Inheriting a house with siblings can be both an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. Most often, this means your parents have both passed away, so in addition to figuring out the logistics of how to move forward with the home, you’re also all grieving.

Often, one or more siblings want to sell the home, while others don’t. How do you approach dealing with the sticky situations that can arise from trying to sell an inherited house with siblings? Let’s talk out a few of the major questions owning a house with siblings will present: 

1. Who Gets to Live There?

Say you inherit a home with your brother and sister. You technically own one-third of the house, but how do you take advantage of that if you can’t all live in it at once?

If one of the siblings in question was already living in the home—perhaps taking care of their elderly parent—then naturally, they may feel they have a stronger claim to the ownership and occupation of the house. If that sibling is able to live in the home, do they take on all the responsibility for it? Otherwise, what value does it present to the remaining two siblings who aren’t living there?

2. Can a Resistant Sibling Be Forced to Sell?

If everyone is in agreement but you have one sibling holding out, whether for emotional or financial reasons, you may be wondering if you can override them. Unfortunately, there are very few avenues to do that.

This is especially true if the will is not clear on the owner’s wishes for the property. If the will directs that the house be sold and the profits be split, that’s one thing. But if mom or dad was leaving it up to the kids to make the decision that worked best for them, you’re stuck with having to convince everyone to get on the same page.

3. Will We Have to Get the Courts Involved?

If there is division among the siblings about selling versus not selling, and an accord can’t be reached, there is legal recourse. But beware that it comes with a steep price.

You can file an inheritance partition, where the courts force the sale of the home and divide the profits into chunks that are proportionate to each heir’s designated interest in the estate. This often means that the home sells for significantly less than it would have on the market, making everyone’s portions smaller, not to mention the havoc it will wreak on personal relationships. Frankly, this should be your last-ditch option in a worst-case scenario.

4. How Can We Push for the Sale?  

Finding an amicable way forward with your sibling(s) while also unloading the property won’t be easy, but it is doable. Consider discussing adjustments to the percentages each sibling receives.

If one sibling is hesitant to sell because they need to be able to live in the home, consider allocating a larger portion of the final sale price to them in order to help with relocation. You’ll find that it’s usually worth a reduction in your personal share to keep the peace in your family and get the property off your plate.

Meridian Trust has worked with a number of clients to sell an inherited house with siblings. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you’re stressed out about inheriting a house with siblings and want more information on selling it for cash, please call us today.

A messy living room in a house with problem renters.

They’re weeks (or even months) behind on the rent. They’re trashing your house. They’re disturbing the neighbors. They’re disrespectful, or worse, dangerous. If you’re a landlord, having a problem tenant is probably one of your worst nightmares.

While you can cross your fingers and hope for the best when renting, there is always a chance you’ll run into trouble. There are some essential steps you can take upfront to prevent issues from arising altogether. But if those don’t work and you find yourself stuck in a bad situation, you also have options if you need to sell a rental property with tenants.

Avoiding Problems

1. Background Checks

Don’t rely on first impressions when it comes to selecting a new tenant. Though they might seem lovely, they could be hiding a lot of nastiness behind their smile.

Make sure you require a credit check. Ask for references—and actually call them! Speak with their employer. Do everything you can to make sure you know what kind of person you’re about to allow into your home.

If you don’t, your failure to do your due diligence could end up costing you dearly. If you don’t have the time to handle this yourself, hire someone to do it for you. It’s not a step you can afford to skip.

2. Know the Law

The laws and regulations that govern the landlord-tenant relationship vary widely depending on where you live. It’s incredibly important that you as a landlord be intimately familiar with the laws for your specific municipality.

If you find yourself saddled with a problem tenant, the last thing you want is to find out that you’re doing something illegal that may compromise your position in a disagreement. Florida law covers everything from the landlord’s access to the property to the tenant’s right to withhold rent and more. So read up on it!

3. Know Your Options

While you should always go into a new tenant relationship in the spirit of good faith and optimism, you should also be prepared in case things go south. Don’t wait until you have a bad tenant on your hands to start researching your options for dealing with them. At that point, they’ll have the upper hand, and you’ll be scrambling to find a solution. Learn everything you can now, and hope against hope that you’ll never have to use it!

