Hiring a home inspector is common sense when it comes to purchasing a house. A house is a large investment, and people should know exactly what they are getting in to. But what about when you are getting a divorce? What a lot of people don’t know is that being informed on the condition of your house is just as important when you are going through a divorce as it is when you first buy a house.
Typically in a divorce, the house is considered a monetary asset that will be divided between the two individuals. Sometimes one spouse may decide to buy the house from the other individual or the house may be sold and the assets split accordingly. In any case, it is important to be informed on the value of the home before agreeing to any settlement.
Couples usually rely on house appraisals when determining the value of their home. However, these appraisals are usually inaccurate because they typically only depend on things such as square footage, location, and other amenities. What house appraisals do not take into consideration is the condition of the home.
Repairs can be expensive
Things that may seem minor such as cracks in the basement wall, full gutters and downspouts, exteriors with peeling paint or fractures, even general wear and tear can potentially lead to costly repairs. A home inspection provides an unbiased, visual review of the apparent condition and defects of the home.
Everything from major repairs to minor fixes should be taken into consideration when deciding the value of a home. Any one of these issues can affect not only the value of the house but also how marketable it is. If the house can’t be sold on the market or is in so need of repair a bank will not lend on it to a buyer, it doesn’t matter how much the house is worth.
These hidden costs are such an issue that divorce attorneys and realtors often encourage their clients to invest in a home inspection. Many times individuals will try to reopen a completed divorce case due to home-related issues. However, these after-the-fact attempts are often too little too late. It is the individual’s responsibility to make sure that they are informed on the value and condition of the house before coming to a legal settlement with their partner.
Get a house inspection BEFORE you SELL
A house inspection will help identify any current or potential issues and give the couple an idea of the costs involved. Most of the repairs will not be made until only one of the individuals owns the house, and that one individual will be responsible for all the costs. It is better to know exactly what the house is worth and how much it will cost to make it marketable so you don’t get stuck with the bill. A house inspection helps to ensure that the individual getting the house is getting a fair deal.
A very small percentage of couples actually engage a home inspector, usually due to the stress and emotion that is involved in divorce. Bu the truth is that someone will have to deal with the house repairs eventually. It is better to be smart and invest in a home inspection before the final papers are signed and save yourself a lot of future heartache.
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