Buying a home takes time. It’s not something that can be rushed into. You’ll have to do some research to find the right property and work with other parties during the process. The entire ordeal can take several weeks or even months to accomplish.
Things can get even more complicated if you’re attempting to buy a home while also in the middle of a divorce. It may take more time to separate each person’s finances. You may also need to get court approval before you can think about buying a home.
Buying a home in Texas during a divorce can be tricky, but it can be done. It just takes some careful planning. Here are a few things to consider if you’re in this kind of situation:
1. Think about what you want.
When you know what you want, talk to a realtor. Explain your situation when you meet with them. The real estate agent will work with you to create a plan of action to get you moved into a new place as soon as possible. They will also schedule open house showings so that you can review different properties before making a buying decision.
2. Look at your credit rating.
Your credit rating may be affected by the divorce. Make sure that any and all bills during that time are paid on time. Any delinquencies can be reported to the major credit bureaus, even if certain bills aren’t in your name.
Late payments can lower your credit score. Enough late payments can reduce your chances of buying a new home.
Any joint banking or credit card accounts should be closed immediately. If you have a balance on a joint loan or credit card account, pay it off as soon as you can.
Sign up for auto-pay options for regular bills so that you don’t miss a payment. If you have a joint auto loan, you may want to either put the loan in just one person’s name or sell the vehicle. There are also services that offer free credit reports and credit monitoring services.
3. Evaluate your finances.
You’re going to need to start saving as soon as you decide to buy a house. You’ll need enough for a down payment, monthly mortgage payment, utilities, and other associated expenses. You may also have to pay for child support or alimony depending on the divorce decree.
Divorces can be expensive. Attorney fees, settlements, and dividing assets can take a significant amount of time and money. You may have to wait until after the divorce is finalized before you can afford another place of your own. That’s okay. As soon as you know what you want, you should start saving and preparing a budget as soon as possible.
4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.
It’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan so that you know just how much house you can actually afford.
If you are either owed or have to pay alimony or child support to your former spouse, it may take longer for you to buy your next home. You may want to establish a separate savings account just for this purpose. In the meantime, it may be necessary to rent an apartment or another property or live with family or friends in the short term.
Texas is a community property state. Community property is considered to be any belongings or possessions that are acquired from the first day of the marriage until the day the divorce is finalized. This means that you cannot use community property assets to buy a new home while divorce proceedings are active.
It may take a while to separate marital assets during the divorce. Once that’s been determined and your assets are no longer classified as community property, then you can go ahead and start saving for a new home. In some cases, you may need the court’s approval before you can purchase a new house.
Make sure that you save enough for a down payment, monthly mortgage payments, and utilities. You may also need to purchase furnishings and other supplies for your new home.
It’s important to make a fresh start following a divorce. Just make sure that you are on good terms with your former spouse, if possible. If they are uncooperative or uncommunicative, it can delay your dream of starting over somewhere new.
Your former spouse should not have a personal or financial stake in the new home that you are considering buying. The only other family members that may have a potential stake are children or parents that may be living with you after the divorce. They should not help you finance the purchase of the property, even if they can afford to do so.
Divorces are complicated. They affect your immediate family, as well as the network of family members and friends that were established during the marriage.
There are bound to be some rough days and difficult conversations. No matter what happens, try not to take things personally and keep a level head throughout.
Once things near their end, you can move forward with getting your own place and starting over again in a new neighborhood.