Getting Out

If things do fall apart, you may find yourself backed into a corner by a nightmare tenant. If you’re fed up with their excuses and ready to take action, you have two main options for how to move forward.

1. Bring In an Attorney

If you’re hoping to start eviction proceedings, you’ll need to retain legal counsel and eventually take your tenant to small claims court. Hopefully, you have an airtight lease in place and have been documenting any interactions with the tenant. If not, things could drag out.

The eviction process can take a while and end up costing quite a bit, no matter how well you’ve prepared. Expect to pay legal fees and be out months of rent on your property, not to mention any costs incurred in repairing damages the tenants caused.

2. Sell for Cash

If you’re fed up with the headache of it all, know that you can sell a house with tenants. You’ll want to consult local laws first to make sure you’re giving ample notice, but there is nothing to prohibit you from selling a property you own.

While selling through traditional channels may have been an option with agreeable tenants, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get problem tenants to agree to things like open houses and keeping the house in good shape for regular viewings. If you need to sell a rental property with tenants who are less-than-stellar, your best bet is probably to sell to a cash home buying company.

If you’re looking to sell a house with tenants, Meridian Trust can help. We’ve purchased thousands of rental properties in Florida and will work directly with you to close in less than 30 days. Call our team today to learn more.

Scrabble letters spelling "TAX" on top of US dollars.

Inheriting a house can be incredibly overwhelming. While it’s wonderful to know that someone you cared for trusted you enough to appoint you the caretaker of their home after their passing, it can also be a big financial strain.

There are a number of tax implications that come into play when you inherit a house. And they will vary drastically depending upon what you do next. Let’s break down the types of taxes you may be required to pay when you receive or attempt to sell an inherited house.

1. Estate Tax

This tax is thankfully one that most people don’t have to worry about. The current federal minimum for the estate tax to be levied is $11.8 million. In other words, the deceased’s entire estate (including all real estate, cash, and assets like stocks or bonds) has to add up to more than $11.8 million before the federal government will tax it.

A dozen states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) plus the District of Columbia, however, do levy their own taxes on estates as well. The threshold for these is much lower than the federal minimum, but it still floats somewhere around $1 million.

2. Inheritance Tax

This tax is collected only at the state level. It has stipulations, and its application varies from state to state. As of 2018, six states collect an inheritance tax: Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The tax rate in each of these states is different and may be anywhere from one percent to 20 percent of the value of the house or other assets you’ve inherited.

There are exemptions, of course, and again, this tax is often not levied on those heirs whose inheritance is valued below $2 million. There are also allowances depending on your relationship to the deceased. No taxes are applied when a spouse inherits a property in one of these states, and of the six listed, only Nebraska and Pennsylvania collect taxes on property that’s passed from a parent to their child or grandchild.

3. Property Tax

When you become the owner of an inherited home, you will, of course, become responsible for the property taxes owed. You’ll keep paying these as long as you own the house. Depending on the location of the inherited home, this could mean having a significant new bill on your plate.

Whenever someone inherits a home (just like if they bought one), the property is reassessed at the current market value to determine what taxes should be paid on it. While many states do cap how much property taxes can rise from year to year, there is a decent chance this reassessment could bring an increased tax burden compared to what your loved one was paying before their passing.

Some states do allow for exclusions for spouses and children or grandchildren. But to receive this often involves reapplying for exemption programs, which can be labor-intensive and cost you quite a bit of time and energy.

4. Capital Gains Tax

This tax is the biggest factor at play if you inherit a house and want to sell it. If you sell an inherited house for more than its value at the time your loved one passed away, you’re going to owe taxes on that gain. If the house sells for less than its value, that is considered a capital loss, and you’ll owe no taxes.

Thankfully you’ll qualify for what’s known as a “stepped up basis” when it comes to calculating the taxes owed. Say your mother bought the home for $100,000 decades ago, but it’s now valued at $250,000. If you sell it for $275,000, you only owe taxes on a $25,000 gain, rather than owing a portion of the $175,000 difference between the original purchase and final sale prices.

There is also a way to make yourself exempt from this tax. If you make the home your primary residence for at least two years before selling it, you will qualify for an exclusion. This means you can sell it and keep whatever profit you make without having to pay anything in capital gains taxes.

