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Investor Insights Blog|Finding a Hidden Gem to Convert into a Residential Assisted Living Home

Real Estate

Finding a Hidden Gem to Convert into a Residential Assisted Living Home

The following was written by Gene Guarino, founder of the Residential Assisted Living Academy.* 

When you’re looking for a property that is great for Assisted Living, location is the key. It’s about the demographics as much as the geographic location.

You are looking for a conveniently located single family home in a relatively highly populated upper middle class area where the majority of the residents are 50 or 60 years old. They’re the ones that are paying for and taking care of Mom and Dad financially.

Over the river and through the woods is great for an annual holiday visit but it’s better to be located where the family of the potential resident lives. College campus areas are not ideal either.

I suggest focusing on a population with significant incomes and residents nearing retirement. age- that is now your target location. The parents of those people are 70-90 years old and that is your target resident age group. That’s where I want to put my home.

Ultimate Real Estate Investors Resource Guide

Single story homes, ranches or bungalows are best. Two- or three-story homes can work too; the more the square footage and the number of bathrooms the better. Converting interior space into bedrooms is relatively easy but adding bathrooms can be expensive.

Zoning is important. Once you have determined the best location you need to do the basic research to understand the zoning. The Fair Housing Act allows you to establish a residential assisted-living home in any home, in any town, even with a homeowner’s association. States, cities, towns, and communities may have certain rules that must be followed. You can win the battle but I’d rather not fight the battle.

Being on a busy corner or backing up to a commercial business is OK. Small yard and no pool are OK too. Grab bars and wide doors and smooth floors are a plus but can be added later.

I look for homes with 3,000 square feet and above, suitable to accommodate 10 to 12 residents. More is better; more space, more bathrooms. I look for the opportunity to add bathrooms, half-baths, turning a large bath into two smaller baths. I suggest looking for space that can be easily converted like the garage or porch area. You can have two people in a bedroom but private bedrooms will bring more income per resident.

Let’s review:

  • The right demographic and geographic area is important.
  • Busy locations are fine.
  • Backing up to commercial is OK.
  • Single story homes are better.
  • More square footage and bathrooms are better.
  • Garages and porches to convert are good.
  • The number of bedrooms is important, but you can convert space into bedrooms too.
  • The number of bathrooms is more important because bathrooms are a lot harder to add in most cases.
  • In addition to all of that, the wide doors, the smooth floors are all elements to look for. That is how you find the hidden gems to turn into a profit.



Can I use funds from my IRA to renovate property to sell it at a higher price?

Yes. However, your IRA must pay all expenses associated with a property that it owns, including renovations. Further, all proceeds from the sale of the renovated property must be deposited into your IRA.

About Gene Guarino

Gene Guarino, CFP is the founder of the Residential Assisted Living Academy. Residential Assisted Living Academy is an American training organization specializing in residential living center investments.

Launched in 2012 by entrepreneur/real estate investor Gene Guarino, Residential Assisted Living Academy has trained hundreds of investors, business owners and entrepreneurs regarding this investment option. More information about Residential Assisted Living Academy can be found at

*Gene Guarino and RALAcademy are not affiliated with Equity Trust Company or its affiliates. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Whenever making an investment decision, please consult with legal, tax, and financial professionals.

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