6 Steps to Follow After Inheriting a House
If a loved one recently passed and left his or her house to you, you are likely going through a roller coaster of emotions. This can be a very trying time as you deal with both the sadness of losing someone you love and having to decide what to do with the house, but we want to help you as much as we can.
In this post, you will find a helpful step-by-step guide for what you should do when you inherit a house.
What to do When You Inherit a House
- Take a deep breath: While it may be tempting to dive right into figuring out what to do with the house, take a second to process everything. You are more than likely experiencing a lot of emotions, and the last thing you want to do is to make a decision that you’ll later regret. Once you are feeling more clearheaded, the house will be there waiting for you.
- Pay any outstanding bills: Next, it’s time to take care of any outstanding housekeeping tasks. For example, update the homeowner’s insurance policy, pay all of the utilities, and keep up with the mortgage if there is one.
- Get the house appraised: While you are processing, get a rough appraisal of the house. This may be more difficult to do with all of the belongings inside, but figuring out what the house is worth may help you to determine the next steps. While you may know the original rate of purchase, it has likely fluctuated as time has passed.
- Talk to family members: If you are not the sole inheritor of the house, it is important to consult with all parties before you make a decision on the house. Call a meeting with anyone involved in the decision to determine your next steps.
- Make a decision: There really are only 3 possible options after inheriting a house; sell it, rent it out, or have one party live in it. Generally speaking, if there are more than one heir involved, the easiest option is to sell the house. If one of the heirs wants to live in the house, another good option is for that person to buy out the rest of the house shares. If you are the sole inheritor of the house, the decision is really up to you.
- Ask for help: Regardless of which option you choose, it is likely that you’ll have to empty many of the items out of the house. The best way to do this is to have the people close to the person that passed go through the house first and identify any items they want to keep for themselves. Once everyone has had the chance to go through the house and when you are ready, plan on selling or donating any other items.
Let a Storage Unit Help
Depending on the status of the mortgage payments, you may have to either sell or rent out the house sooner than you would like. If you are in a situation like this, consider renting a storage unit in which you can store items from the house until you are ready to sort through them. When you are ready, the items from the house will be waiting inside of the storage unit.