Stay, Rent, or Sell?

When inheriting a property, you have a few options. You can:

  • Move into the home and make it your primary residence.
  • Rent the home out.
  • Sell the home.

Moving in can be a good option if the home is fully paid off and you could use a break from paying rent on your own place. Owning and living in the home, however, does mean you’re on the hook for property taxes and utilities, plus any upkeep. It also may not be an option if the house you inherit is located in a different geographical area than your current job and you’re unwilling or unable to move.

Renting could be a good fit if you already own your own home or you live in a different town or state than the house you’ve inherited. The funds generated from renting the home could offset the cost of upkeep and any tax or mortgage payments. Some people aren’t cut out to be landlords, though, and you’ll run the risk of tenants damaging the home or falling behind on payments.

Selling an inherited home is often the best available route for an heir. As mentioned above, consider how the capital gains tax will affect you before jumping into selling, but if you’re not prepared to live in the home or manage renting it out for the foreseeable future, selling it and getting it off your plate is usually the easiest solution.

Meridian Trust has worked with a number of sellers after they inherited a property. We work exclusively with individuals and can close on your property in just 30 days. If you’ve recently inherited a house and want to sell it, please call us today.

Messy house with bags of trash and clutter.

Hoarding is a complex disorder that affects upwards of five percent of the population. It can range wildly in severity.

The mildest version includes “pack rats,” or people who may save lots of small tchotchkes. They might have 30 years of back issues of their favorite magazine just lying around the house. On the more severe end of the spectrum are those who take in dozens of stray animals they can’t care for or refuse to throw out rotten food.

As you can imagine, the home of a hoarder can end up in a truly deplorable condition after years of ownership. So what can you do if you find yourself in this predicament?

Perhaps you or someone in your family suffers from hoarding disorder and you need to sell your home. Or maybe you’re dealing with an inherited hoarder house from a family member. We know it can be an overwhelmingly emotional situation full of challenges, but you do have options.

Problems When Trying to Sell a Hoarder House

1. Photos

Homebuyers these days are almost universally house hunting online. The importance of having photos with your listing cannot be overstated. But as you can imagine, taking photos of the interior of a hoarder’s home is no easy task.

Even if you can navigate the space well enough to take pictures, what you’ll capture is unlikely to entice potential buyers. You’ll most likely end up taking only external home photos, which won’t do you much good.

2. Open Houses

Hosting an open house can be an extremely stressful experience in the home of a hoarder. In addition to the anxiety it’s likely to cause for the homeowner, if they are present, it also presents problems for potential buyers. It can be incredibly difficult to look beyond that level of mess to see the potential in a home.

Beyond aesthetic issues, though, that level of clutter can be a serious safety concern. If your prospective buyers are spending more time watching where they step than looking at the home, your chances of selling aren’t going to be very good. Many open houses also fall on weekends, so the chance that children might accompany their parents is high, which increases the safety concerns exponentially.

3. Time Constraints

For many people trying to sell a hoarder house, time is of the essence. Undertaking the massive task of clearing out, cleaning, and properly staging a home in a dire condition isn’t something that can happen overnight, though.

The owner may be over a barrel due to mounting mortgage debt. Or they may be under orders from city officials to remediate or vacate the property prior to condemnation. Regardless, rarely will you have the luxury of taking your time when selling the home of a hoarder.

Your Options for a Solution

1. Bring in a Professional

Unless you’re very well-versed in home repairs and have a ton of time on your hands, remediating the issues that exist with a hoarder house is probably out of reach for you. This is so much more than a “weekend” project. You’ll need to bring in the big guns.

If money and time aren’t concerns, hiring a professional who deals specifically with hoarders may be your best bet. They’ll be able to help sort and dispose of all the clutter and get the house clean. Be aware though, that you may discover much-needed repairs once all the mess is cleared, and that means the added cost of contractors.

2. Sell As-Is for Cash

If you’re not up for a big cleanup of an inherited hoarder house or you’re crunched for time, your easiest and fastest option is to work with a cash home buyer. As long as you work with a reputable company, there is no risk to you, and you can walk away with cash in your pocket in a matter of days.

