Inherited A House? – What Now? 


INHERITED A HOUSE  – what now?  Do you sell it now, hold it for awhile and see if a family member will perhaps move in or perhaps rent it out?  But what about your brothers and sisters, will they want to do that?  These are the typical questions when you suddenly find yourself with a house you don’t really want.  Deep inside you probably would rather have the cash; but of course, the house could be full of wonderful family memories that tug at your heart strings and make it hard to part with.  What do you do?  Remember we buy houses for CASH and close QUICK!!

Here is the reality, the house will likely never be more valuable money wise than right now.  Here’s why.  Who is going to maintain the house while you decide what to do?  It doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to take over things.  Sure you can hire someone to cut the grass but they don’t really do a great job and weed-wacking isn’t exactly what they like doing either. What about weeding those gorgeous gardens?  Then how many times a week will you have to pay to cut the grass during the fast growing summer season?  Winter isn’t any easier because you have sidewalks that need shoveling and heat bills to pay for an empty house.  And what about the falling leaves?  So don’t pay for heat you say, well then the water pipes freeze when no one is around and flood the basement or floors.  The woodwork curls up, the carpets mold and then spread mold throughout the house.  Mold loves an empty house.  So keep the heat on and pay the bills.  Of course you have to keep the electric on or how will you be able to show to potential buyers!  Remember vandals love an empty house.  That nice copper plumbing, a/c parts and anything of value will be stripped away by vandals.  An empty house is a magnet for all sorts of critters to move in and squirrels and raccoons are masters at this sort of thing.  Did I mention that the gardens overgrow with weeds and trees begin to push on the foundation and walkways. 

Bushes grow up past the windows and doors and the roof gets a hole in it from all the leaves in the gutters.  So just how long can you wait to decide to sell, the reality is – not very long.  It only takes a few weeks for any or all of the above to happen and when it does, the value of the house drops dramatically.  Remember we buy homes for CASH with QUICK CLOSE.

Okay, so rent it and avoid the pitfalls of an empty house.  But they don’t pay their rent on time or perhaps even at all.  And how do you know they are taking good care of your beloved home?  What if they have pets who use the carpet for a bathroom or the woodwork for a scratching post.  Then there are the screens and window that get knocked out and turn up missing or damaged.  Of course you will have to paint and put in new flooring every time a tenant moves out, which to your disappointment is all too often.  Also you have the problem of no one living in the house while you are seeking another tenant.  Who will handle the calls in the middle of the night when they are without electric or the toilet is clogged?   As in one of our cases, they left the fireplace damper open and burned the entire house to the ground!   Do you want the added financial burden this brings, are your siblings going to share in these expenses and actions needed?  Truth is – no.  Everyone has good intentions but in the end, the burden will be yours alone.  Remember we buy homes for CASH with QUICK CLOSE!

Are you beginning to see why the home will never be as valuable as it is the day you inherited it?  Let’s say the house is fairly nice, doesn’t need any updates and all the bills are paid.  You could hire a realtor and list the property and wait for a buyer to come along.   Our experience shows that most houses don’t close with the first buyer and you are months and months awaiting for a closing that doesn’t happen.  So you start all over.  Then in the meantime that house is sitting vacant again.  Of course you are in competition with all the other houses in the neighborhood and some of them will have more features or more current updates.  Maybe you should update that kitchen or put in new carpet to help yours sell, but that is more expense out of your pocket and will your siblings agree and chip in?   What if a problem occurs like a roof leak or squirrels get into the attic, who will pay for that?  You end up dragging this out and incurring more expenses when all you really want to do is sell the thing and be done with it!  Remember we buy homes for CASH with QUICK CLOSE.

Okay let us now say that the house is out of  date.  Perhaps the owners stayed too long and couldn’t afford the upkeep or let things go due to medical bills.  Age creates all sorts of problem.  What if ramps are now at the doorway and the bathrooms have been converted to wheelchair access?   What if the house looks like the 1950s, hasn’t been updated and is in great need of many many repairs?  Should you take on these issues, spend the money or try to do it yourself?    What if you don’t have the time, your siblings won’t help or the cost of repairs is prohibitive.  All you want is to get the cash for the house in the less stressful way.  I can’t tell you how many times we have purchased a house due to the above, it is the most common problem we encounter.  Let us handle these issues and you can be free of the stress!  We buy ugly houses in need of repair all the time.

