The most straightforward way to turn a house into cash is to sell it.
Younger seniors, say, 50 to 70 years old, typically sell their home so they can move closer to their children and grandchildren, according to Lane Tharp, a seniors real estate specialist at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dunwoody, Ga. Older seniors, say, 70-plus years old, are more likely to sell due to health issues, especially a serious illness or injury that makes the home burdensome.
The benefits include:
- Cash to spend or reinvest.
- Greater freedom to travel.
- Relief from repairs and maintenance.
- Potentially lower utility costs.
The downside may be the prospect of cleaning and packing a residence that's been a home for decades. Tharp says a senior move manager can coordinate and take over some or all of the work.
"Once they understand they don't have to do it all by themselves, and they've determined where they want to go ... then they get excited about it," she says.