Once you meet with a rep, you can simply sign the papers and walk away. The mess, and any resulting repairs, will no longer be your concern.

It is hard to imagine anyone walking into a hoarded home and making an offer to buy it. That’s where we come in.

We pay cash for houses in any condition, and we know how to make the process painless. We gladly purchase homes that are in poor condition or, for one reason or another, might not be attractive to all buyers.

Because you’re not paying to repair or renovate your home in order to get the retail price or to cover closing costs and commissions, we can offer you a fair cash price that’s slightly below market value. Call us today, and get a cash offer in under 10 minutes.

A blue tarp on the roof of a house that needs repair.

So you need to sell a house as is, but it’s in less than stellar shape. Looking around at the homes currently on the market, it may feel like you have no options. If your home is an eyesore, and you’re staring down a list of needed repairs a mile long, you may be wondering how on earth you’re supposed to afford all of this.

Depending on the condition of your home, you may be realistically looking at tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in repair work to get the house sale-ready. Just for reference, here are the average prices for some of the most commonly needed home repairs today:

  • New Roof: $10,000
  • New Foundation: $30,000
  • Updated Kitchen: $15,000
  • Updated Bath: $15,000 (with an average of two to three in the home)
  • Exterior Paint: $10,000
  • Interior Paint: $5,000
  • New HVAC System: $10,000
  • Refinishing Floors: $7,500

Do those numbers make you queasy? You’re not alone. Looking at the hard facts, you may think it’s going to be impossible to sell a home that’s in disrepair. But it’s not!

Even if you don’t have the kind of time or money it would take to update your home, you still have options. The bottom line is this: Even if you can’t afford to fix up your house, you can still sell it.

Selling a house in poor condition or selling a house as-is all comes down to finding the right buyer. The process of selling as-is for cash can be summed up in these five easy steps.

1. Find a Reputable Buyer

Unfortunately, the industry does have its fair share of scam artists. Before you commit to selling your home to a cash home buying company, do your research! Look for positive online reviews and, if possible, confirm their legitimacy with the Better Business Bureau.

Protect yourself first and foremost by finding a company that is on the up and up. Trust your gut, and don’t let anyone pressure you into a situation you’re not comfortable with.

2. Get a Quote

Depending on the company, this may be done over the phone, over email, or in person. However you receive your quote, the company will appoint a representative to evaluate your home. They’ll check it over and determine what the selling price should be.

When you sell a house as-is, you can’t expect to get the full market value for it, plain and simple. However, make sure you feel like the price is fair before moving forward.

3. Sign the Contract

Once you have looked over the company’s offer and feel good about the price and conditions, you can move forward with signing a contract. Always make sure to have everything put in writing, and, if possible, have a lawyer or other experienced professional review the contract with you to ensure that the terms are crystal clear and you’re being treated fairly.

4. Close the Deal

After confirming the details of the contract, you’re ready to close! The company will set a date with you to finalize the sale, and when it’s all said and done, you’ll walk away with cash in hand for a house you were worried you wouldn’t be able to sell! You’ve reached the end of the road with this home, and you’re free to move forward however is best for you.

If your home is in need of massive repairs, and you don’t have the time or funds to complete them before you sell, give us a call. You may even be surprised to see what your house is worth in as-is condition.

Meridian Trust has purchase homes in varying conditions, so call us today if you’re selling a house in poor condition. Get your quote, and stop worrying about a house you can’t afford to fix up. Take this first step toward alleviating yourself of that burden and opening the page on a new chapter of your life.

 

Corner of house with mold on the wall.

Mold spores are all around us on a daily basis. They’re floating around in the air, and, if conditions are right, they cluster and grow into a fungus that can crawl across almost any surface of your home. And once that happens, mold can be incredibly hard to kill.

Living in a moist, subtropical environment makes mold a particularly common and troublesome occurrence. If you’re trying to sell a house with mold in Florida, you cannot afford to mess around. The presence of mold in your home both drastically impacts your selling price and makes you liable for any damage, which could mean a lawsuit.

If you suspect you have a mold issue in your home and you’re getting ready to sell your house as is, there are a few very important steps to take first to protect yourself and ensure you get a fair price for your house.

