To Sell or Not to Sell

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.


4 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing those valuable points to consider whether to sale or not I appreciate the way you have presented both worlds. As for me I just feel safe to be in the present house I feel am connected, in a way, to my husband. Its a safety thing more than anything else.


    • You are welcome, Gertrude. We lived out in the country and 2 properties and over 13 acres to maintain. My parents, who lived right next door, went to heaven within 4 months after my husband. So, I chose to sell both places and move closer into town to 2 of my daughters. I never stayed in our house after Bob died. I have no regrets about the quick decisions that I made. I packed up both homes, listed them, sold them, and bought another home all within 5 months after my husband went to heaven. I look back on it all now and know that it’s only be the grace of God that I was able to get through that hard, hard time and make good choices in that widow fog. I knew in my heart exactly what I was supposed to do.


  2. God bless you Candy. You are an inspiration. It gives me courage and hope to see your scars. It gives me confidence that healing, much as losing your husband as others have suggested is not a disease, took place. What I mean by this is, if you are still here despite losing your husband and parents consequently, I now believe that the God of Israel, truly has wonderful and bigger plans for widows and let alone orphans. Thank you for also sharing some of the bold steps you took within those first five months. On 18th of August, it will be exactly five months since my husband went to glory. I have made some decisions. But sometimes well meaning friends gives you a list of TO AND NOT TO DO LIST. By the end of the day you are left confused. I am encouraged that you followed your heart and you have ended up to live satisfied, if am allowed to use that word.
    Thanks for this enlightenment.


  3. I know exactly what you are talking about, Gertrude, for I, too, had well meaning relatives question some of the decisions that I was making. It did leave me confused and wondering if I was even capable of making good decisions. After all, I’d never been responsible for making such huge, life-altering decisions alone in my life. But, I somehow had enough sense to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my heart in the midst of all that widow fog. It was the beginning of God building up my confidence that together He and I would know what was just right for me. I have no regrets and you won’t either.


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