What to Do After Inheriting Land in Oregon

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What to Do After Inheriting Land in Oregon
By

Bart Waldon

Oregon is a scenic state located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Known for its forests, mountains, high deserts and long coastline along the Pacific Ocean, Oregon offers diverse landscapes and natural beauty. The state also has a rich cultural history and a growing economy centered around industries like tech, forestry, agriculture, and tourism.

If you have recently inherited land in Oregon, you likely have many questions about what to do next. There are several options to consider when inheriting property, depending on your personal financial situation and intentions for the land. This article will provide an overview of factors to weigh and steps to take after inheriting land in Oregon.

Assessing the Inherited Property

The first step after inheriting a property is conducting an assessment to understand what exactly you have acquired.

Some key questions to answer are:

  • Where is the land located? Pinpoint the coordinates or address.
  • What type of landscape does it include? Forested mountains? Open plains? Coastal dunes? Fertile agricultural valleys? Knowing the terrain and environment will inform decisions.
  • What is the total acreage? Larger parcels over 40 acres offer more flexibility than smaller plots.
  • Are there any buildings or structures on the property? Houses, barns, fencing and more may add value.
  • Does it have road/utility access? Water, electric and sewer access increase usability.
  • What is the current zoning and land usage designation? Details on legal specifications.
  • Does the land have recreational value, farm/ranch value, development potential or other economic value? Understanding all its possible uses is helpful.

In addition to assessing the property itself, you also need to analyze documentation on the land title, taxes owed, mineral/water rights and any liens against it. Consulting professionals like a land surveyor, real estate attorney and financial advisor can prove useful during this review.

Determining What to Do With Inherited Land

Once you understand the specifics of the inherited real estate, next comes deciding what to do with it. Common options include:

Keep for Personal Use If you want to utilize the inherited property for personal recreational enjoyment, as farmland or to build a home, keeping it for your own use may be the best choice. This avoids fees from selling; however, you take on the costs and work of maintaining the land yourself.

Rent Out the Property
If appropriately zoned, you may be able to rent out buildings on the land to long-term tenants as a source of extra income. Keep in mind expenses like repairs and taxes associated with becoming a landlord.

Sell the Land

Some inheritors choose to sell the land to convert it into cash assets. The real estate market is complex, so enlisting guidance from a knowledgeable real estate professional can facilitate the sale process at fair market prices. Be aware that fully selling land outright can take over a year.

Explore Land Companies 

An alternative to selling through traditional real estate channels is to contact dedicated land buying companies like Land Boss. They specialize in making fair all-cash offers and handling the entire sale smoothly, usually within a week. This hassle-free option allows inheritors to quickly unlock their land's value.

Conduct Due Diligence Before Deciding

With various options to weigh for inherited land, doing thorough due diligence is advised.

Tasks like surveying the boundaries, researching easements and rights of way, estimating market value and investigating applicable zoning limitations allows for informed decision-making on what to do next.

Consulting county assessor’s records, Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development and the local municipal zoning office provides helpful baseline background. Title companies also offer relevant escrow paperwork and land sale data to review.

Steps for Selling Inherited Oregon Land

If reviewing your inherited property details and life situation leads you to decide selling is the best option, follow these steps:

Assemble Required Documents 

To sell land, certain documentation must be gathered including the deed, title insurance policy, tax returns, parcel numbers, property assessments, easements/restrictions and legal descriptions of exact boundaries.

Select a Real Estate Agent 

Vetted local real estate professionals know area land values and markets. They facilitate faster sales at optimized prices and make the transaction smooth via their professional networks.

List the Land on MLS 

Enabling wider exposure by listing the land on the area’s Multiple Listing Services allows qualified buyers to find the lineup and make fair offers.

Market the Property 

In addition to listing services, actively marketing land yourself expands visibility. Post it on leading real estate sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. Spread the word among hunters, ranchers, developers and other niche buyers who may take special interest.

Field Offers & Finalize Sale Details 

Be prepared to negotiate if offers come in lower than expected. Reasonable concessions can secure deals that still meet inheritors’ financial needs. Navigating appraisals, surveys, paperwork and closing intricacy is where agents excel.

Depending on your priorities after inheriting Oregon property, choose to move forward with establishing personal use, leasing or selling. Weigh all options thoroughly while gathering documentation on its parameters before deciding on next steps. Finding the right professionals to team up whether keeping the land or selling it makes the process exponentially easier. With Oregon's spectacular landscapes as the backdrop, inheritances in this beautiful state often lead to exciting possibilities.

Final Thoughts

Inheriting land in Oregon can be a blessing, offering inheritors the chance to acquire scenic property for recreational pleasures or as a valuable investment asset. Yet the process of deciding what to do after becoming a land owner also comes with its share of legwork. Taking time to thoroughly assess all facets of the property, research options, weigh pros and cons and conduct due diligence sets the stage for ideal outcomes. Whether keeping the land for personal use, leasing it out or selling through official channels, the keys are being informed, exploring alternatives and collaborating with reliable advisors. By methodically evaluating then making sound choices, inheritors can optimize their newly acquired real estate asset into worthwhile personal enjoyment or financial returns for years ahead. With diligence and strategic planning, Oregon land inheritances can transform into truly fulfilling long-term rewards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What taxes and fees should I expect on inherited property in Oregon?

You will need to pay state and county property taxes on any land and structures you inherit in Oregon. These are typically 1-2% of assessed value. You're also responsible for capital gains taxes if/when selling at a profit. Cost basis is set as market value at time of donor's death. There may also be fees for property surveys, deed transfers, title insurance, appraisals, rezoning applications and more during the inheritance process. Consult experienced real estate advisors to plan accordingly.

Can I build and live on inherited rural land myself in Oregon?

Yes, with proper zoning and permits, you can reside on inherited rural land. First check the county assessor’s database for zoning limitations that dictate allowable dwelling types for the property. Applications for construction permits plus sewer/septic, utilities and driveway access require county approval too. Also, budget for costs to clear land, grade access roads, dig wells or transport water and electricity if none exist. Using established home builders in Oregon helps navigate regulations and hookups.

What is the process to partition and sell part of a larger inherited property in Oregon?

You will need to survey and legally subdivide the land first via a recorded Partition Plat to portion off areas for separate sale, with county approval. Then each new parcel requires an address, driveway access and utility rights assigned before listing individually through a brokerage. You may incur taxes on income from any sales. It's complex, so consulting an Oregon partition specialist ensures proper protocols to maximize value.

Can I lease my inherited farmland to produce income without selling in Oregon?

Yes, Oregon has a thriving agricultural industry, so leasing inherited rural land to farmers or foresters can earn rental income. Connect with Oregon Department of Agriculture leasing services to handle details like soil testing, drawing up contracts and equipment storage provisions. Also discuss right-of-way access, road maintenance expectations, irrigation infrastructure implications and hunting access with prospective tenants to optimize lease fees.

How long does the inherited Oregon land sale process typically take?

Completing all the due diligence tasks plus allowing time to market the property widely and field fair offers, plan for the sales process to take approx 6-12 months with a real estate professional’s assistance. If selling to dedicated land buyers like Land Boss instead of via traditional channels, the entire process usually finishes within 1 week to 1 month. But these companies pay wholesale prices below maximum market value. Decide based on your priorities for convenience versus maximal profits.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.

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