How to Avoid Costly Housing Mistakes
During and After a Divorce
February, 2009 - Issue #52
Divorce is rarely easy and often means a lot of difficult decisions. One of the most important decisions is what to do about the house.

In the midst of the heavy emotional and financial turmoil, what you need most is some neutral, non-emotional, straightforward, specific information. Once you know how a divorce affects your home, your mortgage and taxes, critical decisions are easier.

Probably the first decision is whether you want to continue living in the house. Will the familiar surroundings bring you comfort and emotional security, or unpleasant memories? Do you want to minimize change by staying where you are, or sell your home and move to a new place that offers a new start? Only you can answer those questions, but there will almost certainly be some financial repercussions to your decision process. What can you afford? Can you manage the old house on your new budget? Is refinancing possible? Or is it better to sell and buy? How much house can you buy on your new budget?
To help you know what questions you should ask and how to arrive at the right answer for your specific situation, a free special report has been prepared by industry experts entitled "Divorce: What You Need to Know about your House, your Home Loan and Taxes." To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your copy of this report, call 800-757-8019 and enter identification number 1098. With the right information, you can make this part of your current situation less stressful.

SCV Real Estate Update
Current average sale price: $432,072
The average sales price is down approximately 22 percent from the same time last year.
Current average days on market: 68
Homes that have sold, on average, have been on the market three days less, or are selling
4 percent faster than this time last year.
Note: Currently in the SCV, we are seeing the average sales price continue to decline; however, there are more sales and homes are selling faster.

Joshua "Dr." Suess is owner of The Focused On Your Family Team with
Re/Max of Valencia; 702-4640

Love and Mortgages
by Jennifer Thompson

When considering the purchase of real estate, regardless of whether you are married, engaged or partners, it all pertains to how you want to own, or "hold title" on the real property. Two of the most common ways to hold title to property is by Tenancy in Common and Joint Tenancy. With Tenancy in Common, you can divide the interest how you see fit - either equal or unequal parts. Therefore, if one of the parties wants out of the ownership, that party can sell, will, convey or mortgage their interest in the property to whomever they see fit. If one party dies, then their interest in the property can be passed on to their heirs, thus creating a new party to the Tenancy in Common.
With Joint Tenancy, both partners have an equal, undivided interest in the real property. The key here is what is known as right of survivorship. This means that if one party dies, the surviving joint tenant immediately becomes the sole owner. Also under Joint Tenancy, one party cannot will their portion of ownership to another party.
Due to various legal and tax issues, it is highly advisable that any couple, no matter their marital status or partnership, consult with a reputable attorney to discuss how to hold title to determine what is best for their individual situation.

Jennifer Thompson, realtor/owner of Regal Realty of California; 295-8715
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