Advice for Northern Michigan Caregivers: Should We Sell Dad’s Home Before He Moves?

Posted at May 22, 2014 | 107 Comments

Sell the Home Before or After Moving to Assisted Living


Dear Sandy:

My father-in-law lives alone in an older home just outside of Roscommon, Michigan. It is in a wooded area so he doesn’t really have any close neighbors. After a series of falls at home, he has finally accepted that he just isn’t safe living alone. We are looking for a little advice on how to best move forward. Should we get the house ready and on the market before we move Dad? We are trying to figure out the best way to approach this transition.

Trisha in Tennessee

Dear Trisha,

Good question. Thank you for asking it as it gives us the opportunity to share this information with your family and other northern Michigan caregivers.

If it is financially feasible, getting your father moved first is usually the best way to handle this transition. That will make the process easier on your father-in-law. For example, he won’t have to leave every time a realtor wants to show his home. Sometimes showings can be at very inconvenient times, especially for older adults. It will also let you downsize his home and move on his schedule and not be rushed to get out if his home sells quickly. If he has lived in his home for many years, downsizing can take some time. Sorting through his belongings, figuring out what donate and what to sell, and completing home repairs can be long process.

In your father’s case, it also sounds like he really isn’t safe living alone. Putting off the move may put him at risk for more falls. If you plan to do home repairs and painting before you put the house on the market, not having to worry about how safe his is navigating around the mess will also be better.

If he doesn’t have enough liquid assets to make selling his home before he moves a comfortable financial decision, there are organizations and banks that offer short-term home equity loans exclusively for those moving to senior living. These loans can help bridge the financial gap between moving day and the sale of his home.

I hope this helps, Trisha! I wish you the very best of luck with the move.



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