What to Do with an Unoccupied Home

If you inherit a property when a family member dies it could help you get onto the property ladder if you aren’t a homeowner already. But what if you already own a house – what exactly do you do with a home that you have no intention of moving into at the moment? Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Hold onto It

One of the most obvious things you can do is just hold on to it. While you might not be in the position to do anything with it at the moment, there might come a time later on when you want to look into renovating it for sale or renting out.

However, there are still some things you should do to help maintain it at this time. The first thing you need to get is unoccupied home insurance. Just because no-one is living there does not mean that something can’t happen to it. A neighbour’s house could catch fire, or it could be flooded. It could even be targeted by squatters or vandals. An unoccupied home insurance policy is going to be key in ensuring you can keep it safe.

You should also find out about any taxes and utility bills you will need to pay, and check with the council about the council tax that is due on the property. Each council can charge something different, but they might be willing to offer a discount since the property is unoccupied.

Rent It Out

You could also choose to rent out your property if you want to hold onto it. This is a great choice that will give you some passive income that could hopefully help to mitigate some of the costs of owning a second property, although it does mean you will need to ensure the property is in a suitable condition for tenants to move in.

The first thing you need to choose between is long-term and short-term lets. If the property is positioned near some big attraction or a popular holiday destination, you might benefit very well from using the property for short-term lets. Kit it out with everything one might need for a holiday. You could go for very basic fittings and cater to the budget market or you could pay a bit more and create a brilliant space for luxury holidaymakers. Then, you just need to find the right letting agent to get it on the market.

The other option is longer-term lets. If your property is in a university city, you might want to rent it out to students. This is a good option as you can be certain that there will always be demand for the property, especially if it is near a good university. You could also choose to let it to professionals. Doing so means that you could let it unfurnished – so it would cost less for you to get it ready for market – and you can be certain that it will be cared for to a high degree.

Sell It

If you have no desire to hang onto the property, you could choose to sell it. This will hopefully give you a nice pile of excess money that you can then invest into something else. Many people enjoy buying a cheaper property and doing it up to then sell for a higher price. Some make a full time living from this, others do it on the side along with a regular 9-to-5 job.

Selling a property does come with its own challenges. If you are selling as-is, you are risking not being able to sell it for its maximum value. With older properties, this can mean that you are losing out on a fair bit of money.

If you do decide to update the property, you need to watch how much you are spending. It can be easy to get carried away with new fixtures and fittings, only to realise that you spent more than can be reflected in an updated sale price. If the market is also a bit sluggish, you might have to deal with the property being up for sale longer than you would like.

As can be seen, there are lots of options open to you when you get your hands on a new property that you have no intentions of moving into. Though it can potentially incite a little bit of panic at the beginning if you don’t know what you want to do, there are clear paths set out. If you want to make money, either renting or outright selling will be the way forward. If you want to hold on for a bit, either keep the place empty or rent it out. It is that simple!

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