This is post was written by Amanda Clepper Harrison, Practice Manager at Cordell & Cordell.
When going through a divorce it can be tough to decide whether to sell your marital home. There are a lot of factors that can weigh into this decision, and in some cases, there other options than just directly selling a house after a divorce agreement. Ultimately, whether you sell or arrange for someone to continue living in the home, you want to make the best decision for your future.
Home options after a divorce
So, what are your options for your home after divorce? There are four options to consider:
1. Sell the house, split the profit:
Sell the home and both of you move out, with profits being divided between the two of you in a just and right division. The money, in this case, can either be used for each person to put towards a new home, or towards other expenses. This is the most common option for divorcing couples. If neither of you can afford to buy the house, then the best option may be to sell the house.
2. Hold onto the house:
Divorcing couples can choose to keep the house without changing who owns it. This may be a viable option if there is not currently equity in the home, and selling it would mean you would be “upside down.” This may also be an option for divorcing parents who don’t want to “uproot” the children due to a divorce and want to contemplate selling the home at some time in the future, once the children have aged out. However, there may be a fair amount of risk involved in this. If both names remain on the mortgage, then both parents would still be responsible for the debt, which can put you at risk if one party decides to leave or stop making payments.
3. Buy the other out:
One person may buy the other out of the current home, avoiding the sale of the house. The person maintaining ownership of the home after divorce would pay the other for his/her share of the equity. If one of the parties can buy the house, then you can remove the other person’s name from the deed and the mortgage. If the spouse who wants the home has enough income, he or she could take over the mortgage and make the payments. This requires talking to a lender and refinancing the home, which means that the person must qualify because their income improved, and this allows the debtor to repay the loan over a longer period of time.
Another option is for the divorcing couple to move out of the house and rent out their co-owned property. As long as they find a responsible tenant, and can work together, this may be a viable option. The couple can wait until property values are higher to sell. Unfortunately, this scenario would likely prevent each spouse from obtaining a mortgage until the home sells.
Factors to consider when choosing the best option:
Whether you decide to sell your home after a divorcing or hold on to, here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding what your best option is:
What does your partner want to do?
Before anything, you should consider what your partner wants to do. If one spouse would like to remain in the marital home, that spouse may have to be able to compensate the other for their share of the equity in the home. Depending on the court ruling, the partner who is leaving may receive property, money, or other assets which will balance what he or she is losing. Other times, the court may allow the partner leaving the house to place a lien on the property, which will allow him or her to be compensated if the house is ever sold or refinanced. Alternatively, a couple can agree to continue to jointly own the house if the two can continue to get along and there is enough trust that the mortgage would be paid.
Can you afford to keep the house?
Can you afford to keep paying for the home if you take the home after a divorce agreement? Sure, mortgage payments, home insurance, and taxes will be at the forefront of this question – but in addition to that, you’ll have to think about repairs and renovations. Remember that your home is always depreciating in value.
What’s best for your family?
For young families that are going through a divorce, moving or downsizing may not be the best option. For example, holding onto the house may be a viable option for families that prefer to maintain a consistent household for the children to continue to reside in, and be able to remain in their current schools. This may mean making decisions concerning the house that won’t take place until the children move out. In this situation, both spouses would continue to be responsible for the mortgage debt if they both remain on the note.
Whatever you decide to do with your home, just know that you have plenty of options that fit your needs as you got through the divorce process. At Sell My House Fast San Antonio, we buy houses fast for cash. We can make an offer on your marital home in just 24 hours.
This guest post was written by Amanda Clepper Harrison, Practice Manager at Cordell & Cordell located in San Antonio, TX. She was named one of the 10 Best Under 40 for Client Satisfaction in 2018. If you are going through a divorce, you can reach her at (210-812-3414) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org