26 January 2015

7 Things to Do When You Inherit a Home


FOX Business Network host Jamie Colby weighs in on the top 7 things you should do when you inherit a home. Colby is the host of Strange Inheritance, the new story-driven reality series debuting on Monday, January 26 at 9PM. Jamie Colby_Strange Inheritance

1. Check the title. Make sure that the ownership is in the name it is intended so that it is freely transferable to you.

2. Make sure there are no liens against the property. If work had been done over the years on the property or it was given as collateral against any loan, there may be banking institutions or individuals that have a claim against your inheritance. You will want to research this and settle any claims before you consider or attempt to sell, lease or transfer title to the property. It may also affect the property’s value if somebody else has a claim against it.

3. Get a condition report from a licensed contractor or engineer to see what repairs need to be made. Often times properties that are long held in families can be – if they are not primary residences -in disrepair. You certainly want to protect the value of any inheritance and even minor repairs can enhance value.

4. If you are considering refurbishing and selling your inheritance, there are small things you can do to enhance the value. Consider a paint job, an upgrade of furniture, fresh flowers throughout if you are going to be showing your property and landscaping is often the first thing folks see when looking at a home so it can be a very worthwhile investment.

5. Modernize where you can. Updating a kitchen or bathroom or even flooring can make a huge difference in how a property appears to others. New drawer handles, doorknobs even small change can revamp the look of s property and bring it up to date.

6. Get to know your neighbors. Learning about the neighborhood and what sales have taken place could provide you with valuable comparables to determine how much your inheritance is really worth. Consult an attorney, too, to learn any taxes you may owe as a result of your home inheritance.

7. Check the attic and basement! The garage may also hold hidden treasures that you and your family may have forgotten about or never known. Many of our families on Strange Inheritance found treasures including long-forgotten baseball cards, comic books, coins and other valuable items hidden away by loved ones and not necessarily detailed in a will. In some of our stories on the show these found treasures were valuable enough to be lifesaving or life altering.

Happy hunting and homeowning!

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