1. Locate

First, you need to find the mold. If you have very obvious mold growth (think black spots on your walls), this might be easier, but mold is very sneaky and has a tendency to do a lot of damage before it becomes easily visible to the human eye. You should check each room of your house in the most common spots for mold growth.

In the bathroom, the most common spots for mold include the shower, tub, sink, and toilet. In the kitchen, you want to check around the sink and refrigerator, as well as spill-prone places like the stove and microwave. In areas like the bedrooms and common living spaces, check around heating and air conditioning vents. In the laundry room, the washer is the biggest culprit. Think of anywhere moisture is present, and check there thoroughly.

It can be especially difficult to locate mold in your walls and carpets if there are no visible signs, but if you have any inkling it might be there (a “musty” odor, peeling wallpaper, condensation on the walls, etc.), you probably need to have a professional come out and inspect things for you. These are often the hardest areas to battle mold, and paying an expert to find it won’t be cheap. But if you suspect it’s hiding, it’s best to confirm that before moving forward with a sale.

2. Disclose

Hopefully, you locate any mold issues in your home prior to putting it on the market. But if you’ve already initiated the selling process and you discover mold, you absolutely must disclose it to potential buyers. Fixing the issue will take money out of your pocket and cost you time that will, unfortunately, increase your home’s  “days on the market” number, but if you plan to sell to a private buyer, it’s non-negotiable.

It can be frustrating to find mold in a home you’re trying to sell when you know it’s likely to drastically reduce the price, but this isn’t an optional step. You’re required by law to disclose this type of damage to your buyer, and if you don’t, it leaves you open to liability for any home damage or health issues the mold may cause once new owners have moved in. It’s a one-way ticket to a messy lawsuit. If you find it, you have to fess up.

3. Remediate

Once you’ve confirmed you have mold in your home, you have two options: address the mold issue, or sell your home as-is. The better choice will depend on how much money and time you have to throw at the problem.

If you are determined to get the full market value of your home when selling, you can go the route of treating the mold. It’s very important that you find a trustworthy professional to handle the process. It’s typically a two-step approach: first, the mold is killed, and then the area is treated to prevent re-growth.

Cost will vary depending on the extent of the growth. If you only have a few small spots to deal with, you’re probably looking at $500 to $900. If it’s present throughout the walls or HVAC system, you could spend anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 or more. It also may take weeks or months to eradicate the problem fully before inspections can be done and a sale can be closed.

If you don’t have that kind of cash on hand and you don’t have the luxury of time, selling to a home buying company is your best bet. Meridian Trust has worked with a number of sellers with mold in their houses. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you need to sell a house with mold in Florida and don’t want to pay for costly repairs, call us today to learn more about selling your house as-is for cash.

No one ever intends to get behind on their bills. But life happens, and it’s easier than you might realize to find yourself in over your head. If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage right now, you’re not alone! According to federal reserve data, 3.68 percent of mortgages (or one in every 27) are in default.

The threat of foreclosure is, unfortunately, an immediately looming nightmare for many homeowners. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the possible loss of the home you’ve worked so hard for, but you have options, including selling your house for cash! Below are five possible paths you can take to stop foreclosure.

1. Repayment Plan

The absolute first thing you want to do if you can’t pay your mortgage is reach out to your lender. The sooner you loop them into the process, the better your chances to stop foreclosure. Communicating with them about the extenuating circumstances of your financial situation will ensure they have all the information they need to work with you on keeping your home.

If you’re already a few months behind on payments, a repayment plan may help you catch up and prevent the initiation of foreclosure proceedings. Obviously, this option will require that you pay more each month than your normal mortgage payment so that you can catch up. If you’re not able to come up with the extra cash, there are other avenues you can explore.

2. Short Sale

If you know that catching up with overdue payments or continuing to make your monthly payments isn’t in the cards, a short sale may be your best bet. In this scenario, you would be selling your home for less than what you owe the lender. If your home has not appreciated in value since you purchased it, it’s likely that you won’t make enough on the sale to pay your mortgage in full.

Depending on the laws where you live, your lender might be able to come after you for the remainder of what you owe after a short sale, so make sure to do your research before going in this direction. You could also ask the lender to agree in writing before the sale to waive any remaining balance so that you’re not on the hook for it.

