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Newly Single and Keeping the House

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM
  • 9 Replies

My husband and I seperated about 2 months ago and are waiting for the divorce to be final.  He is finally moving into his own place this week and I am keeeping the house so the kids can stay since it's the only home they've ever known.  Have any of you gone through this?  I'm really excited to be able to kind of take over and do what I want with the house, but don't want it to get out of hand and not be able to complete anything.  Just wondered if anyone had any suggestions or pointers.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM
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by Group Admin on Sep. 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM
by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM
1 mom liked this

Sorry, I left DH in the house and have my own house with the kids now so I don't have any experience with 'keeping the house' but I guess I would advise the same with what I am doing with my new house...start a house maintenance sinking fund for when things go wrong (because they will) this way you have the money to repair/fix what is needed when it happens.  Use this fund to also plan ahead for things you can predict will need replacing soon.

And do not start a home improvement project without saving for it FIRST.  Keep a home journal to help you save & plan for the improvement projects this way it doesn't feel like you aren't doing anything while you save.  It's also a good place to keep track of all the work you have already done.

Oh and look for the free classes at Home Depot (or Lowe's) that will walk you through different types of projects.

Good luck!

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Thanks for the tips!  It's hard too because there are projects already started and not finished that he was working on.  For instance, my office has no walls, ceiling and needs some wiring done.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Hi, and welcome to the group.

Sorry you are getting a divorce, but I'm sure you are much better off this way.  I kept my home when I divorced my ex.  He had already moved on with a girlfriend and started a family with her by the time our divorce was final.  My home is only 11 years old so there aren't that many home improvements that need to be made.  However, I have had a contractor in the past.  I'm going to need him to fix a few things because I simply can't do it myself - have no clue!  Perhaps you can look into a contractor on Craigslist that is decently priced to help complete your office space.  The contractor might be able to get things done on a payment schedule - what you can afford at the time to pay him.  If you are going to keep the house and not give the stbx any equity when you sell the house, then maybe you can get on a payment schedule with the contractor.  But, if the home is going to be split equally by equity then I would have the repairs to the home office be put into writing when you agree on a settlement.  Any financial help from the ex might be something to consider especially now.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

i wished i got the house but he did, he didnt care that much about his kids being in a good place he just wanted to win

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

We have already agreed that if/when I buy him out or sell the house, he will get 40% of the price and I will get 60%.  This is because he said he was going to be helping with repairs.  But you're right.  I think it's a good idea to keep track of how much I really put in to repairs.

by Gold Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

My ex kept the house but here's a bump for you!

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 6:02 PM

 no idea..sorry!

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

When there is a marital home, it creates a number of issues.  First, whoever keeps the house, even if there is a divorce court order as to who is responsible for paying the mortgage, that doesn't matter to the home mortgage company and doesn't absolve either party of the financial responsibility for the mortgage.  So, it is best to both have the party keeping the home refinance it into their own name and have the other party sign a quit claim deed to get off the deed to the home. 

If you keep both parties on the loan and deed, whoever pays the mortgage could pay it late (which would affect both party's credit score negatively).  If you are the one walking away and your name is still on the loan, then when you go to purchase a home or make another major purchase (car, whatever) it will not only impact your credit score negatively but also impact your debt ratio.

It is also a liability issue.  Let's say he keeps the house and someone is on the property, gets hurt, and sues.  They will sue the owners...that's both of you unless you are not on the deed or the loan.

Then there is the issue of upkeep...for you if you keep it or for him if he keeps it.  If neither can afford the upkeep on their own, then count on the value to decrease.  And, don't think that you know everything about the place because unexpected things can come up.

My bf's ex was vindictive and wanted to keep the house and the proceeds.  Since the loan was a VA loan on his military record, that tied up his VA loan until such time as she sold the house.  She was supposed to refinance the house into her name within one year (per their CO) and he was to sign a quit claim deed to get his name off the deed to the house.  She had him sign the quit claim at the final divorce hearing, but she never refinanced the house.  When he went to apply to get an apartment and a credit card on his own, the house showing up impacted his ability to get both.  Luckily, she always paid on time.  She finally sold the house four years post divorce out of compliance with the CO....but he would have had to have taken her to court to force her to refi with no guarantee that she would qualify.  Funny thing is, she wanted the house because she thought she was going to get all kinds of money out of it.  Turns out that the home inspection revealed a cracked foundation (slab home) that she had to repair.  After she paid for the repairs and the realtor costs, she had to sink in extra money just to get the house sold since she'd already moved in with her hubby #2.   

With me, we were upside down in the mortgage and my stbx wanted to keep the house and I let him.  He made one late payment that reflected on my credit.  It impacted my ability to get an apartment, a home loan, and credit cards.  Then, a year after we divorced, instead of refinancing, he filed bankruptcy...didn't re-sign on the house note so if he defaulted, I would have been totally stuck.  I ended filing bankruptcy just to protect myself financially...that was 9 1/2 years ago and that home loan still shows up on my credit report as being in my name even though I've continuously shown that it was discharged in my bankruptcy.  It's a mess.

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