SCV home sellers can buy 15 years’ worth of senior care

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If you’re looking to sell your house to pay for senior care, you’re in the right part of the country, according to a new national survey.

In several California cities, selling a home could fully fund senior living with money to spare. In other parts of the country, a real estate windfall won’t last a full year.

“For most cities, owners who have full equity in their home can expect to be able to pay for two to ten years of senior care,” said Ben Hanowell, lead living researcher and data scientist for A Place for Mom in Seattle, the nation’s largest senior referral service.

A Place for Mom and real estate brokerage Redfin compared home sale prices and senior care costs in 162 cities nationwide. They ranked each city by the number of years’ worth of senior care a home sale could be expected to finance.

Los Angeles ranked sixth nationally for the number of years of independent living, fifteen, that a house sale should finance. In the Santa Clarita Valley, Newhall is slightly less expensive than the average for greater Los Angeles and Valencia is slightly costlier, according to expanded data the survey authors provided to The Signal.

A home sale in Valencia can be expected to pay for 14 years of independent living, 9.1 years of assisted living, or eight years of memory care for sellers with full equity. For Newhall, add one year to each of those numbers.

Senior care costs in the surveyed cities fall within 10 percent of the median, Hanowell said, while median home sales prices vary by 68 percent.

That why selling a home in top-ranked San Francisco could pay for 22 years of independent living while a home sale in Hartford, Conn., would pay for less than one year.

Since half of older adults still owed around 48 percent of their home’s value in 2013, those sellers will realize less income from selling their homes.

Since both senior care costs and home prices are tied to broader cost-of-living indices, that difference was surprising, Hanowell said. It could reflect a greater similarity among senior living consumers than among home owners.

A home sale will fund fewer years of assisted living than independent living, and fewer still for memory care. On average across cities and types of care, a median-priced home sale could fund nearly five years of senior living at a median cost of $50,000 per year nationally.

The full report on how much senior care your house can buy can be found here.

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