Next Steps To Take After Inheriting A Home

There are three things you can do after inheriting a home: One, own it as your principal residence or turn it into a vacation house; two, rent it; three, sell it.

Now, there are several reasons why you should pick option number one. Some people do not like hand-me-downs and others see them as memento. The latter is true especially when it comes to pre-owned properties, let alone a house. It is nice to know you have an alternative home to settle in whenever you are in town. You can also move to the property should you decide to change location.

Reason number two is self-explanatory. You don’t want to sell your inherited home but you cannot move in yet (or you probably have no plans to). So rent it. Make some money while keeping your relative’s legacy.

Meanwhile, if owning or renting the home is not in your books, you might as well sell it. This is a lot more complicated compared to the first two choices. But, it is more preferable if keeping it only spawns a series of financial and legal issues.

Selling An Inherited Homeconsiderations-when-inheriting-a-home

Selling an inherited home either offers gain or loss. It depends on several factors. An heir can enjoy home sale tax exclusion or stepped up basis.

What Is Home Sale Tax Exclusion

The Home Sale Tax Exclusion policy grants you $250,000/$500,000 tax-free sale. It means $250,000 or $500,000 of the sale is non-taxable if you pass all qualifications:

  • You have lived at least two years in the property within five years before sale.
  • The inherited home is your principal residence.
  • To benefit from the $500,000 exclusion, married couples should file an annual joint return especially during the year of the sale. Either of the spouse should also pass the ownership and use test.

What Is Stepped-Up Basis

The term ‘basis’ refers to the original cost of your home before sale. For example, the cost of the inherited home is $200,000 (basis) and you decide to sell it for $250,000. When you subtract the basis from the sale price and get a negative difference, it means you had a loss. If it returns a positive difference, it means you gained. This is your stepped-up basis.

The stepped-up basis sometimes offers bigger profit, which renders Home Sale Tax Exclusion unnecessary.

Things To Remember

  • Selling an inherited property is a lot of work for people who barely understand taxation and other legalities. Since tax is a huge matter to deal with during the process, it is best call a tax lawyer or an accountant. These people will help determine tax implications and figure out other finance stuff.
  • You may also contact a real estate agent to help you sell the house and secure your profit. The agent will give you insights about market status, when to sell, and how much. If you are looking for even more information you should check out this extensive guide on whether or not you should sell an inherited house by Grant Gerhart of Integrated Realty Group.
  • Have the inherited property also checked for flaws and damages. If the property is in bad shape, have it remodeled or updated. Call a professional home inspector to identify areas that need to repair or replacement. This will also increase your property’s market value.
  • Even before all the details of the sale is in place, start clearing the inherited home of the previous owner’s personal belongings. Selling the house and going through all the stuff left behind can be emotional but you need to decide what to do with all these.

Selling an inherited home can be easier if you seek help from professionals. Make sure you find reliable people to work with you for smoother process.


How many years now has starting your own business been one of your New Year’s Resolutions? I will bet that you have often thought about how to start a business for a while now. The question to ask yourself is if there is a secret to How to start new business today and make lots of money. Research shows that many successful business owners have two common traits that help achieve their success: one is keeping a positive, the can-do attitude and the second is having a driving determination toward achieving specific goals.

There really is no reason why we can’t all have these traits and it doesn’t have to cost us a lot of money to achieve our goals. Actually, the toughest step was just making the first step towards starting a business!

There is high chances of starting a new business without lots of money. We are often caught up with the daily situations we find ourselves in, and we sometimes see no possible way to start a business of our own. Maybe you are broke or jobless with barely enough money to survive, let alone to start a business. You might be a single parent raising your family all by yourself. It is easy to procrastinate constantly telling yourself one excuse or another such that you never start a business.

It is easy to think that those people who have achieved success, must have had boatloads of money to start a business with and that they knew all the right people. This is on the contrary most of the times. Most business owners will testify that they just worked hard to make their business a success. Success usually stems from lots of hard work and continuing towards their goals through some adversity. You should be focused on something.

As the saying goes, you become what you think about all of the time. But if you focus only on where you DO NOT want to go, you will end up there. So work on training yourself to think positive thoughts and your dreams a little…before long, you may actually get to where you WANT to be! If you constantly tell yourself that you can be a success, you can make lots of money doing what you love. Your mind will find a way to make it happen.

