Market Wise Q&A: Should My Grandfather Sell His House?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: My grandparents are original owners of a home in a premium neighborhood. Because grandmother is in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, he is under tremendous family pressure to sell their home of 45 years and move her into some sort of care facility. He argues they don’t want to move and points out she still tends to her garden and dresses and feeds herself. He also points to the economy. Despite this, we can all see the toll her care is having on him. He also shuns the idea of a reverse mortgage to pay for part-time help. Some of my siblings insist the fact that they are original owners and located in a phenomenal school district cancels out the economic conditions. In any event, what do other families do in this predicament?

A: Unfortunately, the best short-term solution for most families in your very common situation is America’s best kept secret; senior day care. The Internet will provide your county’s list of non-profit or not-for profit Senior Day Care Centers. They are designed to provide caregivers like your Grandfather with up to five hours a day of long overdue respite. Based on a sliding scale, these programs not only provide meals and social activities, but far-reaching economical ramifications, too. Like staving off costly in-home scheduled visits by a (unwanted stranger) health care professional or the forced sale of the family home and pricey Assisted Living. When original owners avoid all those financial negatives while delaying the sale of their home, it leaves a nest that is well padded for them as well as the heirs who were prematurely urging the sale of the family home.

By Pat Kapowich, Is Broker/Owner of KAPOWICH REAL ESTATE in Cupertino. E-mail questions to him at