Buying a New House After Divorce
Buying a new house after divorce can be an exciting process, but it can also be a little stressful. It can be difficult emotionally to say goodbye to your old family home, especially if you lived there many years. But for many, a new house can help you start over fresh in your post-divorce life. Find a Realtor to work with that is a good fit for you, and speak with a lender to find out what kind of mortgage you’ll need. Consider the logistics of your children’s school as well as proximity to your co-parent if you share custody. And finally, decide on what you need versus what you want in a home. Don’t be afraid to take on some upgrades yourself. Hopefully, getting a fresh start in a new home will be the exciting first chapter in the next stage of your life.
Finding a Realtor
Finding a Realtor is an incredibly important first step in the process of buying a new house after divorce. In many transactions, sellers pay the real estate agent fees. Therefore, hiring a Realtor as representation often does not cost you anything as the buyer. A Realtor can guide you through the process of purchasing a home, inspecting it, negotiating repairs, and getting to the closing table. They will use their professional experience and training to get you the best price for your home and ensure that everything goes smoothly with the process. Forgoing professional representation can end up costing you big-time if things go wrong in a home sale.
Another important step in the process of buying a house after divorce is speaking with a lender. Your Realtor might have recommendations of lenders they often work with to help buyers get loans. Your lender will find out information about your financial situation and will help you understand how much house you can afford and what your loan payments will look like. They often can provide you with a pre-qualification letter that shows sellers you are able to purchase.
When buying a house after divorce, consider logistics when making your decision. Especially if you share custody with your ex. You might have your heart set on a certain neighborhood, but if it’s a long way from your ex, consider how often you’ll be driving back and forth. In addition, think about your children’s school zoning and activities when purchasing. For many, it makes things much less complicated if both parents live in the same school zone.
Decide on Your Needs and Wants
Another helpful thing to remember when buying a house after divorce is to make a list of your wants versus your needs. You might want to have a bathroom for each bedroom, but you might need to have an office space. Make a list of priorities but prepare yourself that you might have to strike through some of the wants. In addition, don’t be afraid to take on some updates yourself. You can move in, live in the house for a while even if it’s outdated, and decide on exactly how you’d like to upgrade it yourself later.
Buying a house after divorce is an important step in the process of moving on. It can be painful to say goodbye to your old house, and it’s okay to grieve. However, hopefully finding a new house will be fun and exciting for you. Hire a real estate professional to help guide you through the process. Then, you’ll want to speak to a lender about qualifying you to purchase the home. They’ll guide you through the mortgage process and let you know how much your loan payments will be. Try to buy on the lower end of what you qualify for so that all of your finances don’t go just towards your house payments. Take into account how far you’ll need to drive your children to their activities, school, and your ex’s house if you share custody. And finally, make a list of must-haves and a list of wants. Try to focus on the must-haves and don’t be afraid to make some renovations yourself later. Hopefully, you can find a house that is perfect for your needs and can begin the process of moving forward with a fresh start.