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Buying for 80 year old parents? Need advice.

14 years ago

After a family wedding this weekend, several of my siblings recommended that I, the oldest living in the same town as mom and dad, embark on getting their current home sold and finding a small ranch for them to grow older in.

I am looking for advice for those of you who have done this for parents - what are the things I should look for?

The current house is a 5 level split, 6 bedroom, 3 car garage, fenced yard at end of cul-de-sac and in a safe/family area, built in 1968. Needs lots of updates (lived in 30 years and needed updating back in 1980) and only some will get done before we put on market (probably carpet only). At one time, a realtor estimated the home was worth $165k and that was before the market tanked. Tax accessor currently says $188,600 but perhaps that is a different post.

At any rate, you get the type of money we are working with (their house is paid for and proceeds will be used to buy new house).

Here are things I have considered so far, please tell me if they are not as important as I think:

1. They have a detached garage today but I think attached would be better for safety. Two car garage is plenty.

2. Ideally near their church? Does this matter?

3. Wider main hallways and kitchen area in case one of them needs a wheelchair in future.

4. Ability to put a wheelchair ramp into house from at least one entrance if needed. Otherwise, a flat entrance. Dad uses a cane now so stairs are 'bad'.

5. They are not townhouse/duplex/condo types - but - would this be better than having to maintain a home? Currently my siblings and I pay for mowing to be done and could continue to do that for new home.

What else should I be considering?

I am thinking I need to help with negotiation and it will have to be 'subject to sale' of their home - is that going to be a turn off too? Or is this a buyers market so therefore we can try that?

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