3. Update Terms

If you are determined to keep your home but simply can’t make your current monthly payment, you may want to discuss restructuring the terms of your loan with the lender. This is an especially good option if your financial situation is short-term or you know there is relief on the horizon (e.g., you’re starting a new job soon, you’re due an inheritance, or you’re selling a second home or other major asset like property, a car, or a boat).

Be aware that redefining your loan terms will almost always come with an extension of your payment timeline. If you were set to pay off your mortgage in 15 years at your original rate, you could be looking at tacking five to 10 years onto that if you adjust your payments down significantly. You will also end up paying more over the life of the loan, due to compounding interest.

4. Deed-in-Lieu

If you simply can’t keep your home anymore, but you’re not able to go through the sale process, you can undertake a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. This essentially means that you sign the deed to your home over to your lender and walk away.

Much like a short sale, you need to protect yourself from the lender so they can’t come back to you asking for additional cash after they have possession of your home. Get it in writing! Your lender may also have a program that helps with relocation costs for owners who sign over their deeds, so be sure to ask.

5. Sell for Cash

All the options above have pros and cons. But if none of them work for your situation and you want to stop foreclosure, your best bet may be to sell your home to a cash homebuyer. You can satisfy the terms of your loan and walk away without the stain of foreclosure on your credit score. There are no closing costs, listing fees or commissions to consider, and the process is much faster than a traditional sale with a realtor.

We know it can be an overwhelming and upsetting situation when you can’t afford your mortgage. The easiest option for you may be to move on from an ugly situation by selling your home for cash. Meridian Trust purchase homes all over Florida and our experienced staff is ready to make you a cash offer today.

If you are planning to list your Florida home for sale soon (or are currently trying to sell your home), you’ve likely noticed the abundance of advertising out there for cash homebuyers. Whether on TV, in print, or on roadside signs, phrases like “We Buy Homes Fast!” are everywhere these days.

Selling your home can be an emotionally and physically taxing task. There are dozens of decisions to be made at every turn regarding how you handle the sale. So how do you know if the cash homebuyer route is right for you? Just like any other method, there are pros and cons.

The Good

Cash Offer

The most obvious upside of working with a cash homebuyer is that you’ll receive a cash offer for your home. It will be transparent and straightforward.

No waiting to see if the bank will finance your buyer. No need to worry about the possibly harmful effects of an unfairly low appraisal. No going through the hassle of deducting realtor fees and commissions from your final sale price. What you see on the offer sheet is what goes in your pocket!

Ease and Speed

With so few hands in the pot, selling to a cash homebuyer is markedly faster than selling via the traditional real estate route. You won’t have to deal with realtors, banks or lenders, home inspectors, appraisers etc. It’s often just you and the company rep, one-on-one.

Selling via a realtor can take months or even years depending on the condition and location of your home. If you’d prefer to sell your home quickly and be done with it—or you’re in a situation where you absolutely have to sell quickly—cash homebuyers can be a great alternative.

As Is

Before selling on the traditional market, most homeowners will need to do some work to their home. Whether it’s updating rooms that might feel dated to buyers (typically bathrooms and/or kitchens) or repairing damaged items (leaks, electrical or plumbing issues, foundation cracks etc.), a realtor will want the home in tip-top shape to maximize your asking price.

Unfortunately, you often won’t see much return on that investment; you may spend thousands of dollars to update a room, only to see your home sell for under market value. Cash homebuyers, however, aren’t worried about those things. They gladly buy your home as is, saving you money on potentially costly repairs.

The Bad

Value Proposition

Selling to a cash homebuying company is unlikely to net you the full market value of your home. Investors are taking a chance by buying your home as is, and the lack of costs to you (such as commissions and fees) will be factored into their offer.

Remember, too, that you’re being handed cash, oftent days or weeks after your initial contact. That convenience and speed will cost you.

Seller Beware

There are a lot of honest, reputable homebuying companies across the United States. Unfortunately, there are also some very shady ones. The industry is rife with abuse, and if you’re not careful, you could easily be taken for a ride.

Just as you would with any business you’re considering patronizing, do your research! Make sure to investigate the company before turning over any of your information and to read reviews. Look for BBB ratings and positive reviews from real customers.

