By: Karen Weeks

If you’re downsizing because of personal complications, you may be experiencing some anxiety about the move. Transitioning into a new home out of need is tough for anyone, especially someone in their golden years. Finding a home is usually the easy part of the process, but what most seniors fear is what will become of their old homes. It’s not easy to leave a place you’ve spent years making memories and raising children. Fortunately, you have some different options, and each can provide unique benefits. Here are some things that seniors can do with an old home when downsizing into a smaller property.

Put Your Old Home on the Market and Some Money in Your Pocket
If it’s becoming more of a hassle to live in your current home than it’s worth, you may consider a clean break by listing the property. While some seniors will be reluctant to sell a home they’ve lived in for many years, selling is sometimes the most practical and affordable option. With money from your current home, you can immediately make a down payment or pay for another home outright. That way, you won’t have to dip into savings or take out dangerous loans an incur unnecessary debts. If you’re downsizing into a smaller home, you may even be able to pocket some money to put toward medical bills or other costs.

Before you place your home on the market, you need to conduct some preliminary research to better understand your local real estate market. At the very least, find out the average price at which homes are selling for in the area. For example, the median sale price of homes in Albany is around $295,000. Knowing these numbers beforehand can inform your listing price and help you make a potential sale more quickly.

Find Some Tenants for a Nice Monthly Income
You can always go the rental route if you’re torn between keeping your home and generating some monthly income from the property. As a property owner, you’ll still be in control of the property, but you’ll rent the home out to tenants. Provided you find reliable renters, you’ll receive a nice monthly income to live on, as opposed to a lump sum from a sale. The average two-bedroom apartment rents for around $880 in Albany, though, depending on the size of your home, you might be able to charge a little more.

Try not to get carried away by the excitement of getting a monthly income from your current home. Renting a property is an involved process that requires investment, energy, and record-keeping. If you’re up for the challenge, renting your property can be the perfect combination of maintaining ownership of your home while also turning a profit.

Keep Everything Within the Family
For seniors who are wary of renting a property and don’t want to lose their old home for sentimental reasons, there is another option available: keeping the home within the family. Try to find a family member who needs a place to live. This way, you’ll maintain ownership of the property without the hassle of dealing with tenants with whom you aren’t familiar.

You can always give a family member a great price if you’re comfortable charging something. They’d be getting a great deal, and you would be making a little money. On the off chance that no one in your family needs a place to stay, having someone check on the house once a week should be enough to keep everything secure.

It’s never easy to admit that downsizing is necessary, but this move can bring about a lot of advantages. When it comes to handling the old home, it boils down to preference and personal needs. You should consider your financial situation to gauge which decision suits you best.