When an old relative dies, it can be a painful moment for those who are left. It sometimes feels as if you were losing your link to the past. The memories of the previous generations seem to fade away. Then one morning you receive a letter from the solicitor who is managing the succession and will of your relative. They’ve left you their old house in inheritance.
Don’t make any rash decision before you can evaluate the property. It is big of a decision to make in a matter of minutes. You must decide whether you want to sell, rent or simply keep the house. First of all, there is an emotional journey that you will need to go through. This is before you are able to handle the situation in a pragmatic way. But more importantly, there are a million of questions you’ll need to consider.
Starting from whether the house is still under a mortgage or whether the property is wholly owned. Ultimately it’s fair to say that a little guidance wouldn’t be wasted for everyone. Here are the tips and primary actions you need to take to make the most of your property inheritance.
Have You Received A House As Inheritance?
Evaluate the condition
Old homes have in personality what they can lack in safety. In fact, if the house was built before the 1980s, you need to be aware of the risk of harmful materials in its structure, from lead to asbestos. Before you get to take any decision regarding the property, you will need to schedule a home inspection with a professional to identify the potential risks and areas that require improvements as a matter of emergency.
By working closely with contractors, you can also get a complete quote for how much the various necessary repairs would cost. A reputable source of independent and professional information is the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). A standard home inspection includes a review of the house structure, plumbing, drainage, heating, cooling, and electricity. You can also explain the situation to an inspector. Let them know that even though the house was inhabited, it’s not been checked in a long time.
Decide what you want to do
Once, you’ve got your head around the fact that you now own a house of inheritance, it’s time to address the big question. What do you want to do with the property? Knowing what work must be done to put it back in a safe and acceptable condition puts you in a better position to decide upon the future of the property. Health hazards are dangerous. Most of them are also not covered by home insurance.
Ultimately, it’s fair to say that an old house has no immediate value to you unless you’re in the process of looking for a new home for your family. If this isn’t the case, it’s fair to say that the options that are available are either to sell or to rent the house. You need to carefully consider the impact on your finances that any choice will have. For instance, as a landlord, you will have to handle income taxes and home maintenance. As a home seller, you’ll need to ensure that the profit made from selling can help you recover the cost of the repair work.
Improve the outdoors
If your relative didn’t take much care of the garden in their later life, you are probably facing the challenges of an overgrown garden. A wild landscape can be overwhelming at first. It can also put the property at risk of flooding if the lack of garden maintenance reduces the ways for the water to infiltrate the ground. As a result, heavy rain can lead to a flooded property.
While you can roll up your sleeves and go through the garden to rejuvenate it, you can also get in touch with a professional landscaper to manage the area. You can read more now about the best designs for each type of garden. Additionally, getting the garden under control will be beneficial to attract either future tenants or buyers. Elegant and organized outdoors imply that the property is looked after.
The essential home maintenance
It is fair to say that if the garden is overgrown, the property might be suffering as well from a lack of attention and maintenance in recent time. To put things clearly, an overgrown garden is not uncommon with a rundown home. So how do you best rejuvenate the property to a condition where it can be put on the real estate market?
Aside from the indispensable renovation and improvement works, which will be highlighted through a home inspection – you may want to ensure that the home doesn’t look its typical character. After all, old houses have a charm that you can’t find in modern properties. Preserving the original features – where they can be safely preserved – is hard work but it is rewarding in the end. You can create a house like no other on the market. However, not everything can and should be preserved. Features and structural facilities that can’t be repaired need to be changed as a matter of emergency. This includes things like original plumbing.
What to do to attract buyers/tenants?
If you want to maximize your chances of using the house as an income generator – with tenants of buyers – you need to add attractive features too. The essential maintenance work will not be enough to stand out. However, the addition of a laundry room appeals to 92% of potential buyers. This makes it a quick win if you’re looking to sell. Tenants are also interested in properties that come with laundry facilities. Energy-saving windows and external lighting are equally high on the list of demands for buyers. There’s for you the potential to recover your investment rapidly.
Ultimately, an old property may not seem like an exciting succession at first. But there is a lot of potential in a house. Whether you choose to keep it and rent it for sentimental reasons or whether you sell it, you could maximize your gains with a pragmatic approach to maintenance and inspection. Receiving a home from inheritance can be a profitable thing if you follow the tips and suggestions above.
Do you have any other suggestions when receiving an old home from inheritance? Please add them to the comment box below.