Divorce house buyout may seem to add more complications in the divorce process. Getting a divorce can bring a lot of stress on yourself, your spouse and your entire family. From splitting your belongings to going into court and everything in between – one of the things you will also need to consider is who will keep the house. Will you sell it? Will you rent it out? There are plenty of options out there – but one of them is divorce house buyout.
In this article, I will present what is a divorce house buyout, how to reach a divorce house buyout agreement and what are the best options you can consider when facing a divorce.
Let’s do this step by step.
What is a buyout?
If you’re completely new to real estate, you might be asking yourself ‘what is a buyout’ in the first place.
In the case of a divorce, the ex-partners will have to decide on splitting their belongings, assets, and even property.
This is where divorce buyout comes in.
Selling a house during divorce might sometimes be a harder emotional investment and often it is just easier to buyout the house from your ex spouse. This means that the person who wishes to keep the home will pay for the mortgage of the house.
As an example, if you bought your home for $1,000,000 and put a mortgage of $600,000, the buyout is equal to $400,000 and is paid by the person who wishes to keep the home. Can’t decide who should make the buyout? Keep on reading!
Things to consider before divorce house buyout:
- Can you financially afford it? (you will also have to take care of the real estate taxes)
- You will need to completely refinance the house to avoid any bank debt.
- How will you divide expenses?
- At what date will the buyout occur? Make sure the date is set.
- Who is buying the house?
- Speak to a mortgage professional.
How to reach a divorce house buyout agreement
If possible, make sure to communicate everything with your ex-spouse. Divide the assets, weigh out pros and cons and speak to a lawyer or a personal finance assistant who can help you come up with a buyout payment plan.
Is a divorce house buyout common?
Yes! In fact, it often is a part of the divorce settlement. Usually one of the people in the couple ends up buying the property (which includes refinance the old loan and taking out a new loan if applicable) or they give up their second home (which should be worth about the same amount).
Do I need a lawyer?
If you’re on good terms with your spouse, a lawyer will not be necessary. However, if you cannot reach any kind of agreement on your divorce, you need to hire a divorce lawyer to make sure your possessions will be divided equally and in a fair way. Please note that if you are not on good terms with your spouse, getting a divorce lawyer might mean it will take a longer time before a buyout decision is made.
Do I need to worry about taxes when we do a buyout of the house?
No. Taxes and capital gains are only applied if you and your spouse decide to sell the house or if the buyout occurs and the person who is buying the house later decides to sell the property.
According to DivorceNet, “If you sell your house, you and your spouse can each exclude the first $250,000 of gain from your taxable income.” This, of course, depends on the state you live in, however, taxes do not apply when a divorce house buyout is made.
Anything else I need to know about a buyout?
Real estate agents don’t usually get involved in the buyout process. This means that determining the value will be a lot harder – or, in fact, easier. Sit down with your spouse and put a value on your property. If no agreement is made, do some research on properties currently being sold in your area. If nothing works and you can’t get to an agreement, you will have to hire a real estate appraiser who will determine the value of your home.
What are some refinancing issues when it comes to a buyout?
As mentioned earlier, you will need to refinance the mortgage on the house. You can either take out a loan which will help pay off the old loan or simply refinance the loan by yourself. You also need to ask yourself how will this affect your interest rate and whether or not your credit score allows you to take out a new mortgage.
Sole owner of the house math made simple:
Principal balance + equity = loan amount
Principal balance + ½ of equity = payoff
In other words, the buyout payoff equals the principal balance of your mortgage and half of equity.
What is equity?
Equity simply means the value of the property which excludes the mortgage. Please note that due to the value of the property being different on a daily basis, you will need to recalculate equity often.
Selling your house after divorce
Another option is, of course, to sell your house after a divorce. If you’re looking to sell your house fast and without a fuss, check out I Buy SW MI. We take any kinds of houses (even those that need repairs) and we give an offer within 24 hours. Your house can be sold in a week!
Even if you don’t sell to I Buy SW MI, feel free to ask us any questions you may have regarding selling your house. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners sell their Southwest Michigan houses. Give us a call now at 231-392-3262.