What to do With an Inherited House You Don’t Want

White and red wooden house with fence
Discover options for an unwanted inherited house—sell, rent, or update. Get insights on taxes, laws, and finances for a smart decision.
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Not sure what to do with the home you’ve inherited? Explore your options and considerations for inherited houses here. 

What Happens When You Inherit a House?

Inheriting a house can be a mixed blessing. It’s not just about acquiring property; it’s about managing the responsibilities that come with it.

You must consider mortgages, property taxes, and the condition of the home.

If you want to sell the home we can help you make the best out of the situation.

Understanding What it Means to Inherit a Home

To inherit a home means to become the new legal owner after the previous owner’s death. This process can be complicated, especially if there’s no will in place.

Rights and Responsibilities of an Heir

As an heir, you have the right to occupy, rent out, or sell the property.

However, you’re also responsible for ongoing expenses like insurance, taxes, and maintenance.

  • Financial Responsibilities: Heirs must manage and cover the costs of insurance premiums, property taxes, and regular maintenance for the estate.
  • Legal Obligations: It is crucial to ensure compliance with all legal requirements, which may include clearing debts and adhering to local property laws.

Mortgage Implications on Inherited Houses

If the inherited house has a mortgage, you’ll need to continue making payments or consider refinancing.

Impacts of Inheritance Tax on the Inherited Property

Inheritance tax can significantly affect the value of the property you’ve inherited.

It’s essential to understand how this tax works in your state.

The Role of Real Estate Agents in Handling Inherited Property

A good real estate agent can help you navigate the complexities of selling an inherited property, including pricing and marketing the home effectively.

Is Selling an Inherited House the Best Option?

Deciding whether to sell your inherited house depends on your financial situation, emotional readiness, and the condition of the property.

When to Consider Selling an Inherited Property

The best time to sell can vary; in many areas, late spring to early summer are peak seasons for selling. However, local market trends can influence the optimal time to list your property.

How to Decide If Selling the Inherited Home is Right For You

Consider your financial needs, the market value, and your personal attachment to the property when making this decision.

Benefits of Selling an Inherited House

Selling can provide a financial windfall, help avoid the hassle of managing a property, and relieve emotional stress.

Steps to Sell Your Inherited Property

  1. Get the house appraised.
  2. Clear out personal belongings.
  3. Make necessary repairs.
  4. Stage the home for sale.
  5. List the property at the right time, considering the peak selling seasons.

Implications of Capital Gains Tax When Selling an Inherited House

Capital gains tax applies to the profit made from selling a property. For inherited homes, the tax is based on the difference between the selling price and the cost basis.

Understanding Capital Gains and Inherited Property

The cost basis of an inherited property is usually the market value of the home at the time of the original owner’s death.

What Capital Gains Tax Means For Your Inherited House

If you sell the house for more than the cost basis, you may be subject to capital gains tax.

How to Calculate the Capital Gains on an Inherited Home

Subtract the cost basis from the selling price to determine your potential capital gains tax liability.

Tricks to Avoid Paying Capital Gains Tax on Your Inherited Home

One strategy is to live in the home for at least two years before selling, qualifying it as your primary residence and potentially avoiding capital gains tax.

Impact of Market Value and Cost Basis on Inherited House Capital Gains

Understanding the market value at the time of inheritance and the cost basis is crucial in minimizing capital gains tax.

Can You Get Help to Avoid Paying Capital Gains Tax on Inherited Property?

Consulting with a tax advisor or real estate professional can provide strategies to reduce or avoid capital gains tax.

Alternatives to Selling an Inherited House

  • Renting Out the inherited house can provide steady income but comes with the responsibilities of being a landlord.
  • Living in your inherited house can be a comforting choice if the home holds sentimental value.
  • Using the Inherited House as an investment property can be lucrative if the market conditions are favorable.
  • Donating an inherited house to charity can offer tax benefits and the satisfaction of helping others.

What to Do With a House with a Mortgage You Inherited

You may choose to keep and pay the mortgage, refinance, or sell the property to pay off the debt.

Everything You Need to Know About Taxes on an Inherited House

Inheritance and estate taxes can vary greatly depending on your location and the value of the property.

Different Types of Taxes Applicable to Inherited Houses

Understanding the difference between inheritance tax and estate tax is critical when managing an inherited property.

Methods to Avoid Paying Taxes on an Inherited House

Some methods include utilizing the primary residence exclusion for capital gains tax and exploring any available tax incentives.

Inheritance Tax Vs. Estate Tax: What’s the Difference?

Inheritance tax is paid by the beneficiary, while estate tax is paid by the estate before the assets are distributed.

What Are the Tax Incentives for Inherited Houses?

Tax incentives may include deductions for property taxes paid, selling costs, and home improvements.

Do You Pay Capital Gains Taxes on Inherited Property?

When you inherit property, you may be subject to capital gains taxes if you sell the property and it has appreciated in value since you inherited it.

While dealing with an inheritance can be challenging, there is a silver lining: the property’s value is typically reassessed at the market rate as of the original owner’s passing, potentially reducing any capital gains taxes.

For personalized advice, reaching out to a tax expert can help you navigate this sensitive matter.


Whether you decide to sell, rent, or live in an inherited house, it’s crucial to be informed about the implications of your choice, especially regarding taxes and the best time to sell. Remember, the decision should align with your personal and financial goals.

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