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Can you afford to keep the house in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Divorce |

It is easy to focus on high-value assets such as the family home or holiday cottage when preparing for property division in a divorce.

Yet they might not be the attractive option they seem. Here is why:

Real estate requires a lot of upkeep

While houses protect you from the elements and help you stay warm, you also need to protect them from the elements and help them stay warm.

Time and weather take their toll on buildings, and if you cannot afford to maintain your property, it may soon lose value. The same can apply if you are not interested in doing so.

If a storm blows off a few roof tiles, the damage might not be visible from the ground. Are you willing to climb up a ladder or pay someone to do so and check? If not, you might not discover anything is wrong until leaks have already done considerable damage.

Energy prices have rocketed lately, and if you cannot afford to heat your house, that too could damage it, allowing dampness to creep in and reducing its value.

Outstanding mortgages require more spending

Let’s say an estate agent values your house at half a million. If you have already paid off the mortgage, then keeping the home gets you an asset worth half a million. If your mortgage still has time to run, you are not getting half a million as it is partly an asset and partly a debt.

Getting legal help with the property division process allows you to make better-informed decisions about which assets you should fight for and which you should let go of.