When you’re deciding about what kind of business you want to start, give some thought about what it is you love to do or would like to learn more about. You should not focus on business just because you are told about all the money you could make. Try looking at what you enjoy doing or already have experience in. Or what are you already naturally gifted at doing.


What is debt? For me, there is no one single definition that could explain the true meaning of debt. Sure enough we could go by the dictionary meaning of owing something to someone but looking at it more keenly, debt goes beyond the casual i owe you and need to pay up kind of situation. Debts have been the cause of relationship break ups, murders, suicides, crimes of violence, drug addiction, depression, poverty, rivalry and diseases.

Sometimes we find ourselves creating debts to pay up other debts. It is the typical robbing Peter to pay Paul kind of situation. So don’t be surprised when you ask me what is debt and i tell you that debts are like drugs because once you start having them, they just never want to end. Today you use marijuana, tomorrow it is cocaine and the next day you are on crystal meth. Same story with debts; today you have a financial debt, tomorrow it’s an emotional debt and the next day it is a medical debt. With drugs, each new drug you use has worse effects than the last and i need not say that a new debt is worse than an old one.

In other situations, debts drain us of our everything; financially, emotionally, physically and even mentally. So when we ask what is debt, I can tell you that debt is a parasite and just like a parasite drains everything from its host, debts mercilessly take everything we got. Like parasites, debts have no emotions such that at one point they will let you breathe for a while. Two years ago, a man was living the American dream, living life on the fast lane. He was driving in fancy cars, wore fancy clothing, ate in fancy restaurants and traveled to all the states we read about in books but two years down the line and he is living in the basement of his mother’s apartment in Texas. Why? Because the parasite didn’t spare him even a penny.

What is debt?

Debt is a separator. It comes between us and those closest to us. I have witnessed family break ups and crumbling marriages because of debts. Funny how the sweetest things in life never seem to last for long no matter how bad we want them to. Her name was Joy ad everyone had agreed that just like her name, she would have a joyous marriage fl of bliss and happiness but the separator had a different plan all together. When she had accumulated debts and her husbands couldn’t take it, he left roses on their doorstep with a note saying that he couldn’t take it anymore. The other one was Stacy who took a loan from her father in law. She was certain that she would pay up in time but her broken marriage is there to prove that she might have overstayed a little too much.

What is debt?

We need not torment our brains looking for the perfect answer because the media has shown us that debt is a murderer. How many times have we switched on the television or read in the newspapers that people have committed suicide because they couldn’t clear their debts on time. When I was eight, i watched them kill my father because he couldn’t pay up the fifty dollars he owed. I was under the dinning table but i still saw how they beat him up like a common criminal. I would have screamed except that daddy had warned me before their arrival not to make a sound.

For countless nights, i sat coiled on my bed asking myself what is debt until the answer came looking for me. Debt is a liar and a backstabber. It will tell you that everything will be okay in due course that you needn’t worry about the distant future but the debts soon turn on you like a vampire. The story of Sarah Jameson was all over social media about how she loved a boy and left her family for him. She knew or thought she knew this guy until she actually knew him but by then it was too late. She had spent a lot of his cash and debt had told her it was okay since he was her boyfriend but with a butchered up body of Sarah floating on the Mississippi and a tattoo on her hand saying “she couldn’t pay it up” i think it is safe to say that debt is a cheat.

All these explanations of debt, however can’t explain why a born again christian girl started doing drugs all of a sudden because she couldn’t overcome guilt of a debt she supposedly owed. Saddest pat of the story is that it was not money or property she owed, instead she felt that she owed God for having given into the temptation of fornication. So in this scenario when i ask what is debt, i think debt is a mental disorder. It may not be in my position to judge but a sin such as fornication could surely be forgiven by repentance but since the mental disorder took over a young girl’s mind I think that debt loosens some nuts in people’s brains. That is why a formerly sane person could run mad without notice all because of a debt.

