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Financial ? re:staying marital home vs moving

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Somber posted 2/5/2021 11:30 AM

Quick question for those smarter financially than me.

We owe $300 on our marital home. Our home would sell for around $700. Most homes in our city are selling for above $700 or more.

We co-own a rental property which is being sold. Town houses are selling for 600 +. Our friends who we bought it with are layed off and need to sell.

My husband is looking into buying our friends out of the rental but doesnít think he can do it unless my income and name is also on that mortgage too.

Is this a good idea or viable option to put my name on it too?

This would leave me with the marital home and him with a townhouse. Both would be in our names.

Mortgage is about $1700-1800 a month. Rent would be the same for much less. If we sell, neither one of us could afford to buy a house for $700+ or even a townhouse for $600+. Apartments rent would be $1600-1800 anyhow.

The cost of living here is impossible. Am I better to try and stay in the marital home paying a mortgage or paying rent somewhere else. Is it worth putting my income and name on the townhouse so he can buy it? It would get him out of the marital home by March 1st if I did.

[This message edited by Somber at 12:13 PM, February 5th (Friday)]

EllieKMAS posted 2/5/2021 13:41 PM

If I were in your place I wouldn't be co-signing or putting my name together with his on anything. That just adds entanglement when you are trying to untangle things ya know?

I know here in CO, you can do a quit claim deed to add/remove people from title on things - not sure if there's a similar remedy in Canada. If the ONLY way to get him gone is to assist, I would consider that ONLY if he took your name off the title at the earliest possible opportunity.

Frankly it isn't your problem where he goes or how he manages. He just needs to put on his big-boy undies and figure it the fuck out like all grown-ups have to do. That sounds heartless perhaps, but if you weren't there he'd have to do it anyways.

If you can swing it staying in your house by yourself, I would do that. Yes you pay a mortgage, but you are also building equity which is way better in the long-term.

barcher144 posted 2/5/2021 13:42 PM

I don't know your story at all, but given the topic of this site (infidelity)...

I would sever all ties that you can with him. Money is money... but sanity is sanity... and that's worth a lot of money.

I would also not worry about him or his situation. You're getting a divorce.

I am going to ask you a really important question that you need to put some serious effort into answering. Meaning, take your time and come up with some really good answers (that you don't need to share here):


crazyblindsided posted 2/5/2021 13:50 PM

Agree with not co-mingling anything with him. Try to be as financially independent as you can. I would talk to a lawyer to see if you could stay in the marital home until the kids are grown. Sell the rental and split the money and let him figure out what he needs to do. Can you afford the mortgage on your own?

The1stWife posted 2/6/2021 00:43 AM

Itís not a good idea to put your name on a mortgage for his future home. If he quits paying you are responsible for both mortgages.

Let him figure out how to pay for the property he wants to buy.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 12:07 AM, February 7th (Sunday)]

Somber posted 2/6/2021 18:09 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

Okay, Iím not gonna put my name on the rental. If he canít afford it then maybe he can find a friend to co-own. Or I guess we sell it and go from there.

I agree with not co-mingling more things with him! Got it, good advice. However, where he goes or what he does seems partly my business and concern. He will need to pay support, etc. Plus pay for cost of living on his own as well. I just want to make sure I can help to make that happen...obviously only if it benefits myself and the kids too. I think my spouse needs a push and encouragement to move out and I want to be direct but amicable and helpful if I could. I mean, we have to co-parent, I want to make sure we are both in as good as a position as possible to maintain the financial expectations of our new life apart.

Iím not sure I can afford this mortgage on my own. I also know that rent is about the same amount of money per month or even more. I was looking today and Iím looking at about $1950-$2500 for 3 bedroom apartment/house apartment. Either way, I need about $2000 per month for rent or mortgage. Then utilities and bills on top of it. So Iím thinking that paying a mortgage is equal to rent at this point. The option to sell our marital home will give us money but not enough to buy in this market.

We both agree that staying in this home with the kids is best for at least another year. Less change all at once. We are on the same page about one thing. He also felt he would spend time with the kids here. He recognized that our daughter wouldnít cope with nights away from me. It will all take time. At some point it will be 50/50 sadly. For starters, I may have more time with them and in the marital home....although I hate this marital home and the multiple affair partners within our neighbourhood. However, I think it is best for our children to have the same neighbourhood, home and school.

[This message edited by Somber at 7:38 PM, February 6th (Saturday)]

Anna123 posted 2/7/2021 10:36 AM

I agree with you staying for awhile longer to adjust. After this though, is another option.

