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Three Ways to Fund a Home Remodel

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What's the most common question seniors and family caregivers ask of a home remodeler? Dan Bawden, who founded the national Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) program for the National Association of Home Builders in 2001, did not hesitate in his response: People ask: "How do I fund a home remodel?"

"This is a very common problem and a huge need," Bawden said. "More people need home modification remodels than have money to do them," he said. "There are some sources out there, but not nearly as many as needed."

Most North American homeowners surveyed by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, between the ages of 55 and 75, said they intended to use savings to pay for home modifications. When asked how much they would be willing to spend on the modifications to a home that will enable them to live there as they age, the average spend was $17,717. Here are options that could help fund those modifications:

  1. Medicare. Many families think Medicare will provide whatever they need. Medicare will not usually pay for remodeling projects; however, there are some exceptions. Sometimes Medicare will pay to provide a device to make a home accessible or a medical necessity like a lift or a walk-in tub, Bawden explained. "For example, Medicare might pay for that device but not the cost to install it," he added. For more information, visit https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/financial-assistance/walk-in-bathtubs-medicare.html.
  2. State programs. Visit www.payingforseniorcare.com to learn what might be available in your area to help fund a home modification.
  3. Reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage can be another option for funding a renovation. "A reverse mortgage may be a good option for seniors who are considered house rich but cash poor," Bawden said. Contact a finance expert for more information about reverse mortgages for seniors.

For additional information about how you could fund a home remodel, contact a reputable financial planner.

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Last revised: February 26, 2019

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