There’s no best time to sell a house when you’re living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are on the rise around the world. The horrifying fact is that they show no signs of slowing down their spread. In fact, every 67 seconds, someone here in the U.S. develops the disease.
While groups like the Alzheimer’s Association are working hard to find a cure and provide resources for care, the reality is that there is nothing to stop it. This is the only disease of the top 10 killers in the U.S. for which there is no prevention, no cure, and no way to slow it down.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Hit Close to Home:
There are 5.3 million individuals in this country suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. What that means is that you or someone you know are directly affected by these diseases. In our case, our grandmothers suffered from dementia. We watched the devastating decline of once healthy, full-of-life women and the challenges that came with caring for them. The role of caregiver to a loved one is emotionally, financially, physically, and mentally taxing—especially for someone who has her own family, a job, and financial responsibilities to account for. So what happens when you need extra funds to pay for your loved one’s care? Or, even if you have that covered, where does the money come from the upkeep the home that they lived in for so many years, but no longer live in? In our work at this company, we see the struggle on an almost daily basis. We see the heart-wrenching decisions and sacrifices that caregivers often have to make.
Tackling the Elephant In the Room:
One of the most expensive assets that many of us will ever own is our home. It can be a blessing and it can be a curse. In the case of caring for someone who owns a home and has Alzheimer’s or dementia, it typically adds another painful element to the experience. It can begin to feel like a millstone around your neck having to pay the costs for keeping the house. Making the decision to sell is also difficult because of the emotional weight that it carries. The pain of hearing a parent say ‘I want to go home’ when you know it’s no longer safe or possible is often unbearable. Unfortunately having to sell the home is a catch-22 situation. On one hand, the house being a valuable asset can be a means to paying for additional care for mom or dad. On the flip side, the house can also hold memories of better times that are hard to let go of. The truth of the matter is, the decision to sell will never become easier. It just goes from from urgent to critical the more time that passes.
When Is a Good Time to Sell Mom’s (or Dad’s) House?
There isn’t going to be a perfect time. To know when the right time is to sell, you need to take stock of your loved one’s needs at this stage of their life. While it’s an emotional topic, the questions you’ll need to ask are not. They key is to think with your head and act with your heart turned towards your loved one’s best interest. Here are questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have sufficient funds to continue to care for mom/dad/spouse?
- If I do not have the funds, is there another way for me to get the money?
- Am I able to keep up with the maintenance costs of the house (i.e. utilities, taxes, maintenance and structural repairs, etc.)?
- Can I afford to pay if someone gets injured on the property? (Note: Insurance companies typically do not insure unoccupied homes.)
- Am I physically, mentally, and emotionally able to give 100% to my loved one’s care AND to the care of the property?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, it may be time to consider selling. There are three different ways you can sell the property and it depends on what’s best for your loved one at this time. If you’re not sure where to start, click here to find out your options for selling. We would also be happy to purchase the home from you after talking with you to find out about your situation. Simply contact us to get a no-obligation offer.
We’re here as a resource for you.