When It's Time for Assisted Living, What Should You Do With Your Condo?

When It's Time for Assisted Living, What Should You Do With Your Condo?

  • Mary Summerville
  • 12/16/19
For condo owners, the move to assisted living doesn’t feel like a huge leap. After all, you’re already accustomed to mingling with neighbors and living in a smaller space. However, there is one big question you have to face before making the move: What should you do with your condo?

Is It Time for Assisted Living?

The decision to move to assisted living is never an easy one, and many seniors stay at home longer than they should. If you only need a little help with housekeeping and personal care, you may be able to stay at home with the help of an in-home caregiver. However, if you find yourself having frequent accidents at home or struggling to keep up with chores and bills, or you’ve developed a medical condition that needs more care than you can get at home, it may be time to move to assisted living.

A lot of seniors have negative views of assisted living. In reality, there are so many options for assisted living communities that nearly everyone can find a place they feel at home. It’s difficult to get a sense of a community based on online descriptions alone, so find facilities you’re interested in and schedule tours to guide your selection. Just keep your budget in mind — there’s no point in being wowed by amenities if it’s out of your price range. If you have any chronic health issues, you may need to consider your proximity to local medical facilities. The city of Chicago could be a good choice for assisted living because there are 33 hospitals in the area that offer emergency services.

Moving to Assisted Living: What to Do With Your Condo

Keeping Your Condo in the Family

It is possible to bequeath a condo to your children, as most condominiums aren’t subject to the same right of first refusal that co-ops are (check your contract to be certain). However, since condos require monthly association payments, make sure your children want it and are prepared to maintain it before deciding to leave your condo to the kids.

There are a few ways to leave real estate to heirs, each with its own tax implications. Some seniors add heirs to the deed as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, but taking this route may leave you unable to borrow against or refinance your home. It also makes your home subject to your co-owner’s debts, which means you could lose it if they get in financial trouble. There are better options for bequeathing your condo, like a revocable trust, but the best way to leave your home to heirs is a decision to make with your financial advisor.

Renting Out Your Condo

Renting out your condo is a great way to supplement your retirement income, but before you decide to go this route, check your condo agreement. Some condo associations prohibit rentals, while others restrict lease terms, pets, and tenant selection. Since you won’t be able to keep a close eye on the property, you’ll also need to hire a property manager to oversee leasing and upkeep.

How to Sell Your Condo

For many seniors, selling their condos is the best option. When you sell, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your condo or paying association fees for the rest of your life. Instead, you get a quick infusion of cash that you can use to pay for assisted living or pad your retirement fund. If it’s more than you need, you have the option to leave assets to your family.

The hardest part of selling a condo is making it stand out, especially if there are multiple units for sale in the same building. Staging is key as it doesn’t take much for a condo to feel cramped and cluttered. If you want the best price for your condo, work with a staging expert who can get it market-ready.

Even when you’re prepared for it, the move to assisted living is highly emotional. In this difficult time, the last thing you need is the stress of selling a condo on your own added to your plate. Rather than try to sell your condo on your own, hire a real estate agent who understands the ins and outs of condominium sales.

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