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Inheriting a home can mean that you get to move into the family home and carry on traditions you’ve always loved. It can also mean conflict, damaged relationships and a huge money headache. If you know that you will be the recipient of your parent’s home, it’s a good idea to start having conversations with your family members.

Keep It Livable

After your loved one passes away, you will need to keep the home livable. If your family members have been given keepsakes by your deceased family members, set those items aside and create a timeline that will allow everyone time to get that photo or piece of furniture. Once the designated keepsakes have been set aside, consider having an estate sale. If your loved one had a particular cause or charity that was important to them, consider donating the proceeds of the estate sale to that cause. This choice can be a uniting force among family members who may otherwise be fractious. Keep the lights on, the heat flowing and the water working. If you don’t live in the area, consider hiring a property caretaker to gently live in the house. They can reduce the risk of theft, vandalism and undetected damage.

Get a Clear Valuation

The condition of the home as remembered in rosy memory may not be the condition now. It only takes one small roof leak to turn a beloved parlor into a moldy mess. When selling an inherited house in Florida, make sure you have a clear and current valuation.

You should gather at least three numbers:

  • value of the home as it currently stands
  • quotes on making the necessary repairs and upgrades to raise the price
  • timeline for getting those repairs done

The assumed value after repairs may be exciting if your property is in a neighborhood that can handle these upgrades. However, before you start this process, you will need to sit down and plan out

  • how the costs of the upgrades will be covered
  • who will pay the utilities, insurance and property management during this time
  • how those debts will be covered

These situations can lead to a lot of conflict and do serious damage to relationships between siblings and in-laws. If one member of the party is absolutely convinced that they can do the repairs and get a better price and another member of the party doesn’t have the cash to commit to repairs and upgrades, selling for cash may be a much better deal.

Consider Your Timeline

The timeline for repairs and upgrades will have a big impact on your decision to upgrade or sell as is. If you don’t live in the area, hiring a contractor and monitoring the project may be difficult. If there is one recipient in the area, make sure they have the time to keep an eye on the repairs. Should this person start to feel overburdened, you may have conflict when it comes time to sell. Cash now may be a much better deal, especially if building material prices are higher than average in the region where the property is located. There may well be many opinions that crop up in this situation that are not helpful. Old conflicts may creep into current conversations. If you need to bring in a mediator, do so.

Track All Owners

Make sure you track the input of all owners. If you have an email chain or a texting thread going and someone goes quiet, bring them back into the loop. If you need to create a Zoom meeting or similar online gathering so you can encourage the quiet folks to speak up, do so. The main thing to remember is that your loved one didn’t give you the house so you never speak to your brother again.


It’s just a house, and it’s just money. You may have lovely memories of the space, but the chances are pretty good that most of those were tied to people, not a floor and a roof. Unless there are contractors, realtors, and property professionals in your family, not all of the information being shared may be accurate or germane to the situation.