For many people, there comes a point in their lives where they must reassess their living situation. The amount of space that they might have required in their younger years can actually become a health and safety hazard

during their senior years. All those extra rooms and staircases that might have been a dream once upon a time are now no longer needed or safe, and moving into a smaller home can start to seem like an increasingly attractive idea.

Downsizing, while necessary for many seniors, can be a somewhat difficult process. You’re going to want to have a solid plan in place when it comes to what you’ll do with your old home. Should you keep it in the family, rent it out, or sell it? There’s a lot to think about, but the decision is by no means an impossible one. In fact, it often just comes right down to some surprisingly simple math.

Figure Out What Your Home Will Fetch

One of the first things to do before deciding what you’ll do with your old home is to figure out what you can get for it if you decide to sell it. This piece of information will dictate your next moves in a big way: If you can earn a big chunk of change from the sale

of your current home, it might be a good way to supplement your savings account. You can start getting an estimate by researching the local market.

There are, of course, ancillary fees

to consider. Closing costs, agent fees, and other overhead costs can take away some of the profit that might have otherwise come from the sale. On the other hand, if the market doesn’t lend itself to selling right away, you might be better off exploring other options.

Rent It Out for Passive Income

One of the best ways to earn yourself some passive income is by renting out your current home, once you’ve moved out and gotten settled into your new home. But here’s the thing: What many people don’t realize is that just like selling, renting out a home involves quite a lot of overhead. You’ll be on the hook

for things like insurance and taxes, as well as maintenance costs, and other recurring responsibilities.

Do the math

, and figure out which makes more sense for you financially. Would you earn more from selling the house? Or would it be more profitable, in the long run, to actually rent it out, if you can make a nice and high annual profit?

Consider Keeping It in the Family

Alternatively, you can simply opt for keeping it in the family. This strategy can be helpful for a number of reasons and is especially viable if the market is down and it also would not be very profitable to rent the property out. 

If the market doesn’t lend itself to a sale, you can hang onto the property

until the landscape improves, selling it off when it makes more financial sense to do so, or even using it to help out a family member in a time of future need. Consider what it would cost to keep and maintain the property, as it might be smartest to let a loved one move in for the time being.

Ease the Moving Process

Just as important as deciding what to do with your home is making preparations for moving day. After all, no matter which route you take with the current home, you’re still likely to face quite a bit of stress when it’s time for the big move. In order to make the process easier, consider enlisting the services of a moving company. Professionals movers can take away the burdens of loading up the moving truck, driving it to the new home, and unloading the vehicle. Just keep in mind that hiring a moving service costs an average of $1,086

, so you’ll need to budget accordingly. Fees can also vary depending on how far away your new home is; if it’s local, you won’t need to spend as much as a long-distance move. Don’t forget to budget for any moving supplies you may need as well, such as boxes, packing tape, and storage containers (which you can get on Amazon
for less than $25).

One Big Decision

There are a few options when it comes to the future of your current home as you get ready to downsize. And while they can all seem a little complicated at first glance, the truth is that it’s not impossible to figure out which option makes the most financial sense. Simply analyze all your options, and pick the one that will help you out best in the long run.