You are thinking in terms of what your current life-style is. It is a box worth thinking your way out of. You can consider selling your current home and purchasing a much smaller condo or home in a slightly less desirable but still safe area with the proceeds. It is a culture shock for a bit when you lived in a pricier place but it is SO MUCH BETTER. Remember, divorce equals a life-style being split in half. At first it seems horrible but in hind-sight it just doesn't matter. Your home is your home and financial freedom feels good.

If real estate prices go down then you would have over-paid for a new place, but brought in more for your current home so you would still be ahead financially. Renting is expensive over time. The money you would spend on rent compared to out-right purchasing a new home with your proceeds, would be made up in quicker than you think as long as you stay in your new home or condo. Even if it's value goes down for awhile.

I sleep soundly at night with my paid for little place and no financial connections to ex except his alimony and child support payments. If he quick paying, I can afford my home still, and that was my goal. I only purchased this AFTER the divorce though, it would have been used against me if I did it sooner. Staying in a home you need help to pay for is not worth it if you have the luxury to avoid it. Nor are all of the higher expenses that go with it. Higher taxes, insurance, home upkeep, utilities etc. Staying in a pricier situation also leaves much less money that you can put towards other more important things as time goes on.

Let your ex get a mortgage with another co-signer. Remember, his life-style needs to be cut in half as well. Maybe that townhouse is out of his price range now that he choose to destroy his marriage. Maybe HE needs to downsize from that in order to support the two homes he decided to create with his betrayal. Cheating has consequences.

Good luck with whatever you decide! One side-bar, I would check with your lawyer on this in case. Even after divorce is final, expenses are a big part of alimony and he may want you to continue to have these expenses in your case in case of a modification request for income change in the future.

Somber posted 2/7/2021 13:17 PM

Life style being split! Yikes. I hate that but you are right, it will have to be like that for us both. I havenít thought out all the changes that need to be made yet.
Doesnít it absolutely feel like another smack in the face to have to face these consequences for actions that were not our fault! I even gave him many many years of unearned forgiveness, hope, false reconciliation. There has been so many times he could have chosen his family but he didnít. Phew!! Too vent is not the purpose of this thread.

I donít know a whole lot about real estate. Iím trying to understand it all. As of now, to downsize and move to a smaller home in a less desirable location would cost more right now. To be clearer, the prices of housing in a less desired neighborhood with a downsize are going for more than what we paid for our current home in a much sought after desired neighborhood.

When we bought our home, we thought it was too much $ but loved the neighborhood, walk to beach and nature trails. We managed. Those old prices arenít to be found even in the lesser desired neighborhoods. It is so confusing to know what to do. Real estate prices will go down at some point and I would most definitely have overpaid for anything bought today.
If we wait to sell, we make less on our home as prices will drop eventually. If we sell now, we wouldnít be able to afford to buy anything. So renting may be the only option if we sell until housing becomes affordable.

I do hope for financial freedom and not being dependent on him. If we keep this home, for starters I will be dependent on short term alimony and child support to make ends meet. This must be somewhat normal?

expenses are a big part of alimony and he may want you to continue to have these expenses in your case in case of a modification request for income change in the future.

Not sure I fully understand. Oh darn; I have too much to learn. Numbers and bills and mortgages and and and...it has never been my area of strength.

EllieKMAS posted 2/7/2021 14:27 PM

Somber you are smarter and stronger than you know! It IS a lot to learn, but you'll learn it.

As for the real estate piece, call around to some realtors and find one that feels like a good mesh. Get an idea of what your home is worth and whether you'd be able to afford staying there or if you move what that looks like. They see this all the time sad to say, but they can give you information based on expertise. Info = power. From what you said earlier in this thread, you'd have a really nice chunk of change if you sold, so townhouses or condos could be well within your means mortgage-wise.

I know it's all wtf and scary right now honey. Just take little bites at it. You'll get through all of this, I promise you. And once you're clear of him, your life will be better than you can even imagine right now!

Somber posted 2/8/2021 08:49 AM

Awe thanks but Iím not so sure I have the financial smarts about me. I am intelligent and successful in my career it it doesnít involve managing $$$. Lol

I can learn though, Iím capable of learning. I would have a good chunk of change, yes. It seems to buy right now is unaffordable, as in I would be paying too much for less. Perhaps that is yet another consequence to separation that needs to be accepted. There sure are many consequences and changes to accept based on his behaviour.

Iím feeling really sad, I really wish years earlier he chose his family. I wish we were a recovery success story. I really wish I didnít marry an addict. I wish I knew at the time but I would have loved him anyways, had great empathy and tried to help. So I guess I would have ended up here anyways.

