July 10, 2024

Inheriting a House That Is Paid Off in Missouri

When you inherit a house that is paid off in Missouri, you might feel a mix of emotions. On one hand, you've received a valuable asset that could provide financial security. 

On the other hand, you may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come with property ownership. This situation can be especially challenging if you're dealing with the loss of a loved one at the same time. Let’s take a closer look at inheriting and selling a probate house that is paid off in Missouri.

The Probate Process When Inheriting a House in Missouri

When you inherit property in Missouri, you'll likely need to go through the probate process. Here's what you can expect:

  • Filing the will: If the deceased left a will, it must be filed with the probate court in the county where they lived.
  • Appointing an executor: The court will appoint an executor (usually named in the will) to manage the estate.
  • Inventory of assets: The executor must create a list of all the deceased's assets, including the inherited house.
  • Paying debts and taxes: Any outstanding debts and taxes must be paid from the estate before assets can be distributed.
  • Distribution of assets: Once debts are settled, the remaining assets, including the house, are distributed to the heirs.

Financial Responsibilities of Inheriting a House

When you inherit a house, you also inherit several financial responsibilities. Let's look at some of the main ones:

Property Taxes

As the new owner of the house, you'll be responsible for paying property taxes. These taxes are based on the value of the property and are typically due annually or semi-annually. Make sure you're aware of when these taxes are due to avoid penalties.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Owning a house means taking care of it. This includes regular maintenance like lawn care, painting, and fixing any issues that arise. You'll need to budget for these ongoing expenses to keep the house in good condition.

Homeowners Insurance Requirements

Even if the house is paid off, you'll still need to have homeowners insurance. This protects you financially if something happens to the house, like a fire or storm damage. Shop around for the best rates and coverage for your needs.

Potential Rental Property or Resale

If you're considering renting out the house or selling it, there may be additional costs involved. For a rental, you might need to make repairs or upgrades to attract tenants. If you're selling, you may need to invest in improvements to get the best price for the property.

Missouri Tax Considerations When Inheriting a House

When you inherit a house in Missouri, there are several tax considerations to keep in mind:

  • No inheritance tax: Missouri doesn't have an inheritance tax, so you won't owe state taxes just for inheriting the property.
  • Federal estate tax: This only applies to very large estates (over $12.92 million in 2023), so most people won't have to worry about it.
  • Capital gains tax: If you sell the inherited house, you may owe capital gains tax on any increase in value since the previous owner's death.
  • Step-up in basis: The house's tax basis is "stepped up" to its fair market value at the time of the previous owner's death, which can reduce your capital gains tax if you sell.
  • Property taxes: As mentioned earlier, you'll be responsible for ongoing property taxes as the new owner.

What Should I Do With My Inherited Property?

Inheriting a house gives you several options. Let's explore some of the main ones:

Keeping vs. Selling Your House

One of your first decisions will be whether to keep or sell the inherited house. Keeping the house might make sense if you have an emotional attachment to it, need a place to live, or see it as a good investment. Selling might be the better choice if you don't want the responsibilities of homeownership or need the money from the sale.

Turn Your House Into a Rental Property

If you're not ready to sell but don't want to live in the house, you could turn it into a rental property. This can provide a steady stream of passive income. However, being a landlord comes with its own set of responsibilities and potential challenges.

Living in the House

If you need a place to live or want to keep the house in the family, you might choose to move in. This can be a great option, especially if the house is in a location you like. Just remember that you'll be responsible for all the costs associated with homeownership.

What Are My Home Selling Options?

If you decide to sell your inherited house, you have several options:

  • Cash Home Sale: This is often the fastest way to sell. Cash buyers in Missouri can typically close quickly, and you won't need to make repairs or pay real estate agent fees.
  • Traditional Home Sale: Listing with a real estate agent can potentially get you a higher price, but it usually takes longer and involves more work on your part.
  • For Sale by Owner: You could try to sell the house yourself to save on real estate agent commissions. However, this requires more time and effort on your part and may result in a lower sale price.

Inheriting a house that is paid off in Missouri can be both a blessing and a challenge. While you've received a valuable asset, you also inherit the responsibilities that come with property ownership. By understanding the probate process, your financial obligations, and your options for what to do with the property, you can make the best decision for your situation.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to inherited property. Some people choose to keep the house as a cherished family home or turn it into a source of rental income. Others decide to sell, either to avoid the responsibilities of homeownership or to benefit from the proceeds of the sale.

Sell Your House Fast in Missouri and Kansas

If you need to sell your house fast but don’t want the hassle of a traditional home sale, contact Brittco. We buy houses as-is. No repairs are needed. Avoid closing costs and realtor commissions. Close in as little as seven days. Call 913-219-5583 for a fast cash offer from our local home buyers in Missouri and Kansas.