Published on December 24th, 2021
Inheriting a property is generally something tacked
on to the end of bad news.
Once the air's cleared, you’re left to sort out
the situation with your parents property.
There's a few things you’ll want to take
care of first and then you’ll have to make the big decision: what do you
actually want to do with the property?
In short: Get organized, have the important discussions you need to have with siblings, and after the groundwork is done, you can set your final plan in motion.
It can sometimes be hard to make the right decision,
especially if you’re going through a difficult time with your circumstances.
You'll have a lot of pros and cons to weigh, and in an ideal outcome, you’ll select the path that involves the most pros for you and your siblings.
If you’re an only child, all you’ll need is a simple
internal dialogue and some time to think things through.
If you have siblings affected by the inheritance of this property, you’ll need to have a meeting with them to keep everything fair and consider everyone’s feelings.
If the property was left specifically to you instead of your
other sibling(s), you need to touch base with them to see how they feel about
the ordeal to avoid conflict.
They need to help you handle the estate and ideally, you want their support in the final decision of what’s going to happen with the house.
You can’t do anything with the property until you’ve sorted
through everything inside of it.
There may be things that other family members
want that weren’t specifically discussed in the document, and you need a
functional system for doling those things out.
As a general rule, the adult children should have the first pick, and then you should let things trickle down to the younger ones.
Whatever is garbage or unwanted should be thrown away or donated, and areas like the attic need to be cleared out.
Once everything is out of the house, give it a deep clean.
This is the big question, and the answer may not come to you very easily.
If someone wants to live in the house, that makes things easier.
If you or a family member wants to move in, that process is fairly simple.
you come to the conclusion that it’s best to sell the house, you’ll need to
find a buyer and get it market ready.
If you want to rent the property out, you'll need to become a landlord or find someone else to manage the property.
If you want to sell it, you have to consider the work that'll go into preparing the house for the market.
You also have to make sure you
won’t face any obstacles with family members who may have hostile feelings
regarding the decision to sell.
If the house needs a lot of repairs or improvements, you may
want to fix it first.
If you have no interest or funds in doing so, you may be
able to find an investor to take it off your hands and repair it themselves.
the house is already in good condition or you’re willing to get it there, you
may consider going through a realtor.
This method can potentially take a long time, depending on the value of your inherited property, where it’s located, and the local economy.
If you want to rent the property out, that becomes a business venture. It may seem appealing to receive a rental income, but you need to be willing to put in the work.
This option forces you to make necessary improvements, and while you’re at it, you might as well do the makeover work in order to make the property appealing to potential tenants.
If you don’t want to deal with all of the business aspects,
you may want to hire a property manager.
You’ll ultimately be responsible for keeping track of the property manager, and you’ll also be paying their salary out of your rental income. You’ll make less profit going this route, but something is better than nothing.
It may be worthwhile to use a property manager if you have a full time job, have multiple properties and cannot tend to all the responsibilities of running a rental on your own.
Decide who’s going to live in the house, whether it’s you or
another family member.
The process is fairly simple and will require you to have things transferred into the new owner’s name, and to then flip the utilities over.
With several different courses of action, each of which
requiring their own steps to completion, you need to form a road map for how
you anticipate the process.
Staying organized and keep a watchful eye on the money surrounding the property, the people involved in handling it, and any budget you may have set aside to modify it, will prevent you from getting in over your head too quickly.
Whichever plan you choose, you’ll need to set your course of
This may involve making checklists, investigating potential buyers, or
hiring help, such as repair specialists or a property manager.
You’ll also want
to consider backup plans and safety nets.
What if things go bad with the
tenants you rent to?
What if your house sits on the market for too long and
goes through a series of price reductions?
It never hurts to have a Plan B, just in case you need to use it.
No matter what you do, you’re going to have to deal with taxes on the property, so don’t forget to keep all of your important paperwork and receipts secured in a safe location for when it comes time to use them.
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