It is an unfortunate and grievous loss to lose a loved one and we’re sorry for your loss. Dealing with being a property owner is full of challenges at the best of times, but to pile on the passing of someone close to us makes it that much more so.
Once this burden is placed on your shoulders you think, “I inherited a house, what to do with this house?” What is best here – to rent it, to sell it? If I should sell it, then how should I sell it?
When there are so many options to choose from…
We can and will help you.
Being veteran investors in Seattle real estate, we continually look for several houses each month in the Seattle, Washington market. Those who have inherited a house and are wishing to sell the house frequently come our way. It is via this experience that we are able to give you some useful tips that will help you pilot through the process.
I Inherited A House, What To Do Next?
Here’s a few key concerns to insure your decisions are spot-on:
1) Double Check that the Mortgage is paid.
Assuming that there is no mortgage and the home is yours free and clear without debt would be fantastic. However if the person who left you the probate property had a mortgage then you must pay it off… that is if you want to keep the property. Often a bank will allow you to assume the loan, while others may require a refinance which will create a new loan. Depending on if you qualify for this new loan or not, then you may have to rent, yet that may not be something you want to deal with.
2) Must Properly Manage the Investment.
Assuming that you don’t want to deal with brokers, maintenance, tenants, rent collection and all the other things when you’re selling a house after probate, then you may want to hire a professional to help you or pull your cash out now. Those who inherit sometimes decide to hold onto the house and rent it out for monthly income. Nothing wrong with that choice as long as you are prepared to fill the roll of a property manager: toilets, rent, etc.
3) Costs of Property Ownership.
Perfectly maintained properties are rare. Many need major improvements especially selling a house during or after probate.
In order to avoid those overlooked surprises that cost a lot, consider hiring a professional property inspector. That pro will be able to give you a detailed list of all those things you’ll need to take care of and maintain over the next five years and the estimated costs.
4) Selling a property for top dollar costs money.
If you don’t want to deal with making repairs, updating kitchens, improving landscaping and overall cleanup, don’t worry. We buy Seattle houses for cash, as-is.
5) If the market will continue to grow faster than your other options, hang on to the investment.
We can help you determine the market value of your property when selling your house after probate agreement today versus the long-term benefits of renting. If you can use the equity in your property in another way that outpaces the performance of the real estate market, you should. If you don’t have anything better to do with the money and the neighborhood is rising in value, hang on – real estate can be a great investment if you know how to correctly read the market.
6) Uncle Sam wants a piece of the action – Inheritance or Probate Tax.
Don’t forget to discuss your inheritance with tax and legal professionals before you take action. There are major property and income tax consequences that will dramatically impact the cost of owning your investment.
7) Consider all your options.
In certain situations we may be able to help you structure a lease-option agreement that allows you to rent and sell at the same time – capturing the best of both worlds. These kinds of deals can be complicated, but our Seattle investment experience can help you win.
8) Compare a few scenarios.
We’ll help you determine prices for any property near Renton – if you sold it today without doing any work, the highest price the market will bear, and the projected value of keeping it as a rental (along with the costs).