The Inherited House: Should You Keep It Or Not?

7 October 2014
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

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Inheriting a house is usually good news. But there are times when a property -- especially a run-down one -- may be such a potential money pit, you could be better off getting rid of it. Even a reasonably well-maintained home could end up costing you a lot of money in taxes and various fees, including association dues and insurance payments. Before you decide whether to keep, rent or sell a property, you need to do the following:

Have a Home Inspection Performed

Although home inspectors are typically hired after a house has been put under contract, it's wise to have an inspection performed on a poorly maintained or older property, especially if you're not sure whether you want to keep or list it. An experienced inspector like In Side Out Home Inspection Inc should be able to identify the flaws and defects in your house, including potentially dangerous ones that could be costly to fix. For example, an inspector might discover that a former owner made unsafe modifications in the house that you would have to fix in order to sell it. A home inspection can also help you to decide:

  • Whether you can afford to make the necessary repairs to the house. If you are debating whether to keep the house, you will want to know how much all of the necessary fixes will cost you and if the house is worth investing that much money into it. 
  • If you should fix up the defects in your property first and then sell it, or if you need to sell it "as is." Look over your home inspection report and add up the costs of all of the necessary repairs the house needs. If they are more than you can afford or you can recoup when you sell the house, you may want to list the property "as is," which means that you will not be making any fixes to it prior to the sale. 
  • Whether you want to fix up the property and rent it out. 

Know the Market

You will also need to do your homework on the local real estate market, especially if you do not live in the same area as the property. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the real estate market was hot in some areas, including Greater Vancouver and Calgary, but not in all areas of Canada. If the real estate market is slow in your area, you may want to wait until it heats up before listing your property. 

And, lastly, remember to use your head and not your heart when deciding whether or not to keep a property. As harsh as it may sound, you don't want to end up losing your savings on a property just because it has sentimental value.