Leaving a home to a family member in a will is a common strategy, and this may mean that you inherit a single-family house at some point in your life. Your automatic instinct might be to sell it, and this can certainly be a valuable way to earn some money. However, you shouldn't do so before thoroughly evaluating the house versus your own house. Your big decision is to choose whether to sell the inherited home or sell your own single-family home and move into the inherited home. There are several pros and cons of each situation, and there's no answer that works universally. In order to decide what to do, here are some factors to evaluate.
There are perhaps few more important criteria to think about when you inherit a house than its size — and, in particular, its size in comparison to your own house's size. Some people will automatically want to live in the larger home. This means that if the inherited home is bigger, you may start the process of putting your current home on the market. However, some people also like smaller homes. If you live in a large home and are planning to downsize in a few years, getting a smaller home following a family member's death may make moving worthwhile.
You should also evaluate the amenities of your current home versus those of the inherited home. Perhaps your current home only has one bathroom, and with four family members, this is a repeated point of contention. Should the inherited home have two or three bathrooms, you may lean toward keeping it and selling your current home. Similarly, the size of the yard can be appealing. For example, if your single-family home has a tiny yard but the inherited home has an acre, you may feel as though the latter is better for your children.
Make sure that you get some help from a real estate agent before you make your decision. This expert can give you some professional opinions on the value of your current home versus the value of the inherited dwelling. Don't necessarily focus on the current value of each. Instead, listen when the agent talks about the future value of each. For example, one home may be situated in more of a desirable area, which could cause its value to climb faster than the other house. This is an important detail to think about before you make up your mind.
Contact an agency, like Crutcher & Hartley Team, for more help.