An inherited house isn’t always the gift that it was intended to be. While the person who willed the house to you thought they were doing a good deed, all too often we find that they have done so without understanding the potentially burdensome costs of ownership and maintenance that the heir has also been given. When those costs get dog piled onto the heir’s own personal or professional financial responsibilities, the results can often be devastating. This is worse if the inherited house is in a severe state of distress and requires a great deal of upfront cash for rehabilitation to turn into a desirable property.
Regardless of your intentions with the property – whether you intend to keep your newly inherited house for yourself and eventually move into it, if it needs to sit vacant for renovations, if it’s going to be a rental property for you or if you’re going to sell it there are some expenses that you’ll need to get smart on right now in order to keep the property running smoothly. If you already own your own home then you’re probably familiar with these already, yet if this is your first time owning a house then you’ll find this to be valuable information.
We’ve gathered a list of typical monthly payments to help you with a starting point. Read on to learn about all of the costs of holding onto an inherited house in Indianapolis.
Every piece of Hoosier real estate has property tax assessed against it and the payments are due on May 10th and November 10th every year. Once the property is legally passed on to you, the heir, you are responsible to ensure that the property tax gets paid on your inherited house in Indianapolis. Most times, if there’s a mortgage on the property then the tax payments are a part of your monthly mortgage payment, and the mortgage company holds the tax money in escrow and pays the tax payment for you. Sometimes this is not the case and you may have a mortgage to pay that does not include the tax payment held in escrow. If there is no mortgage then you definitely will have to pay the tax yourself. You may also find that the taxes go up when you take ownership since you may not have the same exemptions that the person who willed you the house had. You can look up more information on the property taxes of your inherited house by looking on the county tax assessor’s website. Failure to pay the taxes could result in the county selling the property at the county tax sale, and you would lose the house altogether.
Whether you have a mortgage or not, you need to make sure you have home owner’s insurance. If you have a mortgage then the mortgage company will require it, but if you do not have a mortgage then technically you can get away with not…don’t do this! Make sure you have insurance. There are a ton of reasons why. If there is a mortgage and you can’t find any information in the house about who the insurer is, then you may be able to get that information from the mortgage company. Then you can contact the insurance company to make sure your name gets put on the policy and the decedent’s name is removed. You’ll most likely need a death certificate for this and maybe even a copy of the will. Don’t delay – it could be financially devastating to you if something happens and you don’t have property insurance while holding onto an inherited house in Indianapolis.
If the house you’ve inherited in Indianapolis has a homeowner’s association, then you likely owe some kind of dues to that association. You can find out by asking the neighbors, or if you’re more savvy you can look up the tax record, find the neighborhood name (if it’s not listed at the front of the neighborhood) and do an internet search for the neighborhood name + HOA. Then you can contact the management company to find out how much the dues are and how to pay them.
Assumption of Mortgage
Sometimes it’s possible for you to assume the mortgage if you hold onto an inherited house in Indianapolis. The wording of the original contract with the lender may be the determining factor in your ability to assume the mortgage. If you’re unable to assume the current mortgage then you will have to apply for a new mortgage on the house. If you’re unable to qualify for a mortgage large enough to pay off the decedent’s old mortgage, then ultimately you’ll have to sell the house in order to pay off the decedent’s mortgage or they will foreclose on you through their “due on sale” clause in the original contract. If the decedent had a reverse mortgage, you would need to pay the loan off to keep the property. For any of these situations, you’ll definitely need a copy of the death certificate and probably the will.
While you are not necessarily obligated to pay the utility bills under the name of the deceased, you’ll still want to continue making these payments. If you’re going to live in the house or keep it for some time in your own name, then you should ask the utilities to put the bills in your name. You’ll also want to make sure that they mail/email the bills to your address or email address rather than where the decedent had them going. If you don’t know who the utility companies are, often times you can find out by doing an internet search of “Indianapolis utility companies” or something similar. You could also ask neighbors or even a local real estate agent or investor. Regardless, do your homework and make sure all of the utility payments are paid on your inherited house in Indianapolis. Failure to pay these could result in a potentially costly shut off (think no heat in winter but water still turned on) or they could become a lien on the property and taken out of the profits when sold.
If you’re considering maintaining ownership of the property, it’s advisable to have a professional inspection done so you can understand what you are getting into fully. Depending on the length of time that the house has been vacant and the state of repair the property is in, holding onto an inherited house in Indianapolis could become extremely expensive. Monthly expenses for repairs on older properties can easily equal or exceed mortgage payments. This is especially true when considering the cost of labor and materials in this post COVID world that we’re living through right now.
When we drive through neighborhoods, it’s often easy to tell which homes are vacant because the yard has been allowed to grow wildly, adding to the distressed appearance. Unless you have spare time, you will need to ensure that the yard is appropriately maintained when holding onto an inherited house in Indianapolis. There are a bunch of lawn mowing companies on the internet, so call around and get some good estimates.
Even if you have a plan for the property, holding onto an inherited house in Indianapolis is going to cost you money. 317 Home Buyers will pay you a great price and close when you are ready. If you don’t feel that you can handle the emotions of going through the possessions of your loved one to clean out the property, you can leave everything in place or take what you like, and 317 Home Buyers will handle the rest for you. Call 317 Home Buyers at 317-623-4734 or send us a message today!