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It is often heard that ‘home is where the heart is’.   As a couple, you spend your time together building a home, building a life, and making memories that you hope will last forever.  Divorce presents you with life changing circumstances, however, and all of a sudden your home that you have known for so long is no longer.   You are now faced with much uncertainty and indecision.

Where will you live?  Will you stay in the matrimonial home?  Will you sell it and purchase another on your own?  Or will you rent until your personal circumstances are more settled?  A big question facing divorcees is:  Should you rent or should you own?

Our team is often introduced to clients facing these very questions.   The decision of where to settle next is not a decision that should be made in haste, rather with care and appropriate knowledge of each option available.  We offer our service and expertise through each step of the process from beginning to end.  In our experience, we find that it is often helpful to do some reflecting with our clients– to really dig deep and reflect on life, both from a situational as well as an emotional perspective.

We find that there are topics worth considering as a starting point in this journey that help guide the discussion and ultimately help find focus in what is a very overwhelming decision.

  • Do you like the area that you currently live in? Would like to stay there?

In some instances, you may like and appreciate the life outside your physical home that you have created with your partner.  You may have established friends and connections in the area in which you live.  Your neighborhood is familiar, your routine is established.  That familiarity can help ease the transition into your new life and may impact your decision as to whether to stay in your current area.

Or, would you like to relocate as part of this new beginning?  Perhaps you moved into the area so your ex could be close to a job or friends, and the choice was not necessarily yours.  Now you may realize that you would like to live somewhere else, closer to your network or areas of the city you wish to frequent.

  • Do you have children or a job that impact your decision regarding the location of your home?

Are schools and parks a consideration?  Do you need to be close to public transit or highways for work or commuting?

  •  What will your budget look like going forward? Are the housing prices in the area of choice within your budget?  Are rentals available?

Financials will heavily influence what housing option is most feasible for you going forward.  What can you really afford?  Principal and interest payments, taxes, insurance, and homeowner’s association dues are amongst the charges that require consideration.  It is advisable to consult with an expert on this matter to get a realistic impression of what is affordable.

In your consideration of where to settle next, we also stress the importance of understanding the differences between home ownership and the rental market in aiding our clients to make the most well informed decision.

Home ownership provides many benefits, such as:

  • Building Equity and Wealth

By paying down a mortgage, you build equity in your property over time and in turn increase your wealth.

  • Potential Tax Breaks For Home Offices

The interest paid on your mortgage, property taxes and utility expenses may be partially tax deductible, should you be operating a business in your home.

  • Stability

Should you purchase your home with a fixed rate mortgage, your payments will remain constant for the life of the loan, offering some degree of predictability.  The rental market, on the other hand, faces the potential for annual increases in rent payments.

Like any decision, drawbacks associated with home ownership do exist and should be considered as well.

  • No Guarantees

Despite working very hard to maintain your property, property values can drop and are beyond your control.

  • Monthly Costs Are Typically Higher

Homeowners are faced not only with mortgage responsibilities, but maintenance, property tax, insurance and utilities, often making monthly costs higher.

  • Less Flexibility

As a homeowner, you tie up liquid cash in your largest asset.  Should financial difficulties arise, it will take time to sell the property and get the money out.

To answer the question, after divorce “should you rent or should you own”, the answer lies in your heart, and in your own personal desires and circumstances.  There is a lot to consider.  Both opportunities offer benefits and drawbacks.  What is right for you will be determined after much careful consideration to all that has been discussed.  Our team is experienced and available every step of the way  to help you through the process to find that next place to call home, where you can begin making new memories that will last forever.

[su_heading style=”default” size=”13″ align=”left” margin=”20″ class=””]Suzy Goldstein and Jodi Belchetz of the Suzy Goldstein Team can be reached at suzy@suzygoldsteinteam.com or by phone at (416) 739-7200. You can also visit their website at: www.suzygoldstein.com [/su_heading]

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