You run the risk of losing your house if your property is in danger of being up for tax sale, you’ve received a Notice of Taking, or you simply are aware that you have unpaid property taxes. You only have a little window of time in Massachusetts—up to six months—to pay off any past-due property taxes and exercise your “Right of Redemption.” If the property has been abandoned or if the back taxes owing exceed the property’s current assessed value, this timeframe can be smaller.

This may seem like an impossible task depending on how much debt you have, especially because you’ll also have to pay interest and court fees. Usually, you only have two choices when you are behind on your property taxes.

Maintaining Your House Inheritance

After inheriting a home, you’ll need to assess important factors right once if you don’t want it to soon fall into disrepair, such as utilities, cleaning, and gardening. Utilities like gas, electricity, and water will need to be maintained on inherited houses, especially in Massachusetts. This will prevent pipes from freezing and bursturing during the severe winters of New England. You might need to pay a business to “winterize” the property if you’d prefer not to do this.

To prevent bugs and vermin from taking over the inside of the property, you might also need to employ a landscaping firm to maintain the home’s outside and set up routine housekeeping.

1. Appeal Property Tax Assessment.

You can contest the assessed value of your house since property taxes are based in part on that value. The ability to contest the valuation is available in all states, although there are frequently restrictions on when and how you can do so. For instance, you might have to submit your appeal within a specific amount of time (often soon after receiving the property tax statement), or you might have to pay the whole amount of tax up front before receiving a refund. To begin the appeal process, you’ll need to carefully analyze the policies, records, and other pieces of evidence you’ll need; you might also need to solicit the aid of legal counsel.

2. Tax Abatement, Deferral, or Repayment.

Every state has a policy that applies to select homeowners called a tax abatement (sometimes known as a tax reduction or even a tax exemption). People are frequently considered eligible based on their age, whether they have a handicap, or, in certain situations, their income levels. Nevertheless, if you are already behind on your tax payments, abatement may sometimes be refused. Depending on your eligibility, you can be qualified for a deferral (postponing the tax payment date) or a repayment plan in certain circumstances. Given the rigorous qualifying rules for each state program, it may seem like your only option after a short while.

Keeping Up With Your House Inheritance

But there are other ways to get assistance with property taxes. You might not be limited to using resources from your county or state. Finding an investor prepared to pay the past-due property taxes is a terrific way for many homeowners to keep their house out of the tax sale category. A cash investor may frequently provide you compensation that is far greater than the amount of delinquent taxes owed, allowing you to avoid taking on extra debt or having to watch as your house is put up for auction as a tax sale property. You can frequently earn enough money to cover your taxes and still have money left over.

It’s a choice that merits consideration. In the event of a tax sale, you might lose your house as well as face tax foreclosure, which could harm your credit for many years.