Three key signs it's time to sell the family home

Many seniors happily raised families in their homes and filled them with fond memories in the process. But sometimes selling the old family home and moving to another location is more viable than staying. Here are three key signs that it might be time to sell an old family home.

Three key signs it's time to sell the family home

1. Maintenance, utilities and other costs are high

Living in a home requires maintenance that can be costly and difficult for many elderly homeowners to cover on their own.

From mowing lawns to painting exteriors and other maintenance chores, the cost and time involved in an old home's upkeep can be high.

Plus, when you factor in the cost of utilities, such as those required to heat a large home during a cold winter, taxes, insurance and other expenses, the cost of staying in the family home can be too high for seniors who are living in fixed incomes.

In such instances, smaller homes, condominiums or rental communities can be good options that greatly reduce the need to keep up with maintenance while also reducing the costs of utilities, taxes and other expenses.

2. Mobility limitations restrict use

Another sign that it might be time to let go of the old family home is when mobility restrictions make it difficult to get around.

Arthritic knees and other ailments can make it difficult to walk up and down stairways. And, many seniors no longer have the energy or time to go through the daily tasks of keeping a large home in order.

When you or your elderly relative is no longer able to reach certain areas in their home due to health issues, having them sell the home and moving into a smaller, more viable living space is a good idea.

3. Equity provides a good return

Many seniors no longer have a mortgage on their family homes.

In most cases, these homes and the property on which they stand have increased greatly in value. This means that there's probably a great deal of equity built up in the property.

When living on a fixed income, the additional money that comes from selling a family home can prove very useful for seniors.

If a home that cost $40,000 decades ago now is worth 10 times that amount, for example, selling it and moving into a smaller, more affordable and manageable home can be a great idea as well as a source of additional living income.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the decision of whether to sell the family home, be sure to use the criteria above to help you decide. These tests won't always make the decision easy, but they will help you come to terms with it.

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