Tag Archives: capital gains

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