For many people, their first instinct during a divorce is to try to keep the house. Maybe moving sounds like too much work. Maybe they want the stability of staying in the same home. Maybe it’s a dream home that they can’t bear to part with. Maybe they have kids and they don’t want to force them to move.
Whatever the reason, they don’t want to sell the house.
This can work in some cases, but you have to consider both sides of the equation. Think about what keeping the house really means and what is the best choice for you. To help you get started, here are five reasons why you should sell your house:
1. You can’t get your own mortgage
Remember, you bought your home as a couple. To keep it, you need to refinance and pay off your spouse for his or her ownership. For some people, it’s impossible to get that same mortgage on their own, on one income. This could mean it’s time to sell and move on.
2. You’re making an emotional decision
Think about why you want the house. Do you see it as a financial asset that will increase in value or an asset that will functionally make your life easier? Or do you just want it because you’re emotionally unwilling to give up on this period of your life and you’re trying to cling to what you have? If it’s an emotional decision that is the wrong financial decision, you may need to sell instead.
3. The house costs too much
Forget about the mortgage for a moment. The house also comes with plenty of other costs: insurance, maintenance, upkeep, utilities, taxes, HOA fees and much more. Think about the real cost and carefully consider what you can afford with your new budget.
4. It makes it harder on the kids
Your divorce will impact your kids. Is it harder for them to stay in the same house? Does that make it more difficult for them to move forward, constantly reminding them of what life was like when their parents were together? Ask them what they want and think about the lessons you’re teaching them.
5. You want a fresh start
Sometimes, what you need after a divorce is a completely fresh start. It’s empowering. It shows you that you can take care of yourself. It gives you a new outlook on life and a sense of control. If you need that, selling your home and buying a new one may be the fastest way to get it.
No matter what you decide in your specific situation, make sure that you know exactly what legal steps you need to take.