First Home Facts

A Mixed Blessing: What To Consider When You Inherit A House

When someone loves you enough to surprise you with the unexpected inheritance of their home upon their death,  you are right to feel incredibly blessed. But inheriting a home, in this situation can be something of a mixed blessing, especially if it occurs at a time when you are not ready for the responsibilities of home ownership. If you have just become a homeowner via this route and are uncertain about how to proceed, here are some important points to consider to help you decide what to do. 

Does the home require repairs or maintenance? 

Homes inherited from older relatives, especially those who had health issues in later life, are often run-down or in need of cosmetic update or repairs. If the home you have inherited will require more than minor work to make it ready for occupancy, you will need to make sure that you can afford to do so before you consider keeping the home. If repairing or maintaining the home will result in financial stress, selling the home as quickly as possible in as-is condition may be the smartest way to handle the gift you have been given. 

Is the location suitable for your family or situations? 

The location of the home you have inherited should also be a prime consideration, as you decide whether you will keep or sell it. If the home is located where it can easily become a convenient home for your family, selling your current home and renovating the inherited home may be a great way to get out from under mortgage debt and improve your financial situation. If, however, the inherited home is located where it will be inconvenient or impossible for your family to live, you may be better off selling it and using the proceeds to pay your current home mortgage. 

Is there potential for rental income? 

If living in the inherited home is not something that you are considering, using it for a rental property to generate income could be a possibility. Having the home inspected by a home inspector and an experienced property manager can help you understand its potential as a rental property, as well as making you aware of any renovations it would require before it could be shown to prospective tenants or home buyers

Before deciding how you should handle the home you have inherited, you may want to make time to discuss your situation and concerns with a reputable real estate professional, in the area where the home is located.