Do you already have the deed or are you about to inherit land?
If you’re about to inherit land but the deed is not yet in your name, you’ll need to receive a transfer of ownership from the executor of the estate (who must be appointed by the court during the probate process), and you’ll need to make sure all the legal odds and ends are tied up before you make any long-term plans for the inherited estate.
Depending on the circumstances around the land and any other beneficiaries, you might want to consider working with a real estate attorney and an accountant to ensure all of the property taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes are handled appropriately.
Once you’ve inherited the land, what’s next? You could:
• Sell the property
• Hold onto the inherited property
• Repurpose the property
Selling the land.
The sale of inherited land can be a lucrative and practical opportunity, especially if you have other family members who are beneficiaries in the inheritance. Selling the land relieves you and any other responsible parties of having to maintain several acres of land and allows you to divide the assets once the land is sold.
Selling land is a bit different than selling a house, and the process often takes longer. If you do choose to sell the land, you might want to work with a real estate attorney and a real estate agent who have experience with land sales and can help you network with the best potential buyers.
An attorney can be particularly helpful if you have reservations about how the land can be used. For example, when selling land, you can have your attorney draw up a contract stating that the land can’t be used for hunting or can’t be contracted for housing development for at least 5 years after the sale, and so on, which the buyer would have to agree to uphold prior to completing the purchase.
Keeping the land.
Many people choose to hold on to the land they inherit for a variety of reasons:
• Developing the land at a later time
• Waiting to sell when the property value is higher
• Keeping it as an asset to increase overall net worth
Whatever your reason for letting the land sit for a few years, keep in mind that it will need to be maintained, which brings with it the cost of hiring someone to landscape or the manual labor of doing it yourself. Furthermore, you’ll need to pay property taxes every year that you own the land.
Repurposing the land.
Ever thought of building a home? A lot of people assume a custom home is out of their reach, but inheriting land vastly simplifies the process and cuts down on the budget. If keeping your land and building your dream home sounds appealing, here are a few resources to check out before you get started:
Whether you decide to sell, keep, or build on your land, weigh the pros and cons of each against your longterm goals and financial situation. For more on building a custom home, see what it took to become North Carolina’s #1 modular home builder.