sellingparentshouseThe Sandwich Generation

There is a growing demographic that still has children at home, but is also taking care of their parents. The Sandwich Generation, as they are called, is learning to juggle their parents who might have health issues, while also raising their children and managing their own lives.

According to the Pew Research Center, just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent .

A common concern for people with older parents is what to do with the house. As parents move in with relatives or care facilities, and even pass on, the house they lived in becomes an essential asset in this difficult transition.

The Sandwich Generation


Sandwich Generation

Source: Wikipedia

How to Decide What To Do With A Parent’s House

When considering what to do after inheriting your parent’s house, there are multiple options. Working with your family and loved ones can help when deciding to buy, rent, or sell the house.

  • Buy: Moving into your parent’s house can be a great option, particularly if you live nearby. It can be nostalgic and also provide additional time to sort through their belongings. If you have siblings, you’ll need to work on an arrangement that is fair for them and potentially get your parents input if possible.
  • Rent: Renting can allot extra time and income as you and your loved ones make important decisions. This is a less permanent solution as you set the leasing terms. If your family decides on renting out the house, elect someone to oversee the property and management, and preferably someone who lives nearby for check-ins and emergencies.
  • Sell: Selling can be beneficial and sometimes it’s the only solution after inheriting a parent’s house. Collecting the profits from selling a house can help with expenses for a parent’s death or health expenses. It can also provide closure to someone who is having a difficult time having to make decisions on behalf of a parent.

Tips on Selling a Parent’s House

Selling your parent’s house is certainly an important and often exhausting endeavor. There are a few considerations that could affect how and if you can sell the house.

  1. Manage Legal Issues: The first step is to make sure that there is no legal issue with putting the house on the market. If a parent is still alive, but has health decisions that affect decision making, ensure that you or one of your loved ones has power of attorney. Do your due diligence to stay within the POA, including medical or psychological certifications and discussing the decision with other interested parties, if necessary.
  1. Sorting Out Belongings: When selling a parent’s house, there is also the matter of the personal belongings within the house. Everything from their car to knick-knacks should be sorted immediately. If there are other loved ones, discuss what items will go where. Some families will want to split the sentimental items. Other items could be donated, sold, or thrown away. Decide what will be in the best interest depending on the needs and wants of the interested parties.
  1. Assess the Value: Look at the market and the house conditions to determine what the current value of the house is. Has the home appreciated or depreciated? What are the market conditions in the area? Is the neighborhood on the up-and-up or swinging down? These factors will help with deciding on the amount and timing when selling your house. A real estate agent should be able to give context to getting the most  benefit on a sale.
  1. Renovations: This house may have been in your family for years and hold many memories. However, look at the appeal of the house to decide what, if any renovations are needed before putting the house on the market. Sometimes a new coat of paint and lawn service is all that is needed. If the house is updated, consider the cost-to-profit of remodeling or gutting certain areas of the house.

If you need to discuss your options when selling or refinancing a parent’s home, contact our office at 866-353-7654 to speak to an experienced loan officer.