You have the right to seek possession of the family home as part of a final divorce settlement. However, it is important to make sure that you can afford mortgage payments and maintenance costs on a single income. Let’s take a look at some questions that you should ask before deciding to retain ownership of your home in Rochester, New York.
Have the home appraised
It is critical that you figure out how much the home is worth before deciding if you can afford to keep it. In most cases, the amount that you pay to purchase your estranged spouse’s interest in the property is based on the property’s appraised value. Depending on the level of trust between you and your estranged spouse, it may be necessary for both of you to obtain an appraisal.
Be sure to account for all costs of ownership
To determine if you can afford to stay in a home, you have to account for more than just the mortgage payment. In addition, you’ll have to determine how much property taxes are in your area as well as how much you pay each month for insurance, utilities and maintenance.
Consider how real estate fits into your overall portfolio
Home prices tend to appreciate over time, which means that your house will likely be worth more in the future than it is today. However, it is important to note that it can be harder to access equity in a home than it is to liquidate stocks or other holdings. Ideally, you’ll have at least 70% of your assets in cash, stocks or other liquid holdings. This will make it easier to adapt to changing market conditions or meet other financial needs as they arise.
If you are interested in retaining assets in a divorce, an attorney may help you create a strategy to do so. For instance, you may keep the family home in exchange for not asking for a portion of a 401(k) or bank account.