Tag : realtor-com
Tag : realtor-com
Welcome friends to the next installment of Divorce and Real Estate, Don’t be Dumb! After posting the original blog, I had several requests to elaborate on the possible remedies to the property situation. To the rescue was one of my favorite guys and world class mortgage loan originator, Jim Barker. Jim suggested an article he often refers to written by Tracy Achen for Womensdivorce.com. Tracy’s advice is fantastic for both men and women, I’ve included excepts from her article below because let’s be honest, she is clearly smarter than I am. Don’t be dumb.
Retain the Original Mortgage
Unfortunately, this is the option that many people unknowingly make when they get a divorce. In essence one spouse agrees to keep the home, but the mortgage isn’t changed after the divorce is finalized. If this is your situation, realize that if your ex doesn’t make the mortgage payments, it can ruin your credit if your ex defaults on the loan.
Maybe you want to retain the co-ownership of the home and leave the original mortgage intact until the children are grown. Once the children are gone, the house can be sold and the proceeds can be split. To make this arrangement work, both you and your ex should be able to cooperate in such a way that the mortgage payments, taxes and upkeep are paid in a timely fashion.
Like I said earlier, this is a risky proposition. First of all, do you really want to keep that closely tied to your ex. Secondly, if your ex has any future liens filed against him, they can be attached to your house. This ties up the title and makes it harder to sell the house. And finally, having an existing mortgage can make it difficult to qualify for a new mortgage because it will increase your debt to income ratio. You’re better off trying some of the other divorce mortgage options below.
Sell the House
One of the easiest ways to remove your liability from the mortgage when getting divorced is by selling the marital home. The proceeds from the sale will first be used to pay off the existing mortgage, and anything that is left over after closing costs can then be split between you and your spouse. Generally, it’s a good idea to sell the house before your divorce is finalized to prevent future opportunities to fight over the sales price. Plus, neither of you will have to worry about the other not making mortgage payments, maintaining the house, or paying taxes and insurance.
One Spouse Keeps the Home and Refinances the Mortgage
This is a common strategy when one spouse wants to keep the home. In this situation, the spouse who wants the house generally buys out the other spouse’s equity share and refinances the mortgage into his or her own name. If you’ll be keeping the house, it is important to have your spouse sign a quit claim deed which relinquishes his ownership and rights to the property.
If your spouse is the one who will be keeping the home, it is very important that the mortgage be refinanced in his name only. As long as your name remains on the mortgage, you will continue to be liable for the mortgage payments should your ex default on the loan.
If your divorce is not yet finalized and your ex will be keeping the home, it’s a good idea to include language in your divorce decree that your spouse will refinance the home. Along with this, you should also have your spouse sign a Deed of Trust to Secure Assumption. This gives you the right to foreclose and take back ownership of the house if he fails to refinance and subsequently defaults on the mortgage. After your divorce papers are signed and everything is finalized, you need to notify the mortgage lender of your security interest and request that they notify you at your current address of any missed payments.
One Spouse Keeps the Home and Assumes the Mortgage
A divorce mortgage assumption can be a good option if your bank will approve it, but you should realize that not all mortgages are assumable. Therefore, the first thing to do is to contact your mortgage lender to see if they will allow you to assume the loan.
If the mortgage lender will let you assume the loan, you begin the process by filling out the assumption agreement and a release of liability. The lender will also need documentation to determine if you can pay the mortgage based solely on your own income. If you meet the lenders underwriting guidelines, you may also need to furnish a copy of the quit claim deed as well as a copy of your divorce decree. If the assumption is approved, the lender generally executes a release of liability to the other spouse.
This can be a good option if your bank will allow the assumption and you have good terms on your existing mortgage. Even though there are assumption fees, they are usually much less than what it would cost to refinance the mortgage.
Copied from WomansDivorce.com. Read more at: http://www.womansdivorce.com/divorce-mortgage.html#ixzz3xuOJ83nj
There you have it folks, a cheat sheet for your options when it comes to your divorce and real estate. I’d like to thank Jim Barker again for this information. If you’d like to contact Jim to learn more about your mortgage options, you can reach him at 602-686-1885, JBarker@spfcnet.com or click here for more information. As always you can reach me at Caily@CailySellsAZ.com or through my website.
Categories: Real Estate
Let me start by saying, I am not an attorney, nor do I pretend to be one, but I do know a thing about divorce, real estate and being dumb. I am a real estate expert and I spent years wading through my own messy divorce and the aftermath, so I’d like to pass on a thing or two that I learned in the process. Take or leave my advice, there are a few things I wish someone would have told me, now I am telling you.
One piece of advice I received from my attorney was this…
If you are the one moving out of the family home, take half of the stuff, don’t leave it so that the kids will be more comfortable, they need to be comfortable at your house too.
This was great advice. The kids, if you have them, need some familiarity at both houses. In the same vein, lets talk property. In my case, though I liked the home we bought when married, my ex was adamant that he keep the home, and frankly, I could not have afforded it as a single parent, so I agreed. Now its all well and good up to here, this is the point I went wrong. Don’t be like me, do not do this. I agreed to allow my ex two and a half years to refi the house and get my name off of it. Why so long? No reason really, that’s what he wanted, I was exhausted and tired of fighting so I agreed. Dumb. So dumb. Guess what? Two and a half years later, he did not hold up his end of the deal. The house has not been refinanced. That means, my credit is at his mercy. It also means that I can not qualify to purchase a car, my own home (there are a few lenders who can help somewhat with options here) or get personal credit regardless of my good credit score. My name on the house means my debt to income ratio is seriously out of wack. Doesn’t he have to comply? Eh. Didn’t we make this deal legally and through the court system? Yep. So now what? Well, I hire an attorney, get a hearing with a judge (which takes months), spend thousands more to get him to comply with a deal he is already legally obligated to comply with. Is it fair? No. Is it just the way it is? Yes, and its not worth ranting over, instead just avoid the mistake.
