WHAT about the house?
What ABOUT the house?
What about THE house?
What about the HOUSE?
When divorcing, many difficult decisions must be made when dividing the assets. The marital house is usually the biggest financial asset AND biggest emotional asset. Here are some thoughts and questions you must ask yourself:
Do YOU want the house?
If yes, you’ll need to establish the value of the house as you negotiate the equity to determine what assets you can use to pay your spouse at settlement.
You’ll further want to ask yourself:
- Can you comfortably financially afford to keep it?
- Can you afford the monthly mortgage payment, annual insurance and property taxes?
- Can you afford to maintain it, heat and cool it, improve it?
If yes to all of these questions, you’re right where you need to be. Stay. Enjoy. You’ll want to determine if there are there any “latent defects” or “deferred maintenance” that should be taken in to consideration when negotiating the equity for settlement purposes.
If you want to keep it , but your answer to these financially-based questions is “no”, you’ll want to discuss with your attorney options of settlement that will enable you to comfortably afford the home. There are ways…. If unable to structure your settlement to be able to afford it, you may want to consider selling it.
If no, ask:
Does YOUR SPOUSE want the house?
If so, you’ll need to establish the value as you negotiate the equity to determine what asset settlement you will receive.
If BOTH of you want the house, you’ve got some negotiating to do.
If NEITHER of you want the house, consider doing the research to determine what steps need to be taking in order to get the it in the most desirable condition to maximize sales price and minimize marketing time. Then get it sold.
Selling the marital home for top dollar is the goal – perhaps the one goal that you and your spouse can actually agree on. The selling process should be one that takes the challenging dynamics of your current situation in to consideration and improves those dynamics instead of exacerbating them. Interview several real estate professionals to find the one who values neutrality and has proven results with other divorcing couples for the best long-term results for you and your family.
The above information regarding “Questions About the House You Must Ask When Divorcing” was provided by Nicole Smith with Keller Williams Realty. Nicole has over 22 years of experience helping families buy and sell homes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If you’re thinking of selling or buying, she’d love to share her knowledge and expertise via FREE Guides.