When you moved out of your parents’ house, you probably thought you’d never have to live with their taste in décor again. You’re just one of the 90% of American adults who moved out of their childhood homes by the time they reached 27 years old, according to the data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in 1997.
But when you inherit a house from them (or other relatives), you might find yourself faced with the same style choices all over again. While it’s a great starter home, it still probably feels like Mom and Dad’s place. So here are five easy steps to take that hand-me-down home and turn it into your own.
1. Settle any inheritance disputes.
Before anything else, you need to make sure that you’re the rightful heir to the property. If there are any questions about the will or the estate, you’ll need to settle them before you can do anything else with the property.
If you discover that there are any concerns regarding the transfer, it’s best to consult with inheritance dispute attorneys to sort things out. This is because property disputes can always end up ugly, and it’s best to have professional help when dealing with these types of legal matters.
For example, if your parents left the house to you and your siblings, you’ll need to come to an agreement about who gets the home and how to divide any other assets. If there are no heirs and the house is part of your parents’ estate, you’ll need to go through probate before you can do anything with it.
As much as it’s tempting to start breaking down walls in the house you inherited, you need to make sure that you have the legal right to do so first.
2. Get rid of old stuff.
Once you’ve taken care of any legalities, it’s time to start cleaning. This is a big job, but it’s necessary if you want to make the house your own. After all, you don’t want to be living in your parents’ old house with their old stuff.
Go through the house room by room and get rid of anything that you wouldn’t need or want such as old furniture, clothes, and anything else that’s just taking up space. You can sell, donate, or throw away anything that you don’t want.
If you’re planning on selling the house eventually, you’ll need to get rid of even more stuff. This is because potential buyers will want to see the house without all of your personal belongings in it. So take the time to declutter and make the house look more spacious.
And if you’re really struggling to let go of some of your parents’ things, consider taking a few sentimental items with you. Just make sure that you don’t take too much, or else it’ll start to feel like their house all over again.
3. Personalize the property.
Even if you don’t have the money to buy all new pieces, simply rearranging what you have can give the whole house a fresh look and feel. Plus, it’s a great way to get rid of any lingering ghost of your old chaps’ taste.
You can start with the doorway. This is the first thing guests see when they come over, so make sure it reflects your personal style. Pick a color that makes you happy every time you come home.
Then move on to the living room and bedrooms. Rearrange the furniture, switch out old artwork, and add some new throw pillows or blankets. You can also change out old light fixtures or add some new ones. These small changes can make a big difference in how the house feels.
And don’t forget to add some personal touches. This is your chance to really make the house your own. Hang up photos of your friends and family, put out plants or flowers that make you happy, and display any mementos or knick-knacks that have special meaning to you.
4. Make it a smart home.
After years of hand-me-downs, it’s finally time to get those new appliances or gadgets you’ve been coveting. Not only will they help make your house more efficient, but they’ll also add a touch of luxury and modernity. In fact, according to Statista, more and more properties are being converted into smart homes, and the number is forecasted to reach 350 million in 2023.
Start with the basics, like a new fridge or stove. Then move on to smaller appliances, like a new coffee maker or toaster. And don’t forget about those little things that make life easier, like a Nest thermostat or a Roomba vacuum.
You can also upgrade your home’s security system or add some new tech, like voice-activated lights or a home entertainment system. These are just a few of the many ways you can make your house more technologically advanced.
5. Get to know your neighbors.
One of the best things about having your own place is getting to know the people who live around you. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and get involved in the community. Soon enough, you’ll feel right at home in your new hand-me-down house.
One of the best ways to meet your neighbors is to host a small gathering. This could be a barbecue, potluck, or just a simple get-together. Invite your neighbors over and get to know them better.
You can also get involved in local events or groups. This is a great way to meet new people and learn more about your community. Attend a town hall meeting, join a book club or volunteer for a local organization.
Transforming a hand-me-down house into your own can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely doable with a little bit of elbow grease—and maybe some new paint color or appliances too. By following these five simple steps, you’ll soon be sitting in your living room feeling like this is truly YOUR home sweet home.