind as you move forward with planning.

Many folks own their house free and clear. If you don't have a mortgage, it can certainly be easier to keep the house. But even without a mortgage payment every month, there will be other ongoing expenses.

If you are over 65, it is possible to defer paying property taxes, but at the time of death, your estate will have to pay all those deferred property taxes. If the house does not have much value, or if your estate is not large, you might not be doing your heirs any favors by deferring taxes.

You will likely want to keep the home insured. We are in tornado alley after all, so if the roof blows off, you want the insurance to pay. Many insurance companies are reluctant to insure an empty house, so be sure to check with your carrier about their policy requirements.

Even if the house is empty you will want to at least keep water and electric on, and perhaps gas, if the heating system is gas. It's important to maintain a moderate temperature, especially in the winter, so there are no frozen pipes, and you'll want to prevent foundation problems by keeping the ground around the foundation moist.

There will be ongoing maintenance to think about. The yard still needs to be mowed, plumbing might malfunction, and trees still drop leaves and limbs.

Some people are well able to afford these ongoing expenses, and if this is the case, it can be comforting to know that the house is always there as an alternative to whatever the current living situation is. If cash is limited, then renting or selling may be the best options, and each person's situation will determine the best course to pursue.

*Senior Real Estate Specialists
Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) are those realtors who have specialized training in the real estate needs of people over 50.

As talked about above, sometimes people are faced with deciding whether to keep a home or sell a home, and this is when talking to a Senior Real Estate Specialist can help. They can help you consider all the pros and cons of keeping a home that you may not live in anymore, or help you look at whether selling the home is the best way to utilize your asset.

If you do decide to sell, they can help you make decisions about renovations, including referring you to trusted contractors. They can assist with arranging estate sales, and they often work closely with estate planning or elder law attorneys.
If you need to find a Senior Real Estate Specialist, we know several we can refer you to, or you can find

THANK YOU to Katten & Benson for sharing this helpful information. For more information on out the team at Katten & Benson can help you, we have posted their information below.

A full service Elder Law Firm
dedicated to the human side of aging.

Katten & Benson is dedicated to helping older adults and their families by providing answers and reassurance. We use a team approach to provide care not only for the client, but the entire family.

Need Help? Please call us at (817) 263-5190 or email for an appointment.

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