However, i cannot go on criticizing debt because it has a bright side to it. Many business opportunities have been founded by debts, many relationships were brought together by debts and many successes have been made based on debts. My grandma for instance met my grandpa because of depths. Even these elderly people do have fascinating stories about their meetings. Apparently my grandpa paid out a debt that grandma owed and that was the beginning of a relationship that would eventually bring forth my mother and I. So in truth, sometimes when people ask what debt is, we should raise our chins and say that debt, like a cord, unites.

I could use all the nouns and adjectives to describe debt but i could sum it all up in a two words; debt is a friendly monster.

Exercise: my muscles are frickin sore!

Wow. A little exercise really does wonders. I mean seriously, I can’t believe how I feel! I had upped my exercise regime from sloth (very little exercise which got my heart pumping) to being a little more serious this week and already I have: more energy, a more positive outlook, and the the ability to deal with stress better. What the hell, I knew all that but liked to ignore it.

What I am doing is P90X which I borrowed from a friend. This means I am trying to stick to the exercise regime of about an hour a day. My muscles are pretty sore right now but I am pushing forward as best I can. I couldn’t really even finish yesterdays workout which was a lot of jumping around (I think I looked pretty silly). I also have to work it around my son interrupting a lot which makes it interesting.

I started 2 days ago and have been finding my evenings much easier. I actually have energy in the evenings to do things rather than being completely exhausted lying on the couch. I also crave my evening glass of wine less, another good thing. Instead of putting my butt on the couch never to move again as soon as the boy is asleep I had the energy to do the dishes and even mow our tiny front lawn.

So my former exercise of a 40 min. walk 3 times a week wasn’t cutting it. Darn. Still have to do the dog walks, but also now need to focus on my health too. Am determined to feel at least a little better about myself in a bathing suit this year. And losing that last 10 pounds from baby wouldn’t hurt either. I won’t get into size 4 jeans anytime soon (this directed at my skinny sister in law) which I am ok with, I just want to feel good in my clothes again.

Sigh.. the drama

I agreed to do some contract work for the person I had quit (not successfully apparently) on last month. I suck, I can’t say no easily. Already I swear my blood pressure has soared and I am pulling out my hair on a Friday evening over a bunch of emails trying to schedule a meeting. The final result (without my input in the end because I wasn’t monitoring my emails closely enough) was 7:30 am next week.

Anyone with a toddler and working husband who leaves for work at 6:30 am knows this isn’t going to work. Really? A meeting with a toddler in the background. Oh the joys of working from home. I have no daycare at that time of morning, my parents live an hour away, it just is, well to be childish, stupid.

Thank god for wine, it is making my heart slow down and my feelings of calmness return at least a little.

Cost of the Bucket (moment)

I said in the last post that the cost of going to an NHL Hockey Game in the Semi Finals was priceless, and we all know it isn’t. Since we are in debt, it was foolish I’ll admit it.

And yet my regret is assuaged by how fabulous time I had, so I guess I had better buckle down for awhile.

Here is the cost:
Tickets: $366

Ferry: $ 150

Food: $100

Hotel: $120 (this was an unexpected cost- we thought there was a late ferry on Sat., but it doesn’t run on that night we found out!)

Total: $736

Bucket List Moment: NHL Hockey Game Live

(Just a side note but I am writing this on a gorgeous sunny afternoon in a parking lot overlooking the ocean while my son sleeps in the back of our car – what bliss, it is like my own ocean front hang out!)

Two weeks ago I had a Bucket List Moment. Now I don’t have a Bucket List so really what I am saying is I was doing something really cool I always wanted to do. And it turns out I am pretty pleased I got to do it at least once in this life.

I was standing beside my husband at a Canucks hockey game (Canucks vs Nashville Predators Game 5) waving a white towel and screaming my lungs out, and I had this realization that I had wanted to do this for a long time. I have wanted to be in the arena waving a white towel pretty much from the second I saw the crowd doing this on tv for the first time at a Canucks Game in 1982. Roger Neilson, then Coach of the Canucks, started the tradition by waving a white towel on a hockey stick in mock surrender, protesting over the calls the refs were making. So yes, the towel waving thing that everyone seems to do now (but not very well Nashville! Really? Orange towels, get with the program!), was started by the Canucks.

