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10 Tips on What to Do if You Inherited a Hoarder House in Florida

Receiving an inherited property presents both blessings and challenges, especially when that property is a hoarder house. Navigating such a situation’s complexities requires patience and a strategic approach. In this blog, we’ll explore “What to Do if You Inherited a Hoarder House,” providing practical tips and insights to manage the overwhelming task ahead. From assessing the house’s condition to making critical decisions on clean-up and repairs, understanding what to do if you inherited a hoarder house will help you restore the property and maximize its potential value. Whether you’re planning to sell, rent, or remodel, these ten tips are designed to guide you through every step of the journey.

Real estate investors Steve Daria and Joleigh have extensive experience handling hoarder houses, making them valuable resources for those in similar situations. Their expert advice emphasizes the importance of thorough property assessment and strategic clean-up efforts to uncover the true potential of the inherited home. By following their practical strategies, you’ll be better equipped to maximize the value of your property.

What to Do if You Inherited a Hoarder House in Florida?

Taking ownership of a hoarder’s property can be a daunting and emotionally taxing experience. 

It is essential to approach the situation methodically and consider professional assistance for a thorough and safe clean-up. 

Here’s what to do if you inherited a hoarder house:

1. Evaluate the Situation

Facing a hoarder home head-on begins with evaluating what exactly you’re up against. 

Assess the quantity of items, the home’s condition, and any potential hazards like mold or structural damage. 

Knowing what to do if you inherited a hoarder house can help you develop a clear action plan. 

This early assessment is crucial as it determines the resources you’ll need, from professional cleaning services to contractors for repairs.

what to do if you inherited a hoarder house

2. Secure the Property

Before rolling up your sleeves, ensure the house and its contents are secure. 

This step includes changing the locks to ensure only authorized individuals have access and verifying that any existing security systems are operational. 

Securing the property is important to prevent unauthorized entry or theft, especially considering the house may contain valuable items or sensitive documents.

3. Organize a Walk-Through

Organize a walk-through of the property with close family and friends to identify items that may hold sentimental or financial value. 

This collaborative effort can help uncover hidden treasures and essential documents that might be overlooked during the cleanup. 

Additionally, having the support of loved ones provides emotional reinforcement and helps everyone involved mentally prepare for the challenges ahead.

4. Understand the Emotional Aspect

Inheriting a hoarder house is not just about the physical clutter; it often comes with an emotional burden. 

Be empathetic to the feelings of those who lived there, recognizing that the hoarded items may have held significant emotional value for them. 

Additionally, be mindful of your emotions as you sift through their belongings, as this process can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing. 

Seeking professional support, such as counseling, can provide a safe space to process these feelings and navigate the emotional complexities of the situation.

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5. Create a Cleaning Plan

Develop a strategic cleaning plan to tackle the hoarder house efficiently. 

Start by identifying the most cluttered areas and create a step-by-step progression for cleaning each room. 

Decide on the logistics, such as whether you’ll need a dumpster for large amounts of trash, a storage unit for items to be kept, or professional assistance for hazardous materials. 

By tackling one area at a time and planning clear goals, you can maintain a sense of accomplishment and ensure steady progress.

6. Hire a Professional Cleaning Service

Consider hiring a professional team experienced in cleaning hoarder houses to ensure the project is managed efficiently and safely. 

These experts can handle the disposal of trash, recyclables, and donations, alleviating much of the physical and emotional burden from you. 

Research local companies, read reviews, and check references to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

7. Sort Belongings into Categories

During the cleanup process, categorize items into keep, donate, sell, or discard to streamline the effort and stay organized. 

Using labeled boxes for each category helps maintain order and ensures that each item is sorted correctly. 

Keeping the critical focus on the fact that you’ve inherited a hoarder house, remember that the ultimate goal is to reclaim and restore the space to a livable condition.

8. Address the Property’s Condition

Once cleared, thoroughly assess the house’s condition to identify potential issues. 

Check for water damage, pests, electrical problems, or structural integrity issues that may affect the property’s value or safety.

what to do if inherited a hoarder house

9. Renovate if Necessary

Based on the state of the property post-cleanup, you may need to undertake some renovations to enhance its appeal and value. 

Refreshing paint, fixing structural issues, or updating fixtures can improve the property’s marketability and attract potential buyers.

10. Decide on the Property’s Future

After cleaning and repairing the property, you must decide on its future: whether to move in, rent it out, or sell it. 

Each option has financial implications and should be considered carefully based on your financial goals and circumstances.


When you’ve “inherited a hoarder house,” it can feel like you’re tackling more than just property—it’s a complex situation requiring patience, empathy, and structured action. By following these ten essential tips and knowing what to do if you inherited a hoarder house can effectively handle and potentially transform what might initially seem like an albatross into an asset. Take it one step at a time, utilize professional resources, and remember that the result can be a rewarding and financial experience.

Florida’s real estate market offers immense opportunities for those who can rise above challenging circumstances and make the most of a property. With diligence and informed strategies, your inherited hoarder house can be the start of your next significant real estate endeavor.

**NOTICE:  Please note that the content presented in this post is intended solely for informational and educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice or relied upon as a replacement for consultation with a qualified attorney or CPA. For specific guidance on legal or financial matters, readers are encouraged to seek professional assistance from an attorney, CPA, or other appropriate professional regarding the subject matter.

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