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Question DetailsAsked on 6/5/2018

What’s should I do if I am not sure to sale my home or stay..

My house will be paid off in April 2019. Need work. I am a widow. Live alone. Happy here. But 4 bedrooms is much.

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Well, factors like whether you want to stay there and are close to friends and family matters a lot. So does whether the house is just oo much for you to handle maintenance and housekeeping and such on - though since moving out commonly costs on the order of 10-15% in commissions and moving costs and such - and another 3-5% commonly on the buying end if you buy another home, unless it is just not manageable for you moving elsewhere is likely to cost you a fair amount of money, and might end up in the hole on the deal unless you are significantly downsizing in the process.

The four bedroom thing - perhaps closing up one or two rooms and not using them, or having a housecleaning firm in once a month or so could help you keep up - at a lot less cost than selling.

Since it will be paid off in a year (assuming you have the money to pay the mortgage till then) and can afford the property taxes from then on, certainly being in a paid-off house is a better deal than starting over on a new mortgage.

If you have a lot of equity in the house, then sometimes it is possible to sell and use the equity proceeds to move to a downsized place - but at the cost of the commissions and moving costs, so normally takes a significant downsizing to accomplish that with the equity you have in the house.

If you have relatives with money smarts, get their advice. You can also google for articles from the US Government and AARP and such type sources on Elder Downsizing - likely would need some gifting to relatives or maybe an estate sale to sell of much of your possessions if significantly downsizing - so you need to consider if you are ready for that or not too.

And talk to friends who hae downsized or moved to a retirement facility about their experience and issues they had.

If you have an estate attorney or estate/retirement planner who has worked with you on retirement planning he should be able to give some advice too - and help with running some numbers to see what your options are.

Health also of course comes into it - if you expect to need assisted living or nursing care in the next few years getting into that sort of facility before the need is immediate can sometimes be very advantageous and a lot less stressful.

As far as the house needing work - assuming we are talking maintenance rather than major repairs, generally cheaper to do that than pay the costs of moving unless you are "ready" to downsize or move to a retirement community or such anyway - which it does not sound like is your case. Since you are alone (unless you have family members able to help with contractor oversight and management) might be best to hire an architect to manage the repair if more than minor - to help protect you against ripoff or scamming contractors.

Generally speaking, I would say unless you have a driving reasonor desire to move or downsize, and are physically safe in the house (able to handle stairs and such), elders are generally better off (as long as you are able to maintain independent living by yourself) staying in a place you are familiar with and happy in, and close to your regular friends and relatives and stores and doctors and such. Moving to a new location, unless somewhere you lived before and have a network of contacts or relatives, can be pretty stressful, and many of the moving and financial arrangements may be more than you can handle alone.

One other option - though brings in personal disruption of your life dn the risk of "bad" tenants - is renting out a room or two to college student(s) - with or without kitchen privileges as you desire. You can even perhaps arrange for some cleaning serivces in partial exchange for the room rental (though that counts as taxable income same as regular rent).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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