Because inheriting a childhood home almost always means the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to consider the potential financial benefits it can have for your family. However, once you have had time to deal with the loss, there are important decisions that will need to be made. One of the most important decisions to consider when inheriting real estate of any kind is whether you should keep it or sell it. If you have recently inherited a home or other real estate, or will be inheriting in the future, the following points will help you determine how to handle this gift in the most beneficial way for your family's financial situation and future.
Consider your current situation
If the home is in your area or an area where you would like to live, you may want to seriously consider keeping the home. This can be especially beneficial if you are living in a rental home or have a mortgage on your current home. Moving into your childhood home would allow you to eliminate rent payments or sell the mortgaged home, freeing up a considerable amount of your monthly income which could then be used for other needs. Even if your childhood home needs some renovation, the costs to renovate may become very affordable when you have no rent or mortgage payments to make. However, if your childhood home will require extensive renovation or enlargement, you will want to carefully consider the costs involved in making those improvements before deciding whether to keep the home or sell it.
Understand the potential tax burden
In some cases, inheriting a home comes with a tax burden in the form of capital gains taxes. While the beneficiaries of inherited property do typically receive a stepped-up tax basis on the property that reflects its fair market value for the date of the previous owner's death, if capital gains taxes are due, they could be twenty percent or more. In addition to verifying potential tax information about the home, remember to have the title searched so you can look for any liens or encumbrances that may have been placed upon the home before deciding what to do with it.
Consult with a real estate professional
To help you determine the current fair market value of the property as well as the potential benefits of keeping the home versus selling it, take time to consult with a trusted real estate professional in the area where the home is located. They will be able to provide a comparative market analysis that will provide important information such as current value and potential market time.