Divorce is one of the worst things that a person can go through, and unfortunately, a lot of people go through it. It often leads to a family law issue that goes to court and can become contentious. In all of this, more than a fair share of heartbreak and anger is dealt out. In this painful experience, things and objects are divided among both parties. This, of course, includes the house that the couple was living in together.
Except, you really can’t divide a house between two people. Unless you sell it, splitting the money from the sale, then it’s not like you can just cut the home in half. One of you is going to have to move out, while the other is going to keep the home.
Of course, for the one who does get to keep the house, there are going to have to be some major changes made to the home. You don’t want it to serve as a shrine to old memories. You want to be able to redesign everything in your own image and take out all the bittersweet feelings that you get when you look back on your relationship with that other person. Beyond that, you’re going to need to make other practical changes, like refinancing your home after divorce and changing how the house is paid for going forward, which can be a long and complicated process.
So, to deal with all of that, here is some advice on renovating and refinancing your home after divorce.
Set a Plan for Property Taxes
After you get a divorce, everything is going to have to be paid by you and you only. This means that come tax season, you’re the one who is going to have to pay all of the taxes on your home and property. For many people, this is a bit of a shock and often puts a larger dent in their banking account than they’re used to or expecting. So, make sure you have a plan for tax season on your property when you’re looking into refinancing your home after divorce.
The best step to take is to go to a tax planning service. They will be able to come up with a plan to save money for tax season with you, help you in any way to make it so you pay as little in taxes as is possible, and generally help you to understand what you’re going to be expected to pay. This way you can be prepared when the time comes.
When that time does come, it may also be a good idea for you to go to a tax professional again to handle them for you, in particular, if you weren’t in charge of the financial side of things during the marriage itself. This way you can be sure that everything is handled as well as it possibly can be.
Refinance Your Home with the Bank
The home that you own with your spouse is likely to have been in both of your names. This isn’t going to be how things stay in the long-term following a divorce, though. However, the rate that you pay monthly on your loan is derived from the credit scores and income of you and your spouse. This means that once you divorce and there is only one person on the deed to the house, then you’re going to need to look into refinancing your home after divorce.
Home loan refinancing can feel overwhelming, but it is manageable. You should have an idea of what your credit score is and your ideal rate. This is going to require some research to determine what is available to someone who is in the financial situation that you are in. From there you are going to want to shop around between reputable, qualified lenders. Remember to be patient during this process, as it can be incredibly stressful and difficult to manage. So, look out for overly high lending fees and other indicators that a lender may not be the right choice for you.
At the end of the day, you need to make the right decision for you based on the numbers when it comes to refinancing your home after divorce. Whatever is best financially is what you’re going to have to do for you, especially with the loss of income to your household.
Invest in a New Heating and Cooling System
A great way to save money going forward, while also improving the value of your home when you’re considering refinancing your home after divorce, is by installing a new heating and cooling system into the home. A new, energy efficient heating and cooling system will cost a little bit of money to initially install. However, it will also save you money in the long run. That’s because of a couple different factors. The first is that the new system is going to take less energy to operate, and run more smoothly, than an old system would. Because it’s using less energy, it is going to cost you less on your monthly energy bill to operate. Furthermore, a new system will need less time spent on it from an air conditioning repair service, which can get to be incredibly expensive in a short period of time.
Part of switching to a new heating and cooling system is going to include replacing the windows, roofs, and checking on your home’s insulation. That’s because this is where heat and cooling escape from your home the most. When there are issues with these things, it leads to a higher energy usage and therefore a higher energy bill. Replacing windows, which leak and insulation that improves over time. However, and especially for heating, the roof is the most important. That’s because heat rises and likes to escape through old roofs. So, getting it taken care of is incredibly important. However, make sure to call in a residential roofing company, as this isn’t something that can be done safely on your own.
If you’re looking for other investments that can lower your monthly energy bills around the home, consider adding solar panels. Solar panels will make it so that your home is producing its own, environmentally friendly energy, which should lower the monthly bill in turn.
