How did you all decide? I know I am very blessed to even have the option of keeping the house.
It is an expensive proposition, maybe not a smart one.
But for our kids, I would have left and started over.
Her: WW/57 Me: BS/63 24yrs M
3 great kids, now 22, 20, 17 b,b,g
D-Day 8/14/08, D 1/13/11
Had I known that, obviously I would have made different decisions on how to handle my inheritance. I feel like ex defrauded me at the time by giving me false information about the state of our marriage. So I wasn't going to let ex have any part of "my" house. (we worked it out in the settlement mediation. he kept his full pension. I got the house, free and clear). It was also very important to me to keep life as stable for my kids as possible.
That all being said, it has been a struggle for me to pay the property taxes every year, and try to keep up with the basic maintenance. So even if you can afford the mortgage, don't forget to factor in the other expenses before you make your decision.
I can't exactly say I regret keeping the house, and I know I'm extremely lucky that I don't have a mortgage or rent payment each month. But I never signed up to be a single person homeowner, and it's stressful as hell at times.
I still have 2 kids at home so my house payment isn't that much more than I would have to pay in rent, and I have lots of family close that can and will help me with any maintenance issues that I have.
That being said, owning a home by yourself is a lot of work and time, and mine has a lot of property to keep up with, so once my kids have moved out I will definitely sell.
I kept mine cause it was the only house i owned cause I had kids and their school is in the area. I knew if I sold it, i would not get another house for a long time. no way I could afford a new down payment.
So my decision really came down to economics and weighing my viable options:
In my case I waived alimony (he was never going to actually pay) in exchange for the house. X did a quitclaim - but kept his name on the mortgage. (Is this a possibility - or might he agree to pay for part of the closing costs...?)
There have been financial challenges: yard maintenance, house maintenance, removing a plaster ceiling that was coming down, replacing a hot water heater, the cost of snowplowing...
You don't want to end up "house poor" with your budget stretched too tight - just to keep the house if you have a better options.
I did do some changes immediately -- new furniture to replace what he took, repainted the bedroom and got new bedding, etc -- to make it mine.
Its a lot of work to maintain but I realized when he moved out that the only thing I added was putting the cans to the curb on garbage day. He never did anything else consistently enough to matter. So the reality is I've been doing it on my own for a decade.
If I hadnt had the kids I would have made very different decisions. But then everything would have been different anyway so who knows.
The mortgage is less than I would pay in rent for an apartment, even including property taxes and bills.
I'm keeping it because I have three young children. We would have no where to go if we did not stay here. I really like the house & the neighborhood, anyway, and I do not have any "they cheated in that room, they cheated in this room" memories to taint it.
1. It is cheaper than rent in this area.
2. It keeps DD in her school until she graduates.
3. There are no tainted memories of any OW being in the home.
4. XPOS was gone more than he was here so I have done all decorating, renovations, and maintenance anyway.
5. We have three very large dogs that no rental would ever allow, and this property has a lot of room for them.
6. I cannot get a new house right now because XPOS destroyed my credit and I need time to repair it.
7. XPOS quit claimed the deed but will remain on mortgage until I can refi with an equal or better interest rate than the current mortgage with no time limit to do it.
8. It is an investment while I repair my financial damage from the D as I know some relatively basic improvements will increase value dramatically for when I am ready to move on (I am estimating five years).
9. I can afford.
I put a lot of practical thought into it to determine that it was the best option for me.
Moving and working on a new house can be exciting but also expensive and stressful. At least I know this house, what needs doing and there are not any big surprises in store. I know so many people who fail to budget realistically for house remodeling. Materials prices have really gone up. Then they run out of money and half a half done house. That is no fun.
I think it comes down to what you want personally and your own situation, there is no fixed formula.
I was the primary wage earner, so it made no difference monetarily when wxh left.
I don't have children, but it gave me some comfort to not worry about moving.
I replaced flooring and my bedroom furniture to purge it of wxh. I'm very content here.
