Real Estate Lessons from Lisa Orme, Realtor®

Divorce And Real Estate

While I'd always love to see marriages last a life-time, the fact is that not everyone is able to keep their relationship in a place where that can happen. Trouble comes, and not everyone is able to get through it without substantial collateral damage, and sometimes the marriage fails.  When real estate is involved, the high emotions of disintegrating relationships and poor communication can cost everyone a lot of money. My friend Scott Hayes points out that during difficult times like this, it would do well to put the personal emotions aside, and treat the house like a business or investment property.... some great advice in my view!

DivorceIt's a subject we don't like to address often, but divorce happens. In fact, nearly half of all marriages end in a parting of the ways. And when those divorces happen, very often, a home is involved in the process. Often, the couples and families involved in a divorce don't communicate well. That lack of communication and compromise often leads to a problematic real estate situation.

A Cautionary Tale

A few years ago, a couple we'll call Lance and Tracy (not their actual names) went through a divorce, and nearly lost their home as a result. After ten years of timely payments, consistent value appreciation, and a well maintained home, Lance and Tracy began experiencing marital problems. As often is the case in these situations, the growth in the marital problems, coincided with a growing lack of interest in the home. The upkeep slowed down, and the mortgage payments became less consistent. When the couple filed for divorce, the maintenance completely stopped and the payments ceased. Lance and Tracy stayed in the home together, as many couples who go through divorce choose to do, but stopped communicating in an effective manner.

It should be noted, that Lance and Tracy, had over seventy thousand dollars in equity in their home, which was now in jeopardy, along with a major hit to the credit history with a foreclosure looming. Lance and Tracy failed to make payments on their home. Their lack of communication prevented them from being able to sell the home, even at a reduced price; to recoup much of their hard earned equity. After months of conflict and inaction, they were able to sell their home for the loan balance, and a few thousand dollars, a week before the home was to be sold on the courthouse steps. The entire matter was truly a shame. Of course, all of this can be avoided.

When A Home Becomes A Business

I often like to say, you should be careful who you go in to business with, as you are married to that person for a given amount of time. Well, the reverse it true of marriage and home ownership. As soon as a couple files for divorce, you instantly form a business relationship. When a home is involved, that is most certainly the case. Although it is very difficult to keep emotions in check, it is imperative that divorcing couples become partners in the business of home ownership. This may mean one of the partners should buy the *business* or perhaps it should be sold, and the profits divided accordingly.

What couples need to avoid, is the lack of communication and conflict, that so often follow the dissolving of a marriage. This means having clear minded discussions about whatever course of action they choose. It also means working with competent real estate professionals, to achieve the goal of protecting an investment, over winning an emotional war.

Divorce is hard enough as it is for a couple and family. Protecting real estate interests by communication and choosing logic over pure emotion is best, as challenging as that may be.

 

Scott Hayes

Austin Real Estate Agency

Extraordinary Service, For Extraordinary People

Direct: 512-786-8300

www.austinrealestateagency.com

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Serving the North Central Connecticut region, Hartford County, and the communities of Windsor, Bloomfield, Hartford, East Hartford, South Windsor, Manchester, Windsor Locks, Suffield, Enfield, East Windsor, Somers and the Granbys...

Opening Doors to Home Ownership . . . The Master's Key . . .

Residential Sales, Short Sales and Foreclosure Prevention, Multi-Family and Investment Properties, Condominium and Property Management

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Licensed in the State of Connecticut, ABR, CRS, GRI, PSCS, SFR, Notary Public, Lic. #REB.755648

 Broker/Owner of The Master's Key Realty LLC, 340 Broad Street, #320, Windsor, Connecticut 06095

To contact Lisa, call 860-688-1400 or send an e-mail to lisa@masterskeyrealty.com

Copyright, Lisa Orme, 2010.  All rights reserved.

Comment balloon 0 commentsLisa Orme • May 31 2011 11:24PM
Divorce And Real Estate
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