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Why some retirees opt to sell their home

There are all kinds of transitions a person may go through as they go into retirement. One such transition retirees sometimes decide to add to the list is transitioning from being a homeowner to a renter by selling their home. 

There are a variety of things that might drive a retiree to want to sell their home. It could be medical/health reasons, such as their current health/medical condition making it so their current home isn't an ideal living situation for them anymore. Reasons such as them not wanting to deal with the stress of owning a home during retirement could also be in play.

Financial issues related to retiring can also be motivators for a retiree to sell their home and move to a rental property. Being on a fixed income can raise a variety of financial needs that selling a house could potentially help with, including: 

  • Needing a cash influx: Sometimes, the amount of retirement savings/income a retiree has isn't enough to fully fund their retirement. In such a situation, a significant influx of cash might be needed. There are many potential sources for such an influx. In some situations, selling a home may have advantages over the other available options.
  • Needing to lower expenses: Too high of expenses could cause a retiree's retirement savings to be drained too quickly. Sometimes, even when mortgage payments are relatively low or the mortgage is paid off, other expenses, such as property taxes and maintenance costs, can make owning a home rather expensive. 
  • Needing more predictable expenses: Surprise expenses can quickly derail a retiree's financial situation. Owning a home can sometimes yield large unexpected expenses, such as major repair costs. The expenses related to renting, on the other hand, can be more predictable.

A range of things can impact how the transition from being a homeowner to being a renter goes. One is what happens when it comes to the sale of the home. Each home sale has its own circumstances, so home sales can vary quite a bit in what issues come up in relation to them. Experienced real estate lawyers can help retirees (or any other individual) looking to sell their home with addressing the specific legal needs that arise in relation to their home sale.  

Source: San Antonio Express-News, "3 Reasons Not to Own a Home in Retirement," Maurie Backman, March 18, 2016

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