Articles Tagged with real estate

The Seattle Times recently published an article stating that house prices in Seattle have finally rebounded to (and surpassed) house values before the market crash of 2007. This is good news for homeowners. This includes most homeowners facing dissolution proceedings. Here are a few ways the increase in house values may affect your dissolution case.

  1. Real estate will be viewed as an asset not a liability. For the past seven years we have been dealing with houses that have little or no equity, and as such are often viewed as a liability not an asset. Instead of leaving the house and equity to the less-economically-advantaged spouse, the house was often left to the more-economically-advantaged spouse, because in many cases that was the only spouse that could afford the house and the debt (and it would not be possible to sell the home for the amount owed on the home). Now, with more homeowners having equity, it will be more likely the court will award the home to the spouse most in need of the equity – or the place to live.
  2. Refinancing will be easier. Prior to 2007 it was common to have a property settlement agreement or decree of dissolution require that whoever received the home refinance and remove the other spouse from the mortgage on the property. After 2007, this became more difficult. In many instances, homes were worth less than the loan and requests for refinance were refused. This meant that some former spouses were required to continue being responsible for debt on a property that no longer belonged to them.

In most divorces, property has to be divided. Oftentimes, a divorcing couple’s most valuable asset (or greatest liability) is their real property (i.e. their house). As such, special attention must be paid to this property both during and after dissolution of a marriage. The New York Times recently ran an article about real estate agents who have found a niche helping people that have recently divorced (or are in the process of divorcing) market their real property. The article provides useful tips for parties in this situation.

The article is also of interest for its proposition regarding families choosing to live close together after divorce to make co-parenting easier. In our experience, for families that have decent communication skills and can tolerate being around each other, this can be a good option. It allows frequent visitation with each parent, allows both parents to attend the child(ren)’s events, and minimizes transportation time for the kids.

Read the article here.

As part of most divorce property distributions, at least one piece of real property has to be distributed. For many people, dissolving their marriage is the first time, in a long time, that they have had to think about their real estate holdings as more than a place they call home. As such, many people feel unprepared to navigate the valuation, refinancing, and/or sale, of their real property. It is our belief that the more you know about your property, the better equipped you will be to make the best decision regarding its disbursal.

As part of his series, Divorce Dollars and Sense, meant to help people navigate the financial aspects of divorce, Jeff Landers provides a list of seven things he says women (and we say all people) need to think about when dealing with real estate as part of their divorce.

For many of our clients, their real property is their greatest asset – or in this market, their greatest liability. With so much on the line, it is important that you have the best team of professionals on your side. In addition to strong legal advocacy, this may include the use of our network of respected real estate professionals. We are ready to help you navigate the real property issues in your divorce.

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