5 costos ocultos que surgen al heredar bienes raíces

There are concrete steps you can take to minimize the pain of hidden costs when you’ve inherited property so you can actually enjoy your inheritance.

Whether you’re inheriting a childhood home, vacation beach house or rental property portfolio, you’ll inherit more than childhood memories or a beloved family getaway spot. You’ll also have expenses that may be both unexpected and greater than expected.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize the costs of inheritance. Here’s how to tackle these five hidden costs of inheriting real estate.

1. Impuestos sucesorios

Federal estate tax applies when an estate’s value, including real estate, exceeds a certain threshold ($5.49 millones en 2017 for an individual’s estate or $11 millones en el caso de un matrimonio, siempre y cuando el cónyuge que queda vivo presente una petición de portabilidad para reclamar el monto de exclusión no utilizado).

True to its name, the estate tax comes out of the estate before you take ownership of inherited real estate. That means your property should only be affected if the estate lacks sufficient liquid assets to pay estate taxes. Depending on where you live and the property’s location, you may also be required to pay impuesto sucesorio estatal—which comes out of your own pocket—for the portion of the estate you inherited.

Selling your inherited property may subject you to capital gains taxation. However, if it’s an investment property, an allowance called a intercambio en especie 1031 que le da la opción de vender y reinvertir las ganancias en una propiedad similar sin incurrir en el impuesto a las ganancias de capital.

2. Tasaciones

An inheritance of real estate usually requires a valuation, though it’s not usually a major cost to the inheritor: “Generally, the executor may pay for the cost of an appraisal from current estate proceeds, so it’s usually of little cost or concern to the beneficiary,” says Bryan P. Koepp, Senior Vice President and Wealth Strategist with Regions Private Wealth Management in Atlanta.

Most often, you’ll want a tasación en base al incremento so that the cost basis of the asset is “stepped up” to its fair market value at the time of the owner’s death. If you sell the property, the sale generates taxes only for gains following the step-up in basis valuation, not from the initial date of purchase, which might have been decades prior.

3. Mantenimiento

If you decide to keep the property and rent it, remember maintenance and overhead can take a big bite out of your return. A landlord’s required insurance policy can cost as much as 25 percent more than a homeowner’s policy for the same propiedad.

Maintenance requirements depend on property type and other factors. Often, money is set aside in a trust to cover maintenance an insurance, at least until the transfer of the deed.

In any case, it’s important to protect the asset’s worth by keeping it insured, in good repair, and—whether it’s a commercial or residential property—tenanted.

4. Servicios públicos

Homebuyers often ask previous owners for a year’s worth of utility bills for budgeting purposes, and it’s wise to do the same when you’re deciding what to do with inherited real estate. You may be surprised how much it costs to heat a Vermont ski chalet or the century-old family mansion.

Your analysis may reveal opportunities for capital improvements, such as installing new windows. “These updates may lower your utility bills and qualify for tax credits,” Koepp says.

5. Impuestos a la propiedad

Property taxes vary by locality, and can make a big difference in what you’ll pay. If you inherit a Gulf Coast vacation home in Mobile, Alabama, on average you’ll pay approximately 0.546 por ciento of the assessed value of the property in property taxes, while in Biloxi, Mississippi’s Harrison County—a tan solo 60 millas al oeste de Mobile—you’ll find an average tax rate of 0.7 por ciento. And head about 60 miles east of Mobile to Pensacola, Florida’s Escambia County, you’ll find a property tax rate of 0.806 percent. Estas diferencias aparentemente pequeñas pueden equivaler a miles de dólares en impuestos a la propiedad anuales adicionales.

“Get in the habit of setting aside a certain amount per month to put toward property taxes,” Koepp says.

No matter what you decide to do with inherited real estate, Koepp says it’s important to have a strategy in place before you inherit the property to understand the costs involved and how to minimize them.

While this could be a difficult conversation, ultimately the benefactor hopes the inherited real estate brings you happiness, not headaches—and talking about possible problems beforehand can give you and your benefactor peace of mind. Whatever course of action you take, decisions should not be made lightly. Your Regions Wealth Advisor may be able to help weigh your options and identify your goals for the inheritance.


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