One of the biggest decisions a widow has to make is whether to stay in her home or sell it. In their book Coping with Life After Your Mate Dies, Donald C. Cushenbery and Rita Crossley Cushenbery, who have each lost a spouse, say the following on that subject:
“The following may be reasons for selling the house. First, you may need the money to support yourself or to pay expenses involved with your mate’s death. Second, you may wish to give up certain aspects of home ownership, such as lawn mowing and snow removal. Third, if your mate was ill at home for a long period of time, you may wish to sell the home to leave behind those unpleasant memories.
Conversely, there are reasons why you may not want to sell the house. First, you may have spent a considerable amount of money remodeling the home to your desires. Many real estate appraisers confirm that the seller cannot usually regain the full cost of remodeling in the final sale price of a home. Second, you may have supportive neighbors whom you have known for a long time and may be reluctant to leave. At this point in your life you may not wish to go to an unfamiliar environment where you will need to make new friends. You may also find that your beloved pets are not welcome in some apartments or condominiums. Third, you probably will have difficulty finding a comfortable replacement home or apartment at today’s inflated prices unless you sell your house for a large sum of money.”
Other questions that arise after the death of your spouse are:
1. Should you move to a distant location?
2. Should you ask a friend to move in with you?
3. Should you change occupations or retire?
4. Should you move to an apartment or buy a condominium where all of the home maintenance and yard work are taken care of?
5. Should you make arrangements to make your home or apartment more secure?
6. Should you move in with relatives or friends?
Each of these questions need careful consideration. Unless there is a reason for you to make a quick decision, take your time to answer each one. Carefully consider the pros and cons. Ask a trusted friend to talk it out with you to help you clearly see those pros and cons.