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Raleigh Real Estate Series Part 4: Seven Common Mistakes Divorcees Make

Raleigh Real Estate and Divorce MistakeWe’re continuing our series today on divorce and real estate by telling you about the top mistakes that people make with their homes in a divorce.

It’s understandable that people make these mistakes – after all, who plans for a divorce? Today, we’re going to help you how to avoid these mistakes.

Top Mistakes People Make with their Homes in Divorce

Struggling to keep a home they can’t afford so the children do not have to face more change. Many people as so overwhelmed in divorce that they try to minimize change by refusing to move. It’s a known fact that children bounce back faster from change than adults do and if you can’t afford the home the financial stress will cause more pain.

Fighting to keep the home for sentimental reasons. Keeping a home if it’s affordable makes perfect sense but, most do not plan their budgets very well and end up living in financial stress. Because of the financial burden when they do sell later they have deferred maintenance and other losses they did not consider when negotiating to keep the house. If they are thinking about keeping the house with one income I would recommend they meet with a financial planner, certified in divorce, which I will gladly offer a referral. Remember, with time your emotions will change.

Agreeing to each be responsible for 50% of the payment. Over the years I have met with a lot of woman with children who were granted the house in divorce with an agreement they would each pay 50% of the payment. With a foreclosure notice in hand they were shocked as they explained to me that they gave a check to their X every month and thought he was making the payments.

Negotiating to a buyout price without a home inspection. In divorce it is common for one spouse to keep the house by buying out the other. I encourage you to have a home inspection completed to make sure there are no big repair items needed now or in the near future. In formulating a buyout price consider the cost of immediate repairs needed, prorate deferred maintenance and consider future cost to prep the home for sale and selling cost.

Here is a real example: A home I recently sold began as a buyout where mom and dad had advanced the cash to keep their daughter and granddaughter in the home. No inspection was completed for the buyout. 6 months after the buyout the daughter was transferred out of town for work and the house needed to be sold. During the sale a home inspection discovered a wet crawl space full of mold. Mom, dad and the daughter regretted the price they paid the X to keep the house because they had to pay to fix the crawl space too.

Under Estimating the Expense to Make a Home Market Ready. Consider this example: When the couple was married the husband turned the bonus room into a recording studio with black foam glued to the walls. Since there was no equity in the home and the x-wife decided to keep the house and make all the payments. When she later needed to sell she underestimated the expense to make the room market ready. Hadn’t considered all the cost associated in selling and the market had not appreciated as she was banking. She lost a lot of money and relived the pain of another mistake.

Inheriting Problems which Grow Bigger with Time. In divorce the wife was given the house. The X who was a skilled carpenter finished off a second floor bedroom and bath without permits. 5 years later, when it came time for her to sell the house she discovered that not having permits would cost a lot of money to rectify. In order for the house to be sold she had to pay double for the permits and bring all the plumbing, electrical, heated, insulation and structure up to today’s code.

Making Decisions to Buy Again to Fast. My advice to every couple going through divorce is if at all possible don’t buy anything or make any big decisions for at least 4 season. Time heals all wounds so give yourself at least a full year to get your head on straight and to know what you will really need in your new single life. So many people rush out to buy something and a year later they want to sell it because their life and housing needs have changed along with their emotions.

Couples entering divorce need help.

As a real estate team many of us have been through divorce and understand your pain and stress. 30% of our clients are walking in your shoes right now. Please allow us to share our experience in dividing marital property to help you make the best choice for your future.

We As Wake County REALTORS® Will Help You Through All of Life’s Surprises

We hope you’ve found this series helpful as a home owner facing divorce in Wake County.

We know that the waters ahead may look uncertain but we also want you to know that we’re here to help you through this transition as best we can.

So contact us at Linda Craft & Team today to help you prepare for your next move. We’re happy to help!

Until next time,


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