Comparing the Costs: Part 2

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Not sure whether to invest in home adaptations, move to another house, or into a retirement home?

In part one, we looked at the cost of selling and moving into another private home – two options seniors are now finding themselves stuck between more and more as they age. Unsure of whether to upgrade their living areas or simply move elsewhere, it’s certainly a tough decision to make. However, when mobility becomes an issue and seniors find that their home is no longer the safe haven it once was, they may find themselves considering a third option: moving into an assisted care facility. 


In this article, we go one step further, examining the costs associated with moving into an assisted living facility to give you even more insight into what to consider as you age. 

The cost of home adaptations Vs. Moving house

First, let’s go back to the previous article for a second and refresh our memory of the costs involved in moving house – costs we often don’t consider until we’re some way down the line! We’re talking about the fees, taxes and services involved in a full home move and real estate transaction. These include provincial land transfer tax, municipal land transfer tax, real estate commissions (and HST), moving company expenses and lawyers, not to mention closing fees.

Then there are the costs of home adaptations, which will largely depend on the mobility issues that arise as each individual ages, though making a house accessible requires many of the same modifications. These might include providing an alternative to the stairs, making bathrooms accessible and slip-proof, removing obstacles, ledges, and trip hazards, improving lighting, and ensuring everything the house’s residents need is easily reachable – all of which could certainly add up.

To break it down, this chart outlines the basic estimates of moving home in Southern Ontario vs. installing a Homelift:

Going Staying
Provincial Land Transfer: $8,475.00 Total Project Price (including Purchase Price, installation & Renovation costs): $40,000.00
Municipal Land Transfer: $8,475.00 Federal Renovation Tax Credit: $1500.00
Real Estate Commissions: $36,400.00 Ontario Renovation Tax Credit: $2500.00
Moving Company: $ 1,200.00
Lawyers/Closing: $ 2,500.00
Estimated Costs: $57,050.00 Estimated Costs: $36,000.00

*Pricing examples are based on a home sale price at $910,000 and the purchase price of a $600,000 condo. Total project price for a Homelift is based on typical renovation scope. Exact costs will vary.

Moving to an Assisted Living Facility

One of the hardest decisions an individual or family may have to make in their lives, the decision to move into an LTC, retirement or care facility is never taken lightly. However, in many instances, it may be what’s best for the family member involved, as they may well need the regular care and monitoring provided by such a facility. In fact, if their health is indeed a factor, then everyone can rest easy knowing that they are well-positioned to be looked after now and in the future.

However, just like when moving home or investing in home modifications, it’s important to know the cost of living in an assisted care facility, so let’s break it down.

The Cost of Assisted Living

Retirement homes/residences or communities provide minimal to moderate care for a monthly fee. Seniors who live in these communities are able to have their privacy, but also benefit from a range of services that make their lives easier, such as having their meals prepared, housekeeping done, and easy access to care should they need it, not to mention the ability to participate in social activities and community life. 

When it comes to pricing, however, subsidised homes are few and far between in Canada, which means this option is largely unaffordable for those living on only a basic pension. Though there are no standardised rates, in general, it can be said that rural homes and those owned by small businesses are cheaper than those owned by large corporations, and pricing will also depend on accommodation. A 2-bedroom will cost more than a bachelor suite, for example, and prices may also vary depending on the activities available. When looking for a retirement home, a good place to start is an unbiased database of homes across Canada, which can be found here.

Comparing the costs

Though the price of a retirement home varies hugely based on a whole range of factors, here’s a comparison of how these costs could compare to your other options:

Moving House Home Adaptations Retirement Home
Estimated Costs: $57,050.00 Estimated Costs: $36,000.00 Price per year between $ 14,000 and $ 132,000*

*Pricing examples are based on a home sale price at $910,000 and the purchase price of a $600,000 condo. Total project price for a Homelift is based on typical renovation scope. Exact costs will vary.

We know that most Canadians want to stay at home as they age and we are in the business of keeping people at home, safely and for as long as possible. When combined with a Homelift, other homecare options can augment the inherent safety in a home, but should the time come when supportive care is needed, the information contained here may be a good reference.

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