EllieKMAS posted 2/8/2021 09:33 AM

I can learn though, Iím capable of learning. I would have a good chunk of change, yes. It seems to buy right now is unaffordable, as in I would be paying too much for less.
This is why I am saying to talk to realtors. Look, I'm not an expert on this stuff either... But finding people who ARE experts on their respective stuff is key. You don't know that buying something new is out of the realm of possibility.

And I will challenge you to flip the script on your thinking. Instead of "I will have less" if you ended up buying a condo or townhouse, instead think of what you GAIN by doing so. Less house = less maintenance. No yard = less yardwork. Smaller = less time spent cleaning. Sometimes simplifying can be really freeing! I stayed in my house because of the market in my area too, but dealing with roof issues, and AC issues, and mowing the lawn, and cleaning a 2500 sf house with no help..... it's a LOT. I yearn for simplifying!

Also, find a financial advisor. I did that early on too because I was really worried about my ability to pay all the bills and stuff. The lady I worked with was able to help me create a realistic and livable budget and helped me a lot with getting myself on track to be able to adjust to the new normal.

It's okay if you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to learn, just find yourself some good folks that can help you with it.

Bigger posted 2/8/2021 10:19 AM

Somber Ė That town-house that you two co-bought with the other couple.
At the time of purchase did you foresee that now you would be divorcing, or that the other couple would be out of work?
This unpredictability is called ďlifeĒ and it happensÖ Sometimes positive things happen, sometimes negative.

Itís the same with any purchase or joint-ownership you might make with your soon-to-be-ex-husband. The same guy that called you stupid and forged your name on a mortgage. It might all turn out fine, he pays his part of the mortgage and 3 years from now housing prices skyrocket and you sell and retire to Florida or whatever and you two are happy friends and co-landlords and whatever. OrÖ life happens and a year from now you start getting notices of delinquent payments and have to start eviction to get him out of the town-house to sell it to meet the debt.

Donít take the chance. Donít take the risk. Detach, detach detach.
Once the divorce is signed you want to be 100% clear that what you have is yours, and what he has is his.

In a previous post you mentioned mediation. Do you have an attorney? Are you trying to do this by yourself? Have you divorced before? No? WellÖ why do you think you can do it without proper guidance? Guidance like what is realistic, what can you expect, what will your situation be after divorce.

Ratpicker posted 2/8/2021 13:50 PM

There is a career field known as Divorce Financial Planners and there is a decent amount of information regarding such considerations on the internet. While you might not find the answers, you might discover some significant questions that you need to consider.

As for asking realtors, (AP is realtor ) ask around and see if you can get a recommendation for a realtor who has been down the road with an ugly divorce themselves.

Somber posted 2/8/2021 18:35 PM

But finding people who ARE experts on their respective stuff is key. You don't know that buying something new is out of the realm of possibility.

Very true! I will consult with some experts. I will also try to switch my focus to what I have to gain but that is so hard to do right now.

Financial planners, Iím assuming they cost money too but hopefully save you money with their planning.

The same guy that called you stupid and forged your name on a mortgage

Omg I forgot this already, crazy right! How could I forget these important glimpses of his capabilities and dishonesty. There is always so much going on that I forget some very important details. Perhaps he already signed my name and I co-own the townhouse 🙈 Thanks Bigger. Yea this thing called life and itís unpredictability! It sucks but it is life.

Donít take the chance. Donít take the risk. Detach, detach detach. Once the divorce is signed you want to be 100% clear that what you have is yours, and what he has is his.
. Yes I want that clarity! I really want to be independent from him as much as I can. Itís not likely it will work out fine and I move to Florida to retire...I wish but my wishes arenít reality.

I did mention mediation but we havenít set anything up yet. I have had a consult with a lawyer but have yet to pursue further. It every question and meeting with a lawyer is going to cost me $$$, I much rather throw some ideas on here and have you wise bunch help direct me and provide me with realistic things to consider, research and act upon. I have not been divorced before and do not plan on doing this myself. I just donít know the first steps. He plans to move out and I was starting by researching financially if I can stay in this home at the absolute very least until the school year is done. I was getting wrapped up into where he is going to live and what my role has to be in that. I guess my role can be nothing. I just fear if he canít make the townhouse work then he will be here longer. In house separation is tolerable I guess but not ideal.

Rat picker, one of my WH affair partners is a realtor as well. She lives a block away and her daughter is in my sons class 🙄. I will start asking around and may even have to ask if they slept with my husband first! Divorce financial planning, I just looked it up. Everywhere I turn; it looks like another expense to separate. Paying a lawyer will be more than enough! Paying a financial planner on top of that seems too much but I will have to look into it further. Clearly I need some
Help and guidance in this area.