Keep an eye on your credit score and accounts, and be very wary of any company that requires upfront application fees. Cash homebuyers can be lifesavers—especially if you’re in a bind—but remember first and foremost to protect yourself and your property.

Meridian Trust is Florida’s number one home buyer, with more than 10,000 houses purchased. In most cases, our team can close on your home quickly with no extra fees, no closing costs, and no waiting. To find out more about selling your house for cash to Meridian Trust, contact our team today.

Renting a property you own can have great benefits. If you’re in a tough financial spot, it could allow you to move into a smaller, cheaper home and satisfy your mortgage obligations without sinking further into debt. Provided you charge an adequate amount, those monthly rent payments can be a lifesaver!

One of the biggest risks you take when renting out your home, however, is the simple fact that you won’t be living in it anymore. Nobody is going to love and care for your home like you would, of course, and the vast majority of the time, tenants are respectful. But when they’re not, it can be hellish.

Dealing with bad tenants—whether they’re negligent and destructive to the home itself, combatant, or delinquent on their rent—can make your job as a landlord incredibly challenging. If you’ve found yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are a few steps you can take to make things right, including selling your home fast for cash.

1. Stay Calm

First, breathe. When you have a bad experience with a tenant, your knee-jerk reaction may be to blow up at them. But that will only make things worse. Approach the conversation with a cool head, and you may be able to nip the problem in the bud before it blooms into something uncontrollable.

It could be a simple misunderstanding, but if you come at your tenant full of blustering rage, you’ve likely made an enemy for good. Sleep on it if you need to, and remember to act professionally and tactfully in all your interactions with them.

2. Document Everything

It’s a lot easier to support your point in an argument when you have proof. Keep a detailed written record of all interactions with your tenants, as well as all repairs. Describe any damage thoroughly, and beyond that, take photos and videos to support your accounts.

You always want to hope a landlord/tenant situation won’t end up in court or mediation, but if it does, make sure you have all your bases covered. Being thorough up-front means protecting yourself in the long run.

3. Stick to Your Guns

Say what you mean and mean what you say. If your tenants are causing issues, and you give them a directive that they ignore with no ramifications, they’re going to assume they can walk all over you. It’s fine to extend them a courtesy every now and again, but if you continually let them test their boundaries, they’re going to assume they can do whatever they want.

Establish firm guidelines for how things will be done. If they’re not met, there must be a consequence. You don’t have to be cruel, but establishing your authority and your expectations up-front eliminates grey areas.

4. Foster a Relationship

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right? If you feel like you’re getting off on the wrong foot with a tenant, the best bet is often to kill them with kindness. Instead of getting angry and dropping the hammer, try to relate to your tenant and speak with them on a human level.

Most people don’t want to engage in acrimonious relationships with their landlord. Usually, such situations arise from constant conflicts that are handled improperly. If you take the time to get to know your tenant and try to foster a good relationship, you may see those issues melt away.

5. Delegate

Sometimes you just need to remove yourself from the equation. It may be that you’re too close to the situation and find you take every small issue as a major offense because you don’t like your tenant on a personal level. In this instance, it might be time to bring in a mercenary.

Hiring a property manager is an added cost, yes, but if it relieves you of the burden of handling your tenant one-on-one, it may be worth it. Look for someone with documented experience and good reviews, who is a master at mediation and de-escalation, and let them do the dirty work for you.

6. Show Them the Door

There may be times when you simply can’t win. If you’ve reached that point with your tenant, it’s time to ask them to leave.

Eviction proceedings are long and arduous. Writing a simple Notice to Vacate may be all it takes. Give them the chance to leave on their own before you take more serious legal action—you may be pleasantly surprised by their response.

7. Sell

Maybe this is the first bad tenant you’ve had. Maybe it’s just the most recent in a long line of them. Or perhaps you’ve realized you’re just really not cut out for being a landlord and it’s not something you want to keep doing. If you can’t put up with your bad tenants for one more minute, one of your best options could be selling your home.

If you’re ready to part with your home and you don’t feel like enduring the long, expensive process of selling with an agent, contact Meridian Trust today for your cash home offer. We buy homes all over Florida, and our experienced team is ready to help you sell your home quickly and close the book on bad tenants for good!

