People like to say that home is where the heart is. Regardless of your emotional attachment to your residence, your home is almost certainly where much of your personal financial value resides.
You and your spouse have committed hundreds of dollars from your income every month for years toward your mortgage. You have probably also invested financial resources and personal effort into the maintenance and repair of the property.
The financial value of your home is one reason why you and your spouse will likely both want to keep the property. Before you set your sights on living in the home after the divorce, it’s important to consider the three factors below carefully.
Can you refinance the property?
If you keep the house, your ex will still have an interest in its overall value. Unless you have other sizable assets that they want to keep when you divorce, you will probably need to withdraw some of the equity you have built up in the property to pay your spouse for their contributions to the home.
Your current income and credit score may not be quite enough to secure that much financing on your own.
Can you maintain the property alone?
Maintaining a house is practically a full-time job. Yard work and cleaning are both small-scale wars of attrition that require weekly if not daily battles so that you don’t lose ground.
You will have to increase how much time and effort you invest in the maintenance of your home when you no longer have a spouse to share those responsibilities. If you don’t have the time or physical ability to do that work on your own, you will need to hire someone to help, which can be expensive.
Do you understand what the house is currently worth?
Property values have increased significantly in recent years. Unless you just bought the house or had it professionally appraised, your understanding of its value may be inaccurate.
Getting a professional valuation for your home is an important step in the property settlement process, especially when calculating how much equity your ex will demand and how much financing you potentially require.
Planning for your biggest assets can make divorce simpler, and a proactive and conscientious approach to property division will reduce your chances of overextending yourself. A focus on long-term success during your divorce will pave the way for an appropriate and mutually beneficial settlement.