Cooley2here posted 2/8/2021 19:00 PM

Please donít worry about moving. My husbandís job has moved us every two years all the way through my kids schooling. Our youngest just finished high school and heís the only one that got to go all four years to one school. They are well-adjusted happy people. If you make moving an adventure thatís what they will consider. Children are pretty resilient if they are in a home where their parent is stable. Your focus should be your children and your financial welfare. Thereís not much you can do about your husband. He is fighting demons every day.

Somber posted 2/8/2021 19:47 PM

Thanks for sharing Cooley. I moved a lot as a kid too and donít remember it being a bad thing. If I grow stronger and healthier; the positive effects of that will have the largest influence over moving. Although, I strongly want to finish the school year here and Iím sure I could drive them across town to do that if needed.

If you make moving an adventure thatís what they will consider. Children are pretty resilient if they are in a home where their parent is stable. Your focus should be your children and your financial welfare
I agree and that is what I am trying to make my focus. It will take practice because my husband had a way of making himself the focus all the time. Especially after he cheated and I found out, prime time to play the victim. You are right, he is fighting demons daily and I canít control that or help him. If I could then we wouldnít be in this situation.

Ratpicker posted 2/8/2021 20:34 PM

Somber, engaging a Certified Divorce Financial Planner would cost money. I was dealing with a good size "marital estate" and I didn't hire one. Our regular financial planner would tell the prospective X how I could live off my 50% of our investments with little alimony. Then since he "represented" both of us, called me to repeat the information. I believe in my heart that advice re-enforced X-hole dragging things out and fighting to keep "his" $ costing me extra attorney fees!

I remember reading thru websites for Divorce Financial Planners, their national association and some of their blogs for free. While I didn't find exact answers, it gave me food for thought. I was better able to frame my questions and plot out a plan with my attorney. Didn't spend a dime, just some time.

CallingSpades posted 2/8/2021 22:28 PM

I just want to chime in as I'm in a similar situation, and I think Anna & Ellie are spot on. Because of STBX's work travel, I've spent a LOT of time maintaining our big house and yard on my own, and I look forward to moving into a nice older townhouse in our pricy school district, with all exterior maintenance taken care of. Even though I'll still be paying "too much for too little," less time on maintenance means more for the kids. Lower taxes and utilities means more money for us. I replaced the roof on both houses I co-owned, and it's not an expense I want to have looming when I'm on my own. If the real estate bubble pops and prices drop, I'd rather have less of my assets tied up in the house, so I want to downsize while prices are still high. STBX is a government employee so can't stop paying support (unless he quits!) but the idea that I can be a little bit closer to independence just by letting go of the house is empowering.

Last thing, if you sell and split the proceeds, make sure the real estate transfer taxes are split too.

Somber posted 2/10/2021 07:03 AM

Didn't spend a dime, just some time.

I like this strategy. Posting on here is the same for me, it provides me with food for thought, questions to ask and what to research.

the idea that I can be a little bit closer to independence just by letting go of the house is empowering.

Thank you. Again, something for me to think about. There is a lot of responsibilities with owning a home. I can see where there would be more time with the kids downsizing for sure. Like many things in this process, itís hard to accept the realities of paying too much for less. I have yet to research all my options. Itís respite and self care to take a few days off from it. I certainly do want to be independent of him and know that will take time and lots of changes. I can see the empowerment in it. I feel the empowerment in every step taken in the right direction.

Anna123 posted 2/10/2021 07:59 AM

How could I forget these important glimpses of his capabilities and dishonesty.

Because marriage is a balancing act. Part of a good solid relationship involves overlooking the partners 'faults' or things that happen to bother us. It is what good healthy minded people do with those they trust. To switch gears to not trust is a major overhaul in thinking so it's normal to keep the habit of 'forgetting' things.

As far as overpaying, it balances out by receiving more for your current home. Also, as a single woman who always loved living in privacy and large wooded yards---- living in a condo feels safe and secure to me. Right now there is a crew trimming landscaping that I didn't have to plan for (I am in the south) I wouldn't recommend selling and renting though. That is risky in case prices continue to rise. It all depends on your equity though and if it just isn't enough then staying might make sense for now. Like someone else mentioned, a realtor can guide you on that.

One thing that helped me when I was in overwhelm mode was making a list. Even if it is a list of what you are researching. Then check things off and add as needed. It is grounding to see progress and to look back at as you move forward. It is only single steps that will get you through this, not everything at once. "Baby-steps"

I agree it is so unfair, the splitting apart the home in addition to everything else. It will all work out though and you will be better off for it. Take care.

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