I absolutely loved the game even though the Canucks lost. They won the series in the next game, but it would have been nice for a win while we were there. The whole atmosphere and friendliness of the crowd was over the top, and not something I experience regularly. My husband, as a die hard Canucks fan, was in absolute heaven to be there, and I was thrilled to be with him. We sloshed our beers about, ate over-price food, lept to our feet at every goal and chanted Go Canucks Go as loud as we could.

Semi-final tickets were not cheap. I got them on Ebay for less than the official NHL resale site. But everyone asks, how much were the tickets? Guess what? Expensive. The overnight trip was expensive but I am not going to ruin the moment by telling you how much on this post.

Joy comes in unexpected places I tell ya, and when it is something that is a treat, something I will remember for the rest of my life, something unexpectedly momentus for myself and my relationship with my sweetheart, it is priceless.

Ta Da! 1 Credit Card Cancelled!

Oh yes baby I did it! I called and cancelled Credit Card 1 of 3, MBNA Mastercard. They tried to get me to stay, transferred me to the super duper nice people who try and do almost anything to get you to stay on with them. They told me they had recently offered to reduce my rate to 6.9%, and that I would not get such a good offer with them if I cancelled. They buttered me up big time.

I could here that little debt voice in the back of my head whispering “Doooooo iiiiit” go ahead, justify a new big screen tv. Dooooooo iiiiiiit. But the other voice in my head is stronger these days, and I am happier hearing the voice of reason again. The voice who is telling me to save, pay off debt, invest. I like her better, she is the old me, and I want her back. She never never ever had more than one, responsibly used credit card. I can see her down the road, but she is still a little ways off. Hello stranger! I am coming!

Spending under control?

I think I have got things a bit more under control around here. I think :)

After our lovely but extravagant weekend last weekend I have been pouring money onto credit cards and trying to make up for  our expenses. I have too many damn cards. I have about $1600 left on one card and am considering using my line of credit to pay it off and then close the account. I don’t use the card, I don’t even have an active card for the account, so I have weaned myself of using it, and now I just want it gone!

Trouble is we need more money coming in. I am working at my max, we just need my husband to be back at work either welding (no jobs yet from his union this year) or with forestry (bad weather is keeping him home). Sigh. I hate this time of year and every year we are playing a waiting game waiting for him to be back at work. This year we are not pinched like last year because of my income, thank goodness. Last year was tough because I was without consulting work. So although I don’t love my work, and at times feel stressed and conflicted by it, at least it is work. Good to remember.

(Shamefaced) Spring spending is off course (of course)

The cool news: I am sitting on a BC Ferry blogging. This means I have internet which is very very cool. And about time! I have been doing a work commute for years on the ferry and have wished for this day to come. As I understand it not all boats have it, but this one does. Yay!

I am on my way back to my parents after a day in Vancouver. I miss my boy. I have not seen him at all today except to whisper goodbye at 5:30 am, and I can’t wait to hear about his day.

Ok. The bad news: oh the spring spending is upon us. I have anticipated the spending, and yet here we are. My husband is away on a golf trip. (I think I mentioned this already). He took the $366 I had saved up as his spending money but I have no damn doubt he will go over.
And I bought a new dress ($50) for our weekend party this weekend with family. We will be spending on 1 night hotel ($120), pedicures, tea at the Empress Hotel and my goodness I am sure there will be more spending.
The part of me wanting to pay off more debt is just mortified. I feel out of control. We are not sticking to a budget already this month.
But now I am going to let it go. Why? Because I have to to survive. I am not letting my goals of debt repayment go, I am going to let some guilt go because I have enough stress in my life.
Should we not shared this fabulous family weekend for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday? Hell no, I think it is the first time in years all of my husband’s siblings will have been together at one time. Man it is going to be special. I probably shouldn’t have bought the dress, but I don’t clothes shop regularly and I am going to look pretty sweet (not sweet and cute, I mean suhweeet!).
Should my husband have said no to his brother who paid for a trip to Palm Springs. Well no, he shouldn’t have. His brother is slaving away in frigid Alberta, away from family and friends and his brother is one of his best buds in the world. Some nights when there is a hockey game on the two of them sit on their blackberries texting each other for hours (like teenage girls I tease).
So suck it Debt, I know you will have lots to say this month and next when I do my financial summary but I am doing my best. I will accept my blame, but I am moving on.