Bottom line, divorce is rough stuff no matter how you slice it, but making fewer emotional choices and more logical ones, will save you some heartburn in the end. For more information about me and Caily Sells AZ, please vist my website!
Categories: Real Estate
Obviously you are smarter than your Realtor! Isn’t everyone? I mean this simply must be the case, otherwise, why would you be ignoring the advice of the trained professional that you hired? Hmmm, but wait, doesn’t your agent do this like day in and day out? It’s almost like they buy and sell houses for a living.
Do you detect any sarcasm? If the answer is no, go ahead and close this blog out now. Save yourself.
Folks, seriously, stop ignoring the advice of your Realtor. When they tell you the price you want for your house is too high, it is. The single biggest factor in a home spending more days on market than necessary is price. Think your agent wants to price the house too low to get it sold? Think again. The more your home sells for, the more money your agent makes, it’s a little thing we like to call commission based sales. Next, I am telling you, your agent wants to get more business in the neighborhood. You know what really irks the neighbors? Undercutting the value of their home by selling the neighbor’s house for next to nothing. Hire a good agent and they are going to work to get you as much for your home as they can, but they can’t magically wish the value of your home higher, so help them, help you.
A great agent (me, me) will walk you through your home and make suggestions for reasonable repairs and updates. There’s a chance they know what they are talking about. Just a chance. Maybe consider NOT blowing off their suggestions. I know you love your house and think everyone else will too. They won’t. Listen to your agent.
When your agent brings you feedback from other agents who have shown your home, put your giant house ego away and listen! Showing feedback is like gold! This is the feedback from potential buyers who have been through your home. It’s good stuff and can be a very useful tool if you can handle the truth. If the feedback is consistently that your collection of fuzzy bunnies with googly eyes is creepy and makes people want to run screaming, go ahead and store them for later. If you hear that your life size bozo the clown statue is too distracting for buyers, go ahead and send bozo on a holiday. You can bring him back in your new home. (Or never again). Don’t ignore the agent feedback, they are simply the messenger, and the message is worth your time.
I get it, you can beat your real estate agent in chess, you school them at monopoly and you could open a can of Trivial Pursuit whoop ass at any moment, but I am willing to bet your agent has bought and sold many more houses than you have. I will also bet that in a given week, they have been in and out of more strange houses than you have all year, So consider this, they might, just might have the experience here to get the job done. If you hire them, trust them, you’ll save yourself some aggravation in the long run.
For more unsolicited opinions and general bossing around, feel free to visit my website, or contact me at Caily@CailySellsAZ.com. Looking for a GREAT realtor in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley area, check me out, I consider myself pretty great. (Someone has to)
Treating your home purchase like online dating? You could be wasting you time!
I know what you’re doing. I’ve seen it before. You’re sitting at work, you’ve got a few minutes, and you’re surfing the web to find “the one”. Be honest, we both know you’re looking at the pictures first, maybe you’ll skim the description and you’ll decide whether you want to explore this possibility within a minute or two. Maybe you have a friend who sends you options they like for you, and I know your realtor does. Your Realtor? Yea, your realtor, because we are talking about looking for houses here. Sound suspiciously like the way people cruise Match.com and other dating sites? It does to me.
Has anyone you know ever gone on a date with someone who’s profile they were positively a fan of, only to find out that the real thing wasn’t quite what they thought it was (In some cases not at all what they thought it was)? Well, I’ve got news for you. The same is true with houses.
As a Realtor, I often get the call from a client espousing their love for a home they found on the MLS through my website or other searches like Realtor.com and Trulia. They love it, it’s the one. We must see it today, and so we do. Bad news, when we get there, more often than not, we marvel at the magic of photo shop as opposed to the house itself. Online tools are great for checking houses out, but don’t declare love or hate based on that alone. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when online stalking your house.
* The pictures can be manipulated. I so often hear, “wow the rooms looked so much bigger in the pictures”, and after I push all the inappropriate jokes that came to mind out, I use words like “Wide Angle lens” and “Photoshop”. There are plenty of ways to take a great picture, and if they do a good job you only see what they want you to see. I also often see outdated pictures. Like when the realtor uses pics from before the house became a crime scene. (A bit dramatic, but seriously, some houses make you wonder). Conversely, don’t chuck a house based on pics alone. It’s a shame, but some people don’t put enough emphasis on the pictures and end up using photos that just don’t do the house justice.
* Almost everything you need to know, can’t be found in a picture. There are a whole bunch of important factors that can not come from a picture. First, because it’s my favorite, Smell. A house that became a meeting place for the stray cats of the city or one that’s been smoked in like a chimney may look great but oh my, the smell. The home’s layout will matter to you, even a virtual tour can’t give you the real feel. How about neighbors and the neighborhood in general? Sure there is google earth, but that picture isn’t from today.
Check out this Handy Dandy Graphic, from Great Colorado Homes.com, use it as your guide. As always, a great realtor will advise you of these pitfalls. I like to preview homes for my clients when they think they are in love, I find it saves their time and their feelings.
Online presence is important and it’s not going away. It is key to make sure your home shows beautifully online, and I can show you how. If you are in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and surrounding areas, give me a call when you are ready to hire an agent to help you navigate your home’s online presence and get you in to something you love! Visit me at my website anytime at www.CailySellsAZ.com!
Categories: Real Estate