What to Do If You Inherit an Old House

Mi Casa, Su Casa

When you inherit a house, you also inherit all of the financial matters that come along with it. If you're lucky enough to get a house that's paid in full, you'll still have property taxes and maintenance costs to contend with. If you get a house with a mortgage payment or liens on the mortgage, you're in charge of paying those, too. The first thing you need to find out is what the finances of the house are. If the home has a reverse mortgage, you'll only get the actual house if the estate (or you) can pay it off without selling the property. If not, the bank will sell the house to recoup the loan, and you'll inherit the remaining equity. You also have the option of trying to get a regular loan, which you can use to repay the reverse loan. If the house has an upside-down mortgage, you can choose not to open the estate and leave it to the bank to figure out. You'll also want to find out about taxes. Different states have different taxes -- inheritance taxes and estate taxes -- so make sure you get this information before you make your final decision.