Friday, January 28, 2022

Inherited a Property? How to Decide What to Do with It

Inherited a Property? How to Decide What to Do with It

Inheriting a house is both a blessing and a curse. While homes are a great asset and can potentially yield significant sums when sold, they also come with costs. In addition, an inherited property might not be in your area, or in a poor condition. If you have recently inherited a property, here’s a guide to help you decide how to proceed. 

Do You Own the Property Outright?

If you are now the sole owner of the property, all the decisions are yours alone. However, you may share ownership with a sibling or other relative. If so, any decisions about keeping or selling the property will need to be joint ones, which may cause problems. For example, perhaps you want to sell the property to settle some debts, but your sibling, who owns a 50 percent stake, would like to live in the property. If this is their plan, they would need to buy out your share of the property. If you can’t agree, the court will need to intervene. 

The deceased may also have granted a partner the right to remain in the property, in which case, even though you own the property, you can’t realize your asset until that person moves out or dies. 

What Condition is the Property In?

Carry out a full inspection of the property if you are not familiar with it. If it has been owned by an elderly relative, there may be significant maintenance issues, such as old plumbing and wiring. Fixtures and fittings likely haven’t been updated for many years, and chances are it won’t be in a sellable condition unless you spend some money.

Ask for contractors to quote for any work that needs doing. That way you can put together a budget and decide whether this is a project you are willing to take on and can afford. 

Keep Vs Sell

Homes that have been in the family for many years often have an emotional attachment. Maybe you grew up there, in which case, you will have a lot of memories tied to the place. This is often a big incentive to hang on to an inherited property, but be sensible. 

Can you see yourself living there? If not, could you manage it as a rental? If the property is located in a different state, or even a different country, it is important to be realistic. There’s no point hanging on to an old property, paying property taxes year after year, only for it to lie empty and fall to bits. 

Selling the property might be the most sensible option. If the real estate market in that area is strong, you could realize a decent price, even if it’s in a poor condition. Speak to a local realtor to find out more. Or, if you can’t wait that long, contact a cash home buyer company that will take the property off your hands quickly and for cash. 

Don’t rush into any decision when you discover you have inherited a property. Take your time and weigh up the pros and cons of selling versus keeping so you don’t end up losing money. 

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