Tag Archives: asset

Divorce and Your House in Boulder

By Michael Hughes   October 4, 2010

Usually when divorcing, the home is the single largest asset you own house in Boulder.  One or both of you will be moving out of your Boulder Real Estate.  These are not merely financial decisions but often intertwined with very real feelings and emotional issues around the marriage, the kids (if there are any and sometimes known as dogs or cats), possessions and money. I always suggest if couples have made the final decision to get divorced, get the house ironed out as quickly as possible.

If You’re Staying in the house

You have to ask yourself a lot of questions.  Can I afford the mortgage? It costs a lot, do not underestimate this.What is my budget? Do I really want the house or is this another “I win” because I now own the house?  Will there be any capital gains on this acquisition or sale? Do I know how capital gains tax works? Will I feel comfortable here or does this house harbor so many bad memories that it will interfere with my peaceful living here?  Is the market heading up or down and what does that mean to me, and this asset, in the future when I wish to sell the house?

If You’re Leaving the house

How will this affect my credit score if the former spouse doesn’t pay the mortgage?  Should I set up a divorce lien and quit claim the property?  If your former spouse doesn’t pay, the lender couldn’t care less about your divorce, they just want their money.  If you are still on the mortgage it could impair your ability to receive financing to buy another house for several years.

What’s it worth?

There are many ways to ascertain what the value is without a huge fight.  Call me if you need help with this in a non combative manner. Think calm and logical.

If you are selling the house

You absolutely want to get top dollar.  The other side to this is, you want to sell it quickly (take that bandaid off quickly) and minimize the pain and suffering and get disentangled as quickly as possible.  The longer the sale takes the more stress experienced on both sides and the lower the price will be when you do finally sell it. Settle on an at market or event priced home, do not over price it you will get less than you would have had you priced it at market value.

Present a United Front to Potential Buyers

When people see a divorcing couple they usually see the word “bargain” flash across their mind and circle in for the kill.   This can be totally alleviated.  Discretion is the word.  Present a united front for possible buyers and you will usually alleviate the possibility of a lower offer.

I have helped many people in divorce settle their home out quickly and to every ones satisfaction.

The house as a commodity

Your Boulder home is now a commodity.  You must detach from the emotional aspect of your home and think of it as Boulder Real Estate.  Often easier said than done.  This is divorce.  As the Nike logo says “Just Do It.”  What this means is you detach, you listen to your advisors your attorney and your realtor about what needs to happen to get it sold.  You don’t want just the lawyers coming out with money in the bank! It means you detach yourself from your house and listen to other people’s advice about what you need to do to sell it.

Do not spend money on anything unless it is deferred maintenance.  Agree up front, in writing if possible, who will pay for what.  Stage the house minimally. In other words clear out the clutter and the family pics.  Neutral, neutral, neutral.   Price it properly.  Price it to move.  Avoid relying on gossip regarding prices in the neighborhood.  Get the facts.  Call me now for an absolute accurate Price Analysis based on todays’ market. I can help.

Outcome of setting your price too high

Setting a price that’s too high has a potential of three or more negative effects. First, it will take more time to sell your house,  that extends the time you’re making the mortgage payments. Second, your house will become stale or shop worn and potential buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it.  The price you eventually get will be lower after “chasing the market.”  Third when an offer is made if it is too high and it doesn’t appraise it presents the buyer and seller with a new set of problems and the buyer can walk away from the deal.

Don’t leave it empty

If you and your spouse have both moved out of the house, leave some simple furniture there until the house sells.  Have it staged by a no cost staging company, ask me how. Rent furnishings if necessary.  Empty houses are  hard for most   buyers to imagine living in.  Also if just one of you is living there try to leave a few clothes from both parties.  It is a dead giveaway when you walk in and there is one empty walk in closet in the master suite.  Buyers are always looking for the “reason” why sellers are selling to offer less.

If you have questions about this article or anything Boulder give me a call or text me anytime. Michael Hughes-Fuller Sothebys International Realty=303-359-6627  or you can email me at michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com or you can visit my website at www.BolderRealEstate.com

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Filed under Boulder Economy, Divorce, foreclosure, real estate, Uncategorized

Struggling With Potential Forclosure-This could Fix it!

Forget Foreclosure Make Mortgage Affordable

By Michael Hughes November 29, 2009

There’s a new sheriff in town and their going to help you out. Government’s new Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP.

The U.S. Treasury created the program as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. It is intended to help struggling home owners work with their lenders to get those payments down to what is more reasonable.

“The U.S. Treasury has introduced a streamlined process to expedite more affordable monthly mortgages addressing current financial hardships,” said Meg Reilly, a spokeswoman from the Treasury Department. “We surpassed our goal sooner than anticipated with over one-half-million borrowers who already have trial modifications underway.”

While some lenders have been slow to start HAMP is proving to be quite a life saver to those in need who have now gone through the process.

“ More than 25,000 applicants are being processed each week through HAMP”, Reilly said. To qualify for HAMP, a home owner’s monthly mortgage, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance, must be greater than 31 percent of total gross monthly income.

“Once a mortgage modification is approved, it will reduce a monthly mortgage to 31 percent of monthly income for at least five years,” Reilly said.

There is no cost to have a mortgage modified in HAMP.

HAMP can reduce a homeowner’s payment by lowering the interest rate to as little as 2 percent, extending the repayment term to as long as 40 years.

The reduced interest rate will remain in place for five years. After that period, the interest rate can only go up to a capped current market rate based upon the day the modification is effective per Freddie Mac’s weekly market rate survey. Currently the maximum the rate could reach is approximately 5 percent.

“Our goal is to have delinquent customers or those who are current but know they are going to have trouble making their mortgage payments to receive timely financial assistance to lower their payments through a modification or some other means,” Goyda said. “We’ve hired and trained more than 5,800 additional employees this last year in our home-retention department to address the increased demand.”

Wells Fargo was among the lenders criticized early in the process for not modifying enough eligible mortgages.

The HAMP process generally consists of a homeowner contacting his or her mortgage provider. Home-retention specialists ask questions and request documentation to determine qualification.

Upon preliminary approval, a homeowner will be placed on a three-month trial with a lowered monthly mortgage payment while the documentation is processed and reviewed.  The deadline to participate in HAMP is Dec. 31, 2012.

“We are making many of the HAMP forms available online and many can be signed and forwarded with an electronic signature to expedite the process,” Reilly said.

Once final approval is received after the trial period, the HAMP applicant will receive documentation in the mail outlining all details. Since this program is still in its infancy, a two-month trial period extension is possible if needed to provide all documentation. To avoid scams and people asking for a fee go to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

Contact me today if you or anyone you know needs real estate help.  e-Mail michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com Direct 303-359-6627 Website:www.bolderrealestate.com

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