Most of us will contend with financial hardship at some point in our lives. It may be the result of a job loss or layoff, extensive health issues and mounting medical bills, general economic downturn, or one of the myriad other challenges that arise in the course of life. Regardless of how you got there, being in dire straits financially can be an incredibly debilitating experience.

If you own your home but are still making mortgage payments, these moments of financial woe can be especially difficult to navigate. If you’re scraping by every month when the bills come, you may find yourself over a barrel and looking for a way out. There are a few options, including selling your house fast for cash, at your disposal for how to handle a looming mortgage during this time of hardship. 

1. Forbearance

If you find yourself unable to pay your mortgage, it is paramount that you get in touch with your lender right away. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist isn’t going to make it go away! If you speak with them early enough, you will find that they’re much more willing to help you than they will be six months down the road when you’ve gone months without making a payment.

If you know your financial issues are temporary (perhaps you’ll be starting a new job soon, or you’re waiting on a sum of money to come to you through another channel), consider asking for a forbearance. Explain to your lender that you just need a few months to get your affairs in order, and they may give you that grace period and suspend your payments.

2. Refinancing

Maybe you’re not sure how long this financial drought is going to last. In that case, discussing a refinancing of your mortgage with the lender is the next step. If you have good credit and a proven record of being a responsible borrower, your lender should have no problem helping you adjust the terms of your current mortgage arrangement.

If your current loan has a very high interest rate, for instance, refinancing may decrease your payments significantly. Be aware, however, that doing this will extend the life of your loan and—in the end—you will pay more than you originally planned. This option is best for those who are committed to keeping their homes and are okay with spending more time (and more money) in the long run to do so.

3. Loan Modification

Some programs, such as the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), assist people in keeping their homes during times of financial crisis. Not all these government programs are created equal, so make sure to do your homework before considering one as a way out of your situation.

Some programs may appear to offer loan modification but, in fact, provide debt settlement. This means your account will be noted as “settled” (paid for less than originally agreed) which can hurt your credit score.

Additionally, many of the programs have very specific requirements for qualification, meaning that only those homeowners who bought after a certain date or those who owe below a certain amount on their mortgage can participate. There are a small number of people for whom loan modification is a viable option, but it can’t hurt to do some research and see if you’re one of them.

4. Repayment Plans

Much like forbearance, if you speak honestly with your lender about your financial situation and make a good faith effort to repay your debt, they are often willing to work with you. The foreclosure process is tedious and time-consuming for lenders, and most prefer to handle things outside of a courtroom.

If you’ve only fallen behind by a bit, your lender may allow you to make smaller installment payments more frequently to catch up on the past due amount. The sooner you do this, the better, as it will be much harder to convince them that you’re willing and able to pay what you owe if you’ve already amassed months worth of unpaid bills before contacting them.

5. Renting

If your income simply can’t keep up with your mortgage, renting your home may be an ideal way to bridge the gap. If you’re able to rent your home for as much or more than your monthly mortgage payment, you can hold on to your home while you get back on your feet.

You will, of course, need to organize a move (which will likely include downsizing or moving to a less desirable area to save money). You will also be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of your home while the renters reside there.

In addition, there is always the risk you take as a landlord that your home could be damaged by renters, which will lower its value. You will also still be responsible for paying things like property taxes and homeowners insurance.

6. Selling

If none of the above paths are workable for you, there is always the option to sell your home for cash. If your home is valued at more than what you owe for your mortgage, this can be an easy decision. Selling can help you pay your debt in full and walk away with your good credit intact.

If your home is likely to sell for less than what you owe, however, you would need to work out what is called a “short sale” with your lender. This means they will accept whatever your home sells for as full payment for your debt, regardless of what you actually owe. Keep in mind that doing this will negatively affect your credit, as it will reflect that your account was “settled” rather than “paid in full.”

If you’ve reached the conclusion that you need to sell your home in Florida because you can no longer pay your mortgage, you have options. If you do decide to sell, and you don’t want to deal with months of showings—not to mention extensive realtor fees and commissions—Meridian Trust is here to help. We purchase homes all over Florida, and our team is standing by, ready to help you sell your home quickly and walk away with cash in your pocket.