Divorce is hard enough without having to deal with the frustration of dividing assets. However, when it comes to valuable items such as property, you need to make sure you’re taking the logistical steps necessary to appraise and distribute your Santa Cruz real estate.
• Hire an appraiser – If you and your soon-to-be ex can’t come to an agreement on the value of your home, then you might want to consider employing an appraiser to come to a decision for you.
• Get help from a real estate agent – A more cost-effective, but maybe not the most precise, way to determine the value of your property is to ask Santa Cruz real estate agents to estimate the cost. They’ll usually charge you little to nothing, and you can use this as a way to interview agents to sell your home.
• Calculate the true value – Computing the equity of your home is essential to figuring out how much it’s worth. Take the home’s value and subtract how much you still owe in mortgages, equity loans and secured lines of credit.
• Figure out non-marital vs. marital equity – In equitable property states, non-marital equity (such as assets acquired before marriage, prenuptial exclusions, gifts, personal injury settlements and inheritance) remains yours and is set aside from the communal marital assets.
• Know the difference between the title and mortgage – Many people try to have their name removed from the title thinking it will exempt them from the debt of the mortgage — this is incorrect. The title lists the legal owner and the mortgage lists parties responsible for payment. If one party is awarded the home, then you must refinance for it to be reflected on the mortgage.
• Sell and divide the proceeds – Put your home on the market for an immediate sale, and after all the costs have been deducted, divide what’s left.
When dividing assets during a divorce, an immediate sale isn’t the only option. You can award the house to one party and compensate the other with money or other valuable assets.
If you’re going through a divorce and need help deciding how to proceed with your Santa Cruz real estate, I’m happy to help. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com for more information.
For additional information please visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com
Computing the equity