Divorced? Consider These 4 Things Before Buying a New House
While you are transitioning from being married to being divorced, there are several things to take into account if you’re thinking about purchasing a new home.
A divorce is one of the most stressful thing anyone can go through, and it can affect every area of your life. Once the dust has settled on the flurry of activity
between lawyers and documents, chances are you’ll be more than ready to move into the next chapter of your life, even if it feels uncertain.
Your living situation will be one of the biggest changes after the divorce has been granted by the Supreme Court of Jamaica, and so here are some things to think about before buying a house.
1. Your Financial Status after a Divorce
Unless you and your spouse kept your finances completely separate during your marriage, your finances are going to be looking a little different. It’s important not to make any big purchases until you know what your new financial status is, otherwise you could wind up buying a property you can’t afford, or you’ll try to get a loan for a property and not qualify. Plus, many divorcees either have to make payments or receive payments, which can substantially impact your budget.
If you’re trying to put some distance between you and your former spouse, a relocation may mean a new job, which will have an effect on your life as well. Some people like to throw themselves into a big project after divorce, but others don’t have the energy at all. Both are valid responses, but you’ll need to know what you’re feeling up to when it comes to buying a house or a home that needs some serious work.
Just be aware of the fact that you may not be able to afford the perfect, newly built home you had your eye on or a house in the similar neighborhood that you used to live in as a couple.
2. Your Taste after a Divorce
This is a great time to buy that home you’ve always wanted or make the renovations your former spouse always put off. Turn that guest bedroom into a
home office, or buy the kitchen appliances you need to become a better chef etc. Paint that accent wall pink and take advantage of the fact that you
don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.
3. Location Location Location
Location is a huge factor when it comes to buying a house, especially if you’re a parent. If you and your ex are going to share custody, you’ll probably want to stay roughly in the same area so you won’t need to drive too far every other weekend.
It would not make sense that if your were living in Kingston and now because of the divorce you decided to relocate to Mandeville, or Montego Bay. This could pose as a problem especially if children are involved. While the shorter distance is easier for you to drive, it can also be good for your kids to have easy access to both sides of their family.
Plus, you never know when you’ll have a an emergency and need an extra pair of hands.
4. Take Your Time
While you may feel like you need to rush into this next chapter ofyour life and get everything finalized, you may not be ready yet, either.
A home is a big purchase, so rushing in isn’t exactly ideal. Divorce proceedings can take up to 11 months in Jamaica and even longer, making it hard for you to deal with your emotions in the way you need to.
This is the time to lean on your support network of close friends and relatives and plan your next move. Stay with your parents or a friend, or even rent an apartment for a little while as you navigate the housing market and decide what you really want in a your new home.
Divorce can be a catastrophic life event, but there is life on the other side. This is your opportunity to build the life you want on your own terms, and with a little planning, you can find a new home that perfectly suits this new chapter of your life.