When a family member or relative passes, it can be difficult to cope with the loss. Especially when it involves a parent or someone else you were close with. Learning how to move forward without them is something many people find tough to envision. These feelings can be magnified when they’re forced to sort through their loved one’s belongings and possessions. For some, it’s easier to just get rid of the things that remind them. For others, letting go of anything is hard to do. When it comes to inheriting a property or something of significant value, beneficiaries are forced to make one of two choices: Sell the inherited item for financial gain or keep it.
At Rictor Contracting, we regularly meet new clients who are looking for advice on an inherited property in Phoenix – or asking about a home elsewhere. The unexpected possession of a home can leave a lot of new homeowners overwhelmed. Understanding inheritance taxes and deciding whether to sell the house or remodel it can be a lot to consider, in a short amount of time. Being forced to participate in a probate house sale can even add strain to the situation. If you’re currently in possession of an inherited property and unsure of what to do with it, here are a 4 immediate actions that you need to consider.
After you’ve gotten access to the inherited property, your first priority needs to be to get the property re-keyed. You’ll never really know who might have had access to the property over the past few years. Friends, neighbors, dog-sitters, medical providers or other relatives could have been given a key at some point in time. Even resetting alarm codes and other security devices will help you avoid break-ins or harmless attempts to enter by those who weren’t aware of the passing. The only way to control who has access to the property is to have a locksmith professionally re-key the locks.
The next thing that needs to be prioritized after you’ve inherited a property is to have the home inspected by a professional plumber. It’s important that you avoid asking someone you know that only has a little bit of plumbing experience. All of the water lines and valves need to be thoroughly inspected before you do anything with the house – especially if no one has been living there for an extended period of time.
The risk of broken pipes or valves greatly increases when a property is left vacant. Major damage from outdated plumbing can be extremely costly. The older a house gets the more susceptible it becomes to this type of problem. At the same time, it’s 100% preventable. Keep these negative outcomes in mind when you’re inspecting the plumbing for the first time. In order to safeguard your property from turning into an expense, have it inspected by a licensed plumber.
After inheriting a property in Phoenix, one of the first things that needs to be checked out is the roof. Although it doesn’t rain a lot in the desert, the extreme heat of the Arizona summer does it’s fair share of damage. Because of this, some roofs just aren’t prepared to withstand Monsoon season when it arrives. Similar to residential plumbing, the roofing of a property can wear over time. As a rule of thumb, homeowners should be getting their roof inspected at least once a year.
When preparing to get your roof inspected, it’s important to remember there are external and internal elements of a roof. Aside from problems with coverage or drainage, there can be safety concerns within the roof structures or attic spaces with little or no evidence. If the property has also been vacant for quite some time, air flow is unable to properly circulate throughout the home. Stagnant air is a great host for bacteria and viruses, especially in this area of the house. In order to protect your inherited property from potential risks or extensive costs down the road, have the home inspected by a licensed roofing contractor before selling, renting or moving in.
When considering the first things you should do with an inherited property, getting the electrical panel inspected right away shouldn’t be a shocker to you. There are plenty of homes in Phoenix that haven’t been properly maintained or upgraded to meet safety standards. This tends to include concerning, outdated electrical panels that pose huge fire dangers for residents of the property and neighbors.
When dealing with a house that is unfamiliar to you, it’s always best to consult a residential construction professional that knows what to look for and how to address home hazards. While the previous owner might’ve gotten by with what they had, one spark can result in everything going up in smoke. Once the home is officially yours, hiring a licensed electrician to examine your electrical panel should be one of the first things on your to-do list.
There are a lot of things that can go through a beneficiary’s mind while they’re taking possession of a home. Aside from dealing with the loss itself, figuring out what to do with a newly acquired property can be overwhelming for everyone involved. It’s never a bad idea to wait before making big decisions or taking action on an inherited house when a lot of emotions are involved. Take the time to seek out the right guidance so you know what to expect moving forward. At the end of the day, we hope we’ve at least been able to provide you with enough information to know where to begin.