As executor of the estate, you have a responsibility to everyone.  That makes it difficult to make a fair decision on the house.  Usually one of the siblings wants the cash, one wants to hold the house, or maybe one wants to move in.  We already decided that holding the house isn’t a good idea for a lot of reasons.  Maybe you should let the one move in, but how does this affect the other two?  Does he/she buy the house at a fair market value that you all three agree upon?  Does that person actually pay the full price and then once everything is settled, gets their share of the inheritance from the house. How do you know in advance what the actual settlement will be?  Probably they want to reduce the price on the house by their ‘probable’ share but who knows what their share will really be until the end.  Is it likely that everyone will want to do this, no.  What if they can’t afford the house or can’t get a loan?  What if they ask for things like new carpet because mom and dad had pets and their little boy is allergic to pet hair?  You can see that a lot of emotions and uncomfortable situations will occur.  Remember we buy homes for CASH with QUICK CLOSE.

But let me toss in another issue, what to do with all that stuff!  Surely you have already removed things you want to keep or distribute to others but what do you do with the leftovers.  Garage sale, auction, donate are all good options and if you have time probably a great idea.  But time is the key here and will those siblings help.  Even after you do these things there will be leftovers, things no one wants and what about the food in the refrigerator?  What if this happens in winter and you can’t get any of this done quickly.  Will your siblings help with this or is everyone too busy or doesn’t really care, they just want you to get them their share.  Reminds me the the fairy tale of The Little Red Hen who asked for help over and over but everyone was too busy and didn’t help – that is,  until the bread was baked and smelled ooh so good… well you get the idea.  Also will they agree with the prices you get, likely not.  What happens if one of them wants to have the bedroom set to give to their friend, do you sell it to them or give it to them and will everyone agree.  How do you handle these stressful issues?  Remember we buy homes for CASH with QUICK CLOSE.

And all along you will have to continue paying any bills such as real estate taxes, insurance, electric, heat, water, gas, association dues and whatever else and none of that is going to get reimbursed unless you sell the house.  So why not just make up your mind that the easiest and quickest and surely the least stressful is to just sell it to our great team!  Remember we buy homes for CASH with QUICK CLOSE.  We can close within days in most cases and the cash is yours to use as you please.  We mean real cash, take it to the bank!

What happens afterwards.  Our team of professionals will go through the house and fix anything that needs repaired, bring the house up to date on everything and eventually put it back on the market for sale looking for a new family to buy it and begin making their own memories.  Often we have to update electric, plumbing, kitchens, flooring and other issues to bring a house up to code.  No problem is too difficult for us so don’t worry if you have a flooded basement or bowed wall, we can handle that.  We offer a fair price in the “as is” condition and you no longer have the stress and responsibility.  The folks who left the house to you meant for you to enjoy the house or cash, they likely never intended to stress you out.   We have actually encountered all the stories above many times over the years.

We have been in business locally for over 30 years and have encountered many different situations, so don’t think we aren’t interested, just give us a call or email us.  Let’s talk over your situation and see what we can do.  I might also mention that sometimes we help clear the belongings out of the house if the situation calls for such measures.  Let us make this a stress free issue and let you and your siblings move on with their lives.  Give us a call now. Like we said in the beginning, your house will never be worth more than the day you inherited it!

The Gaines family is taking over the way the generation X’ers decorate their homes!

Have you started seeing white EVERYWHERE? Maybe some old barn wood thrown in? Well this is the newest, hottest tread in home décor and it is known as Shabby Chic.

In the 70s we had oranges and browns, in the 80s we had large florals, 90s gold fixtures and so on! But now we have a whole new look to play with. This new look includes lots of primitives, rough medium colored woods and white. But not just any white, destressed white. The more destressed the better.

A great thing about a ‘destressed’ look is that if your kids damage it, no big deal! Who could tell!

Don’t know where to start to achieve this look? No problem. Take a trip to your local thrift store and find yourself a piece of furniture that catches your eye. No worry if it is already beat up. At long as you like the look it will do great.

Your next stop will be the local hardware store. Pick yourself up a can of chalk paint. Find the color that really fits your style the best. There are so many soft white colors to choose from!! Don’t forget your brush or tarp should you need one.

Once you get back to your home set up your tarp or drop cloth and place your piece on top of it. You will want to clean your piece before painting to make sure the surface is clean and will take paint. When it is dry you will want to lightly sand the whole piece you plan to paint.

Next, apply your paint according to the directions on your can. Each one is just slightly different so its great to always check. Once your piece is dry and your happy with the coverage you can lightly sand the corners and add little accent areas around your piece. You can take off as much as you like this is completely based on your desire.

Are you happy with your piece? Awesome! Move that baby in the house and get it set right in place. Match that with a mirror, wooden dough bough, a light pastel vase and you have now started into the shabby chic world that you might quickly become addicted too!