Now what? When inheriting a home there is usually a lot going on and sometimes the house just takes the back burner for a little bit. It happens all the time. We wanted to help people understand some of the things they can expect over the next few weeks and also help homeowners understand the options they have if they are thinking “I inherited a house; now what?”.
Often times we hear from homeowners after they have been thinking “I inherited a house and I need to figure out what I am going to do next.” I’ve actually had a bunch of questions and calls recently about “What should I do ? I inherited a house!” and so I thought I would try and cover the topic in detail.
There are things to consider – was there a will, are you the only person inheriting the property or will you have to coordinate with other people, does the house need repairs, do you need to go thru probate – what is probate! It can be an overwhelming experience if you just inherited a house.
Check out some of my other information on inheriting a home here, and I’ll be sure to add any links below as I continue to expand on the subject. If you inherited a home or are expecting to inherit one soon, let me know if there are any questions that you would like me to address!
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Inherited a House Guide and Resources
- Inherited a Home with No Mortgage
- Capital Gains on inherited property
- Cost to Sell a property
- Inheriting a house in a trust
- Should I sell or rent my property?
Do you need to go thru the Probate Process?
Your first main consideration with an inherited house, and a place that I recommend any of my clients start with, is to find out if you need to go through the probate process at all. This next part is important if you have been thinking “I inherited a house and need to figure out the next steps.”
If the inherited house was jointly owned or was set up in a living trust, you may be able to avoid probate, but otherwise, you will likely be in this process. However, there are so many unique local laws and requirements that I tell anyone I speak with to find a local real estate attorney and book a half-hour call with them. They will be able to tell you the specifics about the home and what is needed, including deadlines to file and what you need to be aware of.
It can be too difficult to provide perfect advice for each specific situation since we are looking to educate homeowners on a wide scale. A general rule of thumb for us is that if the deceased did estate planning then there is a good possibility it was set up to make the inheritance process extremely simple for you.
The probate process can be tricky, and due to the myriad of ways in which localities treat the probate process, you might need to file paperwork within a week or two, so getting on top of this issue is always front of mind for us.
Need help finding a good local attorney? Reach out to us and we can help connect you with someone who knows what they’re talking about.
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What Options Do You Have With an Inherited House?
You don’t HAVE to keep a property you inherit. If you have been thinking I inherited a house and just need to decide what to do with then these options may help you decide. A lot of people feel obligated to keep a property they inherit for some reason, but it is an asset just like any other asset out there.
You of course can keep the property, which is especially nice if it is owned free and clear. Again, check out our article on this topic specifically. Even if there is a mortgage on the property, a lot of times all you need to do is reach out to the bank or lending institution and request that you take over the mortgage.
Typically, the bank will let you keep the same terms that were in place and will simply have you assume the remaining mortgage. This is not guaranteed, but usually, this is how these situations are handled.
Becoming a Landlord
Should you decide to keep the property, one of the most common next steps is to rent out the property and become a landlord. This is especially sought after if the property still has a mortgage that you are assuming, as renting out the property is a great way to ensure you are covering the mortgage expense each month.
In most cases, we recommend this step assuming the inherited house does not need too much work for it to be considered move-in ready. For us, typically that means having to invest less than a couple of thousand dollars on repairs and cleaning.
Any landlord does have to deal with the dreaded 3 T’s of renting a property:
I try to convey to new landlords just how much work it requires to manage a property, especially if you have needy or difficult tenants. Tenants need a lot of support and that is not always the easiest thing for a working professional to have to do in their free time.
If that is something that seems daunting to you, you can always opt for the Air BnB method, where you rent out the property in shorter time spans. This is generally done in vacation areas or as short term rentals for traveling working professionals, which during pandemic times, can be a bit tough to market throughout the year.
If you want to discuss the process of managing a property, by either of the methods above, give me a call and I can help get you set up for success!
Sell an Inherited House
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that you can just as easily sell the property. Of course you have the typical methods of sale, whether that be For Sale By Owner or through a realtor, the typical ways of selling a property are pretty well known and applicable in this situation.
However, inherited houses tend to have repairs needed and are usually a little more tricky to sell via standard methods. So I also want to let you know that you can easily sell your property to someone like me.
We buy houses via cash or terms, and we buy houses as is – meaning you have to invest $0 in upgrades or cleaning and we will work with you to set up the most ideal terms for your specific situation.
Within a week of inheriting a property, you can easily sell it and get a cash payment or set yourself up to become the bank and receive monthly payments all while earning more on your property in the long run than if you were to sell it traditionally. Plus you won’t have to deal with a bank!
If this seems like something that might appeal to you, give me a call and let’s figure out the best deal for you!