But I must heal from this trauma myself. And if I stay here it will postpone it possibly indefinitely. Too,many ghosts in our marital home. (I still can't sleep on any side but the one I've slept in with her for,ten years.) And this will affect the kids, as I want to be a happy, emotionally contented dad for them.
So I reason that my fresh start will affect them as well.
Plus, financially I just can't do it and still save any money. I may not get spousal support, so,I can't rely on that.
In any case, I can relate. You must weigh the pros and cons and in my opinion do what is best for your emotional well-being.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
What he does own is half the debt here - although the D paperwork holds me entirely responsible for it. There is a clause that grants him some protection (written into the D papers) should I default on the loan.
(*HeartStings) If you want the wording on that PM me and I'll dig out the paperwork. I get all the write offs, but at this stage of the mortgage - it is less than the standard.
As for finances being permanently separated.. SS and CS can be modified - nothing permanent there. But I'm in MA and that might make a difference. I also stayed on his health insurance for a year, and could have continued if I'd paid the difference...(until he remarries). These things were all negotiated by us and the judge signed off on it.
But the mortgage was more than I could comfortably afford even with a full time income and that would leave me dependent on Ex's support for as long as we were there. An increasingly horrible situation as Ex continues to screw himself over financially. Also the extra cost of upkeep and repairs would have made it impossible to build a good safety net. Only having 2 years of mortgage payments meant that there was no equity and refinancing wouldn't have made a big enough impact to make a difference in affordability.
So a fresh start in a new location became an increasingly appealing option as time passed. I found a place in a that is literally half the size of our home but is also 1/3 less in price. That has allowed me to depend less on Ex even though I don't yet work full time and it's in a much more convenient location. Where we are now is very temporary. I'm not even sure we will be here more than a year.
The only reason I considered keeping the house is for the kid's sake. I probably would have kept it if it wouldn't have been such a huge financial struggle. If I didn't have kids I probably would have left that house on Dday and never looked back.
In your situation I think I'd lean towards selling and just starting over. You don't have little kids to consider and even if you don't have a lot of "together" memories there, it was still the marital home and you may find it easier to move on if you can just dump it and start new.
I'm staying in the house, but I have 4 kids who have all grown up here and their grandparents (ex'a side) that live next door. They are a huge help to me and the kids visit them often. Otherwise, I'd want to just sell and start over elsewhere.
Ok, that's 3 of you who said you get the house but the ex quitclaims but keeps the mortgage. How is this possible?! I suggested this to my lawyer and she said a judge will give me 2-3 years, at most, to refinance in my name; that all finances have to be completely severed. If ex still owns the mortgage, they could take out a home equity loan, no? And who gets the tax write-off for property taxes? Very confusing.
We have a joint mortgage, but I am obligated to make the payments. XPOS is still on the hook for half the debt though because lenders don't recognize divorce decrees. This is simply what we agreed to, and it is specific that XPOS can't make any claim on the equity (can't do it without his name on the deed anyway). I get the tax deduction because I am making all the loan and tax payments. The judge had no problem with the indefinite timeframe for me to refi, but I don't think XPOS realizes that means he will never qualify for a mortgage of his own while his name remains on our joint one. Poor baby! He put me in the bad financial position so I don't feel the least bit bad about tying up his credit!
[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 2:32 AM, October 28th (Monday)]
The mortgage was in his name only and both of us were on the deed.
I did this solely because it was the best thing for me financially and logically.
We bought the house because he wanted it (I already had owned a less expensive home alone that I had suggested we move into after marriage, but he didn't want to live there)
The house was in an area he wanted to live in that I wasn't very fond of.
The mortgage was super expensive.
We bought at the top of the market and the house is now worth about $100K less than what we paid for it.
The house had tons of maintenance issues. It was a money pit.
So it made sense for me to leave it and move to a place closer to my friends, family and job with a payment that I could manage.
My ex also had his holemates in the house, but that really didn't go much towards my reasoning for leaving it. If it had made more financial sense to stay I would have fought for it.
I think whichever way comes out better for you financially you should strongly consider. Divorce seriously hurts financially, so you should look out for yourself in this matter.