So, my brother and I finally came to an agreement on what to do with the houses. I'm going to keep the Berry Hill house and he's going to keep the Antioch house. We can each do with them as we would like.
So I called the loan officer I had been working with to ask about switching from a mortgage to some type of home equity loan. I plan take out a small loan to do some repairs and upgrades and then pay it off with the life insurance money.
It turns out, I may have to buy a home I already own to get money to do the renovations...
Now does that make ANY sense? I didn't think so.
Perhaps it is the failure of the reader (me) to comprehend the complex issues via email. I hope that it will make more sense when we speak on the phone tomorrow.. because right now.. it's just stupid.