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I Inherited a House, What To Do? – Should I Rent or Sell in Central Mississippi?

First, we’re so sorry for your loss. This can be a very challenging time for many reasons, and dealing with property ownership is tough at the best of times.

You’re thinking, “I inherited a house, what to do with this house?” Should I rent it? Should I sell it?  How should I sell it?

Tons of options open for you, but…

… we can help.

We’re seasoned investors in Central Mississippi real estate, and we’re looking to buy several houses each month in the Central Mississippi Mississippi area. Every month we get calls from those who have inherited a house and are looking to sell the house… so the info below are some tips to help you navigate the process.

I Inherited A House, What To Do Next?

Here’s a few important considerations to help you make the right decision:

1) Make sure the mortgage is paid.

This may sound obvious, but if the person who left you a property also had a mortgage (unless it had no mortgage and was paid off, which is great!), you have to pay it (assuming you want to keep the property). We buy houses every month where the owner died and the heirs were unable to pay the mortgage and the mortgage company foreclosed. The sooner you contact the mortgage company the better. Find out if the person had credit life insurance on that mortgage to pay it off. This is often overlooked and could prevent that foreclosure. Working with a knowledgeable agent or investor is invaluable during the probate process, along with an attorney to guide you through the probate process.

Some banks will allow you to assume the loan, while others may force you to refinance into a new loan. If you don’t qualify for a new loan, renting may not be an option for you.

Whatever you decide, swift action is key to preserving the asset through the probate process – selling, refinancing, or renting out the property.

2) The investment is only as good as the manager.

If dealing with brokers, maintenance, tenants, rent collection and all the nuances of property management isn’t the best use of your time, hire a professional to help you or cash out now.  Some people who inherit homes decide to keep the house and rent it for extra income. That’s a great strategy for sure. You just need to be prepared to manage the property and the hassles that can go along with tenants and toilets. If the property will be your first rental, be aware of the costs, benefits, and pitfalls. Most investors that own rentals feel that you have to have a minimum number of properties to feel the income is worth the hassle and expense. If you are not looking to get in the rental market, just one house might not be worth it, unless you have sentimental reasons for wanting to keep the property and the rent subsidize the cost.

3) Property ownership costs money.

It’s rare to see a building that’s been perfectly maintained. Most inherited houses need major improvements.

Consider hiring a professional property inspector to give you a detailed rundown on what you’ll need to do within the next five years, along with estimated costs. Surprises are very, very expensive. Many cities will have rental ordinances and mandatory inspections annually and/or between renters. In addition, the subdivision property owner’s association may have restrictions on rentals or require that the association board of directors have a copy of the lease along with your, and the tenant’s, contact information.

Consider the benefit of a professional property manager to help navigate all the requirements that you may have not considered.

4) Selling a property for top dollar costs money.

If you don’t want to deal with making repairs, updating kitchens, improving landscaping and overall cleanup, don’t worry. We buy Central Mississippi houses for cash, as-is. The costs of all those repairs and improvements are always more than homeowners expect. Just the cost of a new heating and cooling system has nearly doubled in the past 2 years. Qualified contractors don’t work cheap and are often booked for weeks, if not months. We are also still plagued by supply chain issues that cause longer than normal wait times for needed materials.

5) If the market will continue to grow faster than your other options, hang on to the investment.

We can help you analyze the value of your property today versus the long-term benefits of renting. If you can use the equity in your property in another way that outpaces the performance of the real estate market, you should. If you don’t have anything better to do with the money and the neighborhood is rising in value, hang on – real estate can be a great investment if you know how to correctly read the market. We love to see when a property owner can “hold onto that investment” and reap the rewards down the road. Some owners want to keep the investment working for them while others just want out!

6) Uncle Sam wants a piece of the action.

Don’t forget to discuss your inheritance with tax and legal professionals before you take action. There are major property and income tax consequences that will dramatically impact the cost of owning your investment. This is so often the most overlooked action you need to take. One family I spoke with was put off by the hourly rate of well-qualified tax and legal professionals.  When we pointed out the potential cost of a misstep could be in the tens of thousands of dollars, the fee for a few hours of sound advice was a small price to pay.

7) Consider all your options.

In certain situations, we may be able to help you structure a lease-option agreement that allows you to rent and sell at the same time – capturing the best of both worlds. These kinds of deals can be complicated, but our Madison investment experience can help you win. This would be an example of a creative sale and needs to be well written and structured to protect all parties involved. Seeking wise counsel for any creative transaction is strongly advised.

8) Compare a few scenarios.

We’ll help you determine prices for any property near Madison – if you sold it today without doing any work, the highest price the market will bear, and the projected value of keeping it as a rental (along with the costs).

Just call us today at 601-401-6965 or contact us now for more information
on how we can make you a fair cash offer on your inherited house today!


IM, LLC is a local Mississippi investment company buying houses with a goal of rehabbing and returning the properties to the market for owner occupants. We do sell to other investors also but have a passion for creating affordable housing for those desiring ownership.

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