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Deciding whether to keep the family home in a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Divorce

Purchasing a home is not only a financial investment, but an emotional investment as well. Whether you initially planned to build memories, expand your family or settle in for retirement, your home is a meaningful place. Unfortunately, many women struggle to keep their family home after divorce.

Just because keeping the home is a challenge does not mean it is impossible, though. There are several things to consider when keeping the house is a priority. The main issue you may be facing is whether you can reasonably take on the financial burden of owning the home on your own.

Get a professional valuation

Barring extenuating circumstances, you will most likely need to buy your soon-to-be ex-spouse out of his share of the home. This can be a costly endeavor, but the good news is that home values fluctuate over time. It is possible that the current value might even be lower than you think.

If you want to have a chance of securing the best possible price for your home, be sure to have a professional real estate appraiser perform a valuation. There are still benefits even if he or she does not return a lower price. For example, having a recent valuation can minimize the potential for arguments over home value.

Consider the costs

Can you make monthly mortgage payments on your own? Even if the answer is yes, lenders are often hesitant to work with borrowers who do not have strong or secure lines of income. Fortunately, some lenders offer niche products for individuals who have substantial assets but limited income. This may be ideal if you are still getting back into the workforce but are expecting a significant settlement in your divorce.

Owning a home is about more than the monthly mortgage, though. There are many costs that go into running a home, including:

  • Insurance
  • Maintenance and upkeep costs
  • Real estate taxes
  • Utilities

If you are wavering about the house, you may want to review your reasons for doing so. Are you reluctant to let go of the home because of good memories? Building new memories in a new home is always an option after divorce. However, it is understandable if your desire to keep the home is rooted in wanting to provide a sense of stability to your children during an otherwise difficult period of time.

Since keeping your family home is a priority, you should also prioritize other financial matters during divorce, including property division, alimony and more. Hyper focusing on one issue to the detriment of others can actually jeopardize your chances of securing what you really want — the house. This requires a careful and thoughtful approach, which you might find easier upon taking the time to learn more about Minnesota family law.