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3 Things to Consider When You Inherit a House in New York

Mar - 12 - 2018

 

If you inherit a house in New York, and want to sell it to convert that valuable asset into cash. That can relieve you of maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, and the headache of becoming a landlord. But you don’t know whether to hire a Realtor or sell to a professional investor. To help answer that, there are three other questions that need answers.

Does your New York property have liens?

One of the top most considerations is whether you, as the new owner of the inherited New York property, are now subject to expensive liens. You could be on the hook if the previous owner failed to pay contractors, homeowner’s association fees, state or local property taxes, or the IRS. Extensive research may be necessary to verify that you are not going to be held responsible for any hidden costs of that nature.

Are there health and safety concerns?

Health and safety issues can also carry unexpected costs, and sometimes those can be astronomical. Maybe you sell to someone who later gets sick from exposure to toxic mold often found in homes. The same goes for asbestos, radon gas, lead-based paint, or other types of environmental contamination. You may need to hire experts to give your property a clean bill of health.

What about liability issues?

You should also protect yourself from liability lawsuits, as long as the property is in your name. If someone wanders onto the property, falls, and is injured, you could be sued for their hospital bills. A tree could fall and damage someone’s home or vehicle. They may sue you for those damages. If the home is an eyesore, that can cause problems with the homeowner’s association. You’ll need to be vigilant about maintenance and safety issues while your home is on the market. A hefty amount of insurance coverage is also recommended.

Selling to an Investor “As Is” in New York

One way to avoid such problems is to sell the home quickly, and sell it “as is” with no warranties or promising regarding possible liens, repairs, or other potential costly conditions. But it can take months to sell through a New York Realtor, and they may want you to add “curb appeal” with repairs and maintenance, before listing the property. Professional investors, by contrast, typically like to close within 30 day or less, and pay cash. Many also want to purchase homes “as is.” So you may want to talk to an investor before selling. They may have the simplest and most profitable solution for the situation you just inherited.

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