Selling a house for any reason can be stressful and raise questions as to whether you’re making the right decision, especially if you’re struggling financially and that’s the main motivation behind your sale. For some, financial difficulty comes from struggling with work and can be resolved by securing a new job, but for those who are struggling with their health, things can be more difficult. We looked into the common questions that come from homeowners with ill health, and found some answers.

I’m struggling to pay my mortgage due to my health – Can I get help?
Mortgage payments are a huge commitment in a homeowners’ life, and if you’re in a position where you know that you’re not going to be able to make them you will need to consider your next move. If your illness is short-term, you may be able to get back on track.

A lot of mortgage lenders will be able to offer you a mortgage holiday for a few months to help you get back on your feet, and if your sickness is only affecting you short-term, this could be a good option for you. You will need to contact your lender as soon as you’re aware that you’re going to struggle to pay – being proactive will make them much more likely to help you. If you hide from the problem, they will often be less supportive, so make sure to deal with it right away if you know that you’re only going to struggle for a few payments.

If your illness is more long-term and you can’t see a resolution in place, you will need to consider other options – a mortgage holiday is only temporary.

Do I have to sell if I can’t afford the mortgage?
Generally, if a homeowner can’t afford their mortgage payments then the answer is to sell the house and either buy a smaller house that has a more affordable monthly payment or consider renting until in a stronger financial state.

However, you will need to make that decision for yourself as to whether moving out is the right option or if there are other ways for you to be able to make the payments that you need.

Depending on your illness, you may be able to get some support, and if you do qualify you should utilise that. You can find out what benefits and help you could be entitled to through your council, and this could be enough to allow you to stay in your house. You don’t know until you ask, so it’s worth doing, especially if you’re concerned that you can’t afford to live there anymore.

What happens if I don’t pay my mortgage?
Mortgage lenders will do their best to be supportive and help you find a solution that suits you both, but you need to put in the work for them to do this for you. If you contact them as soon as you know that you’re going to struggle, they will be much more likely to approve a mortgage holiday or look into interest-only payments for a period of time until you get back on your feet.

If you don’t contact your lender and just avoid making the payments, things can move very quickly and leave you in a difficult position. Lenders can apply for a repossession order if you miss payments, and this can be catastrophic to a homeowner – not only is it an embarrassing and stressful experience, but a repossession order will stay on your credit file for years which could prevent you from securing another mortgage. Dealing with financial troubles head-on is the best way to get in control and keep yourself afloat.

What’s the easiest way to sell?
For some, selling is the right decision, especially if you’re not able to qualify for enough to pay your mortgage and still be able to live comfortably. In this case, especially when experiencing ill-health, homeowners will want to sell their house in the simplest way possible to avoid the stress and complications that often come with property.

There are a few options that you can look into, and make a decision as to which will be the best for you –

1. A local estate agent:
Selling with an agent is the most traditional way to sell a house and is the first option that most homeowners will think of when looking to sell. There are positives and negatives to selling with an agent – while you’re more likely to get a higher price for your sale, it can take over 6 months, with no guarantee that you’ll achieve your sale.

2. Selling at auction:
​This is probably the fastest selling method, but also the riskiest which isn’t always ideal for someone who’s struggling financially. Selling at an auction will mean that you give up most of your control of the sale price, and while this can sometimes result in a bidding war and get you a higher price, this is very rare.

3. Selling to a quick-sale company:
These companies can help you sell in a short timeframe for a price that you’ve agreed, which makes it a great option for those who are looking to sell quickly but are relying on the funds of the sale.

You should research all of these methods before deciding which is going to be the best option for you, as each will have positives and negatives that you’ll need to take into account.

Should I sell if I’m struggling to maintain the house?
Especially if you’re struggling physically with your health, maintaining a house can be incredibly difficult. Some homeowners decide to sell because of the financial implications behind their health, but the physicality’s can also play a huge part.

Some homeowners find dealing with their garden is becoming impossible, for example, and while they may decide to hire a gardener to deal with it instead, it can be a sign that it’s time to sell. Stairs can play a huge factor in this decision too – fitting a stairlift isn’t as cheap and easy as a lot of people may think, and it can often be a better idea to look for somewhere that’s more suited to you, with no stairs and a walk-in shower rather than a bath that’s more suited to your mobility.

As well as this, if you’re currently struggling in your house and think that this will only get more difficult, you may want to consider selling now rather than down the line when you’re struggling more. The moving process is not easy and can be difficult both physically and mentally, so it can be a good idea to sell earlier to avoid more excessive struggling in the future.

Ultimately, it’s your decision as to whether your health should influence your house sale, but there are a couple of different options that you’ve got if you are concerned and think that now is the right time to sell. If you have been asking yourself “when should I sell my home?” we hope that this article can help you make the decision that’s right for you!