The general advice today for retirees is to sell your house and rent. The advantages seem to be foolproof. But there are important downsides to selling a home that is paid for, and has been well-maintained.
Let’s look at the pros and cons. For those of you already retired, or planning to do so soon, housing is a critical issue.
The Family Home
Memories abound in the place you call “home”. Your dream home may be the first one you bought, or the one you finally said, “This is it. We’ll live here forever”.
Children grew up here, some extended family were close by, your neighbors were “family”, and your livelihood was secure.
Why would you ever leave?
Unless the house isn’t in the greatest shape.
Plumbing and wiring need updates every few years. The roof starts to leak and the shingles are shot. Porches take a beating from the weather and need repair, and then there’s that coat of paint.
Keep Or Sell
If you are nearing retirement, look at the condition of the house. Whether you stay or sell, it should be in tiptop condition. Do it while you’re still getting a paycheck.
Professionals should be hired to do the evaluation. Discuss and take notes with each person. Get quotes for repairs and go over your finances.
It’s crucial for your house to be completely safe and well maintained, whether you live in it, or someone else does. Then go over your budget.
If you are retired, or nearing retirement and live alone, your money situation is especially critical. You may not have enough income to completely renovate a house. Or you might be thinking of turning it into an AirB&B for a cash flow. Talk to professionals and get insightful advice. Your home shouldn’t be a liability. Whether you want to keep it, for any reason, or sell it, take your time.
Good, sound advice is at your fingertips. Start by reading articles on senior websites. Then, do research to find professionals in your area.
Here are a few good resources.
This website has broad, general information on many things senior.
Emphasizes mistakes commonly made.
As always, good resources. I especially like the recommendation to find your next home before selling.
Whether you are single or a couple, a home to call your own is a priority. The retirement years can be wonderful or stressful. Do your homework, then start living!
Single women, especially, have to make careful decisions. We’re more likely to be short of cash flow, we need to emphasize security, and we often function in a couples-dominated world. Don’t hesitate to get professional advice.
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