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Which Qualities Are Necessary for Your Real Estate Agent During Divorce?You have many important decisions to make about your marital home during a divorce, including whether you should sell it. Some spouses decide that selling their home is their best option if neither of them needs a home of that size or would be able to afford the home on their own. Selling the home could give both of you a significant amount of money to use in starting your post-marriage life. If you decide to sell your marital home, choosing an experienced real estate agent will be important in ensuring a successful sale that helps your divorce. There are characteristics that a real estate agent needs when selling a home for divorce:

  1. Neutrality: Because you will be using the same real estate agent, you need to feel that the agent is treating you equally. Showing favoritism to one side causes the other side to distrust the agent and may lead to conflict in the divorce. The agent must make a concerted effort to share information equally with both spouses, even though it is natural to communicate more with the spouse who is still living in the home.
  2. Diplomacy: Similar to neutrality, the agent should be diplomatic in dealing with you. An agent who has experience with divorcing clients should know how to help both sides agree on important issues regarding the sale. There may be times when your emotions lead to an argument with your spouse about the home. Your agent should know how to help defuse this situation and keep you on track with the sale.
  3. Trustworthiness: You always want to trust your real estate agent but may need to rely on that trust more during a divorce. You may not have the time to oversee every step of the sale. You need to trust that your agent can follow your instructions and make decisions that are in your best interest.
  4. Strong Negotiator: Your financial plan for your divorce may rely on the money you receive from selling your home. You need an agent who can negotiate a good price on the sale and complete it in a timely fashion so as not to delay your financial plans.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

You should be able to learn whether a real estate agent would be a good fit for you by searching for client reviews and interviewing them. How do you find the best candidates among the hundreds of agents? A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can recommend real estate agents when handling your divorce case. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Why It Is Important to Appraise Your House During DivorceIf you are a homeowner who is getting a divorce, a real estate appraisal is essential to ensuring that you have a fair division of property. Appraising your home is a natural step if you plan to sell it as part of your divorce. You need to know what your home is worth before you entertain offers for it. However, you also need an appraisal if one of you plans to keep the home following the divorce. The value of the home is part of calculating how to equitably divide your marital properties.

Preparing for an Appraisal

A real estate appraiser will estimate the value of your home based on factors such as its size, amenities, condition, and comparative market value. Your responsibility is to prepare your home so that it looks favorable to the appraiser. This may include:

  • Cleaning and organizing the interior and exterior of the home
  • Making sure that the major fixtures are working properly
  • Performing minor repairs
  • Maintaining the yard surrounding the house

Your goal is to polish the surface-level appearance of the home without spending too much money on it. For instance, you could clean your carpets if they are looking dirty, but installing new carpeting in a room would be an unnecessary expense.

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Posted on in Division of Property

Preparing to Sell Your House During DivorceMany divorcing couples conclude that selling their house is the best way to handle their marital home. It is difficult to equitably divide their marital properties when one spouse keeps the house, and the cost of owning the home may be too great for one person on their own. By selling the home instead, they can divide the money they receive in the sale and use it towards expenses, such as buying or renting a new home. If you have sold your home before, you understand that it takes a great effort to prepare your home for sale and find a buyer. Unfortunately, your divorce is taking up much of the energy that you might normally devote to the sale. There are several actions that you can take to help with the sale process:

  1. Keep the House Occupied: It is natural for one of you to move out of the house once the divorce process has started. The other spouse should continue living in the house until the sale is finalized, even if they would prefer to move into their new home before then. It is more difficult to sell a house that is empty of people or possessions. Paying to stage furniture and appliances in the house is an extra expense and still less attractive to buyers than you living in the house.
  2. Fill in Empty Spaces: When one spouse removes their possessions from the house, it can leave unattractive empty spaces in rooms. You should spread out your remaining possessions to fill in those spaces and give the house a more balanced look.
  3. Invest in Maintenance: You do not want home maintenance issues to decrease the sale value of your house. You need to assess your home for necessary repairs and try to fix the issues before you put the house on the market. Because you will both be profiting from the sale, it is reasonable to share the maintenance costs with your spouse.
  4. Find a Divorce-Experienced Seller: When selling your home and divorcing at the same time, you need a real estate agent to manage the sale while also understanding how the divorce changes the process. Divorcing couples are different than other co-owners because they are under additional stress and often not communicating with each other. The agent may need to take on more responsibility in the sale process and make sure both spouses feel like their needs are being met.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Your house may be the most valuable and complicated property you will have to include in your divorce agreement. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group has experience with all manner of house-related issues in a divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Divorce Finances

Affording a New House as a Single ParentWhen parents divorce, at least one of them must find a new home for them to live with their children. In some cases, both parents are searching for a home if they sell their marital home. It can be difficult to purchase a house as a single parent. You must find a home that is within your price range but still meets your family’s needs. It may also be more difficult to receive a mortgage as a single parent. To purchase a home, you will need to plan ahead and use the resources available from your divorce agreement.

Assess Your Situation

Before hitting the housing market, you must identify what you need and what you can afford. Your needs may depend on how many children you have and their ages. Young children of the same gender may be fine with sharing a room, but older children need more privacy and space. Your housing expenses are a major component of your budget after divorce. Besides your job income and living expenses, you must consider divorce-related assets and expenses, such as:

It may be unwise to devote all of your available assets toward purchasing a home if you can find an acceptable home at a lower cost.

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Could a Reverse Mortgage Help Your Gray Divorce?It can be difficult to continue to make house mortgage payments on your own after your divorce. However, you may be able to keep your marital home for the foreseeable future if you are able to get a reverse mortgage on your house. Reverse mortgages are available to people who are at least 62 years old and have a large amount of equity in their home – usually at least 50 percent. You use the money you receive from a reverse mortgage to pay off the remainder of what you owe on your home mortgage, with the surplus available for other expenses. Gray divorcees should consider whether a reverse mortgage could help them during the division of property, though there are risks.

How It Works

Assuming that you qualify, you can apply for a reverse mortgage – also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage – with lenders who specialize in this type of loan. The amount of money that you can borrow will increase in conjunction with your age and the value of the property. With a reverse mortgage, you no longer make mortgage payments on your home or payments on the loan as long as you remain in the house. The loan and interest are due when:

  • You die;
  • You decide to sell or leave the home;
  • The home is unoccupied for a stipulated amount of time; or
  • The lender forecloses on your home.

The lender recuperates the money from the reverse mortgage when selling the home. You cannot owe more on the loan than your property is worth, but the lender will protect its investment by requiring you to keep up with property taxes, home owner’s insurance, and maintenance of the property. Failing to meet these standards allows the lender to foreclose on the property.

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