Check the Plumbing and Electrical Systems
For the safety of your home, it’s important to check on the plumbing and electrical systems. Furthermore, updating these systems can make them run more effectively than they had been before, and make your home much more comfortable to live in. If you’re choosing to stay in your home and putting effort into refinancing your home after divorce, it’s important that you’re comfortable.
Bringing in a plumber to check on everything is a good idea every so often, and not just when there are issues. This acts as a preventative measure. However, if there are issues with the plumbing, they can quickly become incredibly severe. A small leak costs you money monthly, as the water bill rises. It can also lead to water damage, which is costly to replace. Still, that is no big deal compared to the damage done by a burst pipe, which will pour water down into your home, destroying large portions of your home and the items within it. Of course, that’s before you consider possible issues like residue from the pipes entering your drinking water. Oftentimes, a plumber can fix these issues. However, there are times when it may call for an entirely new plumbing installation to get everything fixed.
Likewise, the electrical wiring to your home can cause major issues if it’s not working properly. For one, it’s a fire hazard, which could take away everything that you love and matters to you. Secondly, the lighting system could fail you could be without power due to that faulty wiring. This is something that is more of a problem than it’s worth, so consider bringing in an electrician to make sure the system is in working order.
Replace Everything You Can
There are going to be memories in the home that remind you of your former spouse. Now, you probably don’t want to throw away or destroy these things. That might seem like a good idea, or like it might make you feel better, but it probably won’t. The fact is that those are memories from a significant portion of your life, and you should keep those things around. So, put them in a box. Keep them in a storage unit of some kind but do make sure that you take them down and hide them away somewhere. This way you can try and put them out of your mind and focus on yourself, which is the primary thing you should be doing after divorce. Put away those bad memories and grow from the experience.
Of course, this includes more than just the basic photos and extra socks from around the house. There are going to be things in the house that the two of you chose out or did together, which remain as reminders of the relationship. A TV that your spouse picked out and loved, for instance, can trigger memories that make it hard to move on from. That spot in the bed that feels empty without them, or a pet who is waiting for them to come home always can hurt. Even finding new refrigeration services can help out.
Again, none of this is to say that you should erase the other person from your life, especially if you ended on relatively positive terms. It’s simply to point out that you need to cut the things from the home that take your focus away from your own personal growth. Choosing to make big decisions like getting new furniture or refinancing your home after divorce can help you move on into the next phase of your life.
Create Your Own Space
A lot of times, following a divorce, the spouse who is no longer there can be felt throughout the home. Their influence is seen in the design of different rooms in the house. It can prevent you from moving on with your life, making it more difficult to enjoy living in the home that you likely had to fight for in the course of the divorce. So, do what you can to change that reality.
One great way to adjust the home is to try and create your own space in the home. If there is an extra bedroom in the home, you can convert it into a home office to enjoy. For someone who likes to cook for themselves, either as a way to stay healthy or as a way to relieve stress, redoing the kitchen to become your dream kitchen is a great way to adjust the home to fit your individual needs going forward. For other people, this could also mean converting the outdoor space into an ideal area for usage between you and your friends. For instance, you could install a patio with concrete paving to make an area to relax and hang out with different people while enjoying the outdoors. This kind of improvement could also help the home’s value when it comes to refinancing your home after divorce.
Just remember to bring in professional home builders, designers, or professionals for this work. One thing that you don’t want to do is ruin a project by not having the vision to do something correctly. Furthermore, you want to make sure that everything goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, so you’re not stuck doing the project for the foreseeable future.
No matter what you do, a divorce is going to lead to a lot of complicated issues. Some of them are going to revolve around your emotions. This is where you’ll have to change the things that you keep in your home, as well as trying to put aside a lot of the memories that you had kept close to you over the years. None of that is easy to do, of course. Also complicated is the financial side of things. Removing people’s names from items that are impacted by credit lines or a financial institution is not easy to do. So, take it step by step. Make sure that you don’t overlook anything and listen to advice from experts on issues like refinancing your home after divorce.