How To Handle Inheriting Property From A Friend Or Family Member

For many people, inheriting a piece of property from a friend or family member is the best gift anyone could give their loved ones. For others, though, it’s considered a curse for the many responsibilities it requires. Either way, inheriting property from someone is a big deal, and you need to figure out what to do with it quickly, so you don’t end up spending a lot of time and money you didn’t anticipate. 

The Curse of Inheriting Property from Someone

When someone dies and leaves you their home or business, that property often comes with a mortgage and property taxes, but it may also come with liens and other types of levies that can be complicated and costly. It becomes your responsibility to deal with these financial issues and obligations. 

In addition to the legal and financial responsibilities, it’s likely the property you inherit will require maintenance and repairs. Whether you decide to live in the property, rent it out, or sell it, you’ll need to spend the time and money necessary to get the home in shape and ready for its new occupants. 

Inheriting Property: What to do with It

When you inherit property, you generally have three options: live in the property, rent it out, or sell it. 

Moving into the Property

If you’ve lived in the house at some point or have a sentimental attachment to it, you may decide to move into the property rather than sell it. If the home is the ancestral home, many families may agree to keep it in the family.

Whatever the case, you’ll want to make sure the home is in the best shape possible for you and your family to move into, which might mean making upgrades and repairs. Also, you’ll want to be prepared for additional expenses like higher property taxes and/or mortgage payments than you’re already paying. 

Rent it Out

Another option that allows you to retain ownership of the property is to rent it out. Not only will this give you a passive source of income each month, but it might make you eligible for certain tax breaks and incentives. 

The downside to this option is that you’ll need to learn how to be a landlord and be able to devote a fair amount of time and money to make repairs and maintenance requests – many times without advanced notice. Also, those tax breaks mentioned above will cease to work in your favor should you decide to sell the property down the road. 

Sell the Property

Lastly, you can always sell the property. Many people find the responsibility of inheriting property to be too much, so selling it makes sense. When you sell your inherited property, you have two options: for sale by owner or get a real estate agent to sell it for you. 

Obviously, selling the home yourself requires a lot of effort on your part, and there will likely be parts of the process that you don’t understand. For this reason, the best and easiest option is to hire a real estate agent to do it for you. Not only will an agent handle all the complicated moving parts of the process for you, but she will also make sure you’re getting every penny you deserve out of the property. 

Inheriting a property can be a blessing or a curse, and you have options either way, as we’ve outlined above.