Making the Move to Assisted Living: When to Sell Your Elderly Loved One’s House

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

After more than a little persuading, my 94 year old father agreed to move to an assisted living community near his home in Sayville, New York. Our next step is to try to figure out the timeline for him making this move. He has a very large home to sell. We aren’t sure if we should sell it before he moves or after. Can you offer any advice on making this move to assisted living?


Dear Monica,

Figuring out what to take, sell, and what to donate can be a long process.

It is usually easiest on the older adult if you can help your father move first and then sell the home. It will make the transition a little easier on your father. He won’t have to leave his home during realtor showings which aren’t always scheduled for the most convenient times. It will also let you pack and move around your schedule and not around one dictated by the potential buyers. If he has lived in his home for a long time, sorting through his belongings and figuring out what to take with him, what to sell, and what to donate can be a long process. For some tips read Downsizing & Selling Your House.

If he doesn’t have enough liquid assets to make selling his home after the move a comfortable decision, there are financial organizations and banks that offer short-term home equity loans exclusively for those moving to senior living. These programs are designed to bridge the gap between when someone moves to a senior living community and the time their home is sold. The loan allows them to finance the move using the equity in their home.

Good luck with this transition! I hope everything goes well for your father.


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