So You’ve Inherited a House, Now What?

We tend to only come into the ownership of a home after many years of working hard, saving up our money, and searching for the right place to buy. But there are other ways to come into homeownership, too. Take inheriting, for example, during which you’ll end up with a piece of property, but the process of acquiring it will be completely different. You won’t have sunk any capital into the home. You won’t have worked for it. You won’t have chosen it. Yet, it’s yours. So what are your options if you find yourself in this situation? We take a look at a few options below.

what to do when you inherit a house

Moving In

The first option you have is to move in and make it your fully-fledged home. Of course, whether this is an option will depend on various matters, for example, where it’s located, your current living arrangement, and whether you’re sharing the inherited home with someone else (such as another family member). This can be an attractive proposition, but the idea of moving into an inherited home is usually rejected because of practical or emotional reasons (for example, there were too many happy memories shared with previous owners). 

Renting it Out

Instead of living in the home, one option is to rent it out to other people. This is especially recommended if you’re currently living in the same location as the house because you’ll be able to find tenants, check in, and so on. It’s worth keeping in mind that there will be some legal hoops that you need to jump through in order to rent out your property, and that it’s also not a fast-track method for adding another sizeable income — you’ll have plenty of duties as a landlord. 

Selling It On

By far the most popular option for inherited homes is to sell it on. This works particularly well on multiple levels. First, if the home is shared among multiple people, it’s the easiest way to resolve things: everyone will get their share of the cash. Second, it’s usually the most emotionally draining. It can hurt to sell, but only once — living in it can be continued pain. Finally, it’s the most attractive because sometimes the costs of running the home are substantial, and if it’s not needed, then it’s pointless to pay. It’s also particularly recommended if the house is in poor condition. There are companies that will buy ugly and distressed homes, allowing the owner to get cash without first updating the property. For all these reasons and move, selling is the route most people take. 

Playing the Long Game Maintain the Value 

Finally, there’s always the option of waiting. In fact, this is recommended if you were close to the person from whom you inherited the property. You’ll need time to process the fact that the house is now in your possession, and it’s always recommended to take a little bit of time to ensure you make the right decision, rather than rush through and end up regretting it. 

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