If you or a loved one need to move into a care home or require home care, you might be considering selling your property to pay for the costs. This is a difficult decision, and there’s a lot to consider.
It’s important to go through all the proper steps when considering long-term costs, and this article is not a definitive guide on what you should do.
Instead, in this three-minute read, we offer some helpful advice about the process and what to do.
In the first instance, you need to contact your local authority to see how they can help. You (or a loved one) may have already had a care assessment which sets out what sort of care is required.
The next step is a means test. This is a detailed financial assessment which decides whether the council will pay for all or some of the care required. It examines your income from benefits and pensions and your capital (investments and savings). If you’re a homeowner, the value of your property may also be included.
If you or a loved one live with a partner, their financial situation is not assessed.
If you have the funds to pay for care, then a shorter assessment will take place.
Selling your assets
You may decide to sell valuable items or assets (such as your property) to reduce the cost of care. However, the council’s financial assessment can include your past income and capital. So, this may not be a helpful route to take. The council may still require you to pay fees, as selling assets before an assessment could be deemed as a ‘deliberate deprivation of assets’.
Things to avoid
Even if the need for care is urgent, avoid turning to ‘quick sale’ companies who promise to buy your property for cash. Often, you’ll be left with far less than if you went through the normal sales process. Instead, sign up to a local estate agency so you can meet with an experienced and reputable agent. They will have helped many people in your situation and are best placed to get you a good market price.
The need for care is a sign of change, and you may want to delay the process for as long as possible. However, by facing up to the situation and getting things moving with an estate agent, you can start a new chapter without the need for panic or undue stress.
Get the property ready for sale
A lifetime of memories can be hard to pack away, but it will also allow you to give value to what’s important now and in the future.
Start by packing away your most precious items, such as family photos or antiques. Ask your agent if any glaring repairs need to be made and use a trusted tradesperson to help get issues sorted.
For more assistance, contact Age UK Advice Line or Money Helper.
If you’re ready to sell your home, contact us, Sarah Mains Residential, on 0191 487 8855.