I Inherited a House. What Should I Do Now?

We buy houses in Atlanta and surrounding counties. We provide residents with the ideal way to sell their homes fast for cash. First, if you inherited the property because you lost a loved-one, please accept our condolences. If you are grieving the loss, that can make dealing with property quite challenging. Suddenly, this responsibility is now yours, and if you have never dealt with an inherited property previously, it can be stressful.

You probably have many questions: “What do I do with the inherited property? Is renting it out a good idea? Should I sell the house? Should I live in the house?

You have many options, but Resideum may be able to help.

We’re experienced real estate investors and home buyers. We acquire numerous residences every month in Atlanta and surrounding areas.  Every month, we receive inquiries from people who have inherited a house and who are trying to decide what to do with it. Most are considering selling the property. If you inherited a property and need help dealing with it, the information below will guide you through the process.

Important points to consider when dealing with inherited property:

1) Be 100% certain that the mortgage is paid.

If the property has a mortgage on it, meaning that there is an outstanding loan, you need to make the payments if you don’t want to lose the property. It may be possible to assume the mortgage and take over payments without getting a new loan, but the lender or bank may not allow this. If you can’t get a new loan yourself, selling the house may be your only option.

2) An investment property needs good management.

When people inherit homes, they have to decide what to do with them. Sometimes the property was a rental when they inherited it. Other times, the house is empty and the heir decides that they want to turn it into a rental home. Dealing with rental properties can be an ulcer-inducing undertaking if you are not ready to deal with property showings, tenant demands, rent collection (and late rent), broken water pipes at 3 AM Christmas morning, advertising, repairs, broken a/c units, accounting, taxes and on and on. Consider hiring a professional property management company to deal with all of these. Yes, you’ll give up some of the profit, but having a professional handle these challenges can make owning the property much easier.

3) Inherited properties often need work. Prepare to invest.

When a homeowner dies, often the property needs work. The simple reason is that properties are typically inherited from an older or elderly person who may have lived in the property for many decades. Often, there is deferred maintenance, or maintenance that went undone for years. Also, older homes tend to be missing modern conveniences that today’s home buyers take for granted. For example, modern homes usually have multiple full bathrooms. Some will have a bathroom in every bedroom. Older homes were sometimes built with a single bathroom for the entire house.

For these reasons, you can expect that any house that you inherit will require a financial investment to take care of the deferred maintenance, and even a significant investment if the house needs to be modernized.

If you plan to hold the property, either for your own use or as a rental property, consider paying to have the property professionally inspected. Home inspectors are customarily hired by homebuyers before they complete the purchase of a home. But anyone can hire an inspector to look at a property to find any issues that need repair, either urgently or sometime in the future. Ask for repair estimates, if they are able to provide them.

By understanding what expenses are lurking in the house, you can make an educated decision about what you want to do with the property.

4) Selling a house for top-dollar may not be worth it.

To sell a house for the absolute top of the market, expect to spend lots of money and lots of time. If your inherited house is outdated or it needs major repairs, you can end up spending tens of thousands of dollars to bring the house up to the level of other homes in the area. The unfortunate truth is that most repairs and renovations do not return 100% of your investment. For example, let’s say you spend $20,000 to update the kitchen. You would be lucky to get 60% of the investment back when you sold the house. So your $20,000 investment turns into $12,000. This is only one example, but it is accurate for many houses.

Spending money to repair or upgrade the house, clean up the landscaping and generally freshen up the house is often a losing proposition. Not only do you have to find a good contractor and hope they can start soon, but also, you have to wait months for the project to be completed, overseeing it the entire time.

Consider selling to us. We buy properties in any condition and will take on the challenge of restoring them. You don’t pay any real estate commission, but you do cash out and walk away without the responsibility of dealing with the house any longer. Sell your house fast and be done with it!

5) You may want to keep the property.

We can help you understand if keeping your newly inherited property makes sense, versus selling it. Depending on what you want to do with the property, live in it or rent it, and how long you expect to keep it, it may make sense to hold on to the property. However, you may find that selling the property and investing the proceeds elsewhere would give you a better return on your money and make more sense for you. Managing an investment home is not the same as managing a stock portfolio. A house is a physical item that has special requirements. We can help you understand your options.

6) Taxes will likely impact your inherited property.

Have you looked at the tax consequences of your inheritance? Before you sell the property, consult with your legal or tax professional who can help you understand what, if any, taxes you will have to pay as a result of your inheritance. The property itself will have an annual tax cost, and the cost to you may be higher than what the previous owner was paying because they may have been getting a lower rate often afforded to elderly homeowners. But you may also be facing inheritance taxes on the value of the inherited property or capital gains taxes if you sell the property. Again, check with your chosen professional to understand the income tax consequences that you will be subject to.

7) There are other options.

Depending on the situation in your case, we may be able you help you put together a lease-option that would permit you to rent and sell simultaneously. This may sound complicated, but it may help you get the best of both worlds with your inherited house. With our years of real estate investment knowledge and experience, we can offer you several creative options that will provide a solution to your specific needs.

8) Compare different options.

We can help you determine prices for any property near your so you can understand what your house would be worth if you were to sell it today in its current condition, versus what the property would be worth if the house was in pristine condition and sold at top-dollar, versus what the property might be worth if you turned it into a rental.

Get Cash for Your House

Deciding what to do with an inherited property can be confusing and stressful. Selling an inherited property often takes time and money because the house needs work and cleaning. Inherited houses usually have personal belongings in them that you have to make decisions about and remove.

You can skip the stress and let Resideum take care of the house. We buy houses in any condition throughout Metro Atlanta. Inherited houses present challenges to you that you probably don’t want to tackle. We’ll tackle the challenges for you. Just give us a few details about the house, we’ll make you a cash offer, and once you accept, we will close on the sale in about 7 to 21 days. You don’t even have to remove the personal items left in the house. Just tell us you want to leave it, and we will dispose of it or donate it. We’ll handle every bit of the repairs and cleaning. You sell your house in Georgia, get paid quickly and move on.

Call Resideum today at (678) 710-6130 or contact us now for more information on how we can make you a fair cash offer on your inherited house today!

Greg Kurzner, is CEO of Resideum, Atlanta’s Professional Homebuyer company. Greg has been a force in Atlanta real estate for over 30 years. He has been involved in the sale of over 1 Billion in real estate transactions in his career and consistently ranks #1 in sales by units by Atlanta Realtor Association. In addition to Greg being a licensed real estate broker, he is also an Atlanta general contractor and a nationally-recognized expert in investment real estate.

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