How do you calculate a divorce house buyout?
One option that divorcing couples frequently explore is the divorce house buyout, where one spouse buys the other’s share of the property allowing one to keep the house while the other receives compensation.
Divorce can be a tumultuous and emotionally charged experience, often marked by complicated decisions regarding the division of marital assets. Among these assets, the family home will often take centre stage. When couples decide to part ways, determining what happens to the shared residence can be a challenging and pivotal aspect of the divorce process.
But, how do you calculate a divorce house buyout? In this article we will jump into the house buyout process, how to calculate buying out another party and what alternatives there are available.
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What is a divorce house buyout?
A divorce house buyout is the process of one party buying out the other in terms of a divorcing/divorced couple. Usually the property within the buyout will be one that was bought during the marriage and there is a joint mortgage in place.
This could be done by one party offering the value of home or the remaining share of mortgage to the other party, and if agreed then the other party would lose ownership of the property.
Why is a house buyout necessary during a divorce?
Buying someone out of a house during divorce is necessary because it allows parties to release each other from being financially tied and allow them to move on with their lives. In standard martial situations, a house is usually the largest investment they will have and so a divorce house buyout is helpful for parties to separate amicably.
Can I buy a partner out before divorce?
Yes, you can buy your partner out of a property before divorce, this is usually referred to as a pre-divorce house buyout. As long as the relationship is on stable terms and there is a mutual agreement between the two parties then it can be the better, less messy option.
What happens if you have a joint mortgage and split up?
If you have a joint mortgage after divorce then all parties that are on the mortgage agreement are still liable to make mortgage payments - regardless of whether you live in the property or not.
How does a divorce house buyout work?
In order for a divorce house buyout to work, the buying party will need to give an offer to the other party which will need to be accepted. Typically, divorce house buyouts are financed by remortgaging or a product transfer, like moving from one mortgage company to another.
When the buying party buys the other party out of the jointly owned mortgage, they will then need to take ownership of the property via a transfer of equity.
If the house is under a tenants in common agreement then the buying party will split the rest of the mortgage amongst the remaining tenants.
What are the first steps to take when buying a partner out from a mortgage?
Buying a partner out from a mortgage involves a few preparation steps to ensure that the process remains smooth and legally sound during the transition of ownership.
Agreement and communication
You should ensure that there is an open and honest line of communication between either you and your partner, or your solicitor and their solicitor. Both parties should be willing to proceed with the buyout and agree on the terms. It’s essential to have a mutual understanding and cooperation.
When deciding on what form of valuation you need, you will want to consider the size of your property, and the level of depth you wish the valuation to cover. An estate agent valuation will be free and be quite vague whereas a RICS survey will be in depth but cost over £200.
You will also need to factor in that if you are wanting to remortgage then you will need a mortgage house valuation as well.
Sourcing a funding route
You will need to work out how you will fund the divorce house buyout, which could be done by mortgage refinancing, taking out a home equity loan or raising your own cash funds.
Instructing financial and legal advice
We would highly recommend that you seek the consultation of a financial advisor, a solicitor or mortgage broker regarding a divorce house buyout, as they will be able to advise you on your own personal circumstances.
How long does it take to buy someone out of a house?
The process of a divorce house buyout will usually take around 4-6 weeks, depending on the speed of the mortgage provider, any legal complications and how clear the communication is between all parties.
If you need to pay out the other party with cash, then raising enough funds to buy them out may take some time so it's essential that once you get the ball rolling you have the funds available to purchase the property as soon as possible.
How do you calculate a divorce house buyout?
To accurately calculate how much a divorce house buyout will be, you’ll need to establish how much equity you and the other parties have within the property, which can be done through four steps:
Property valuation: You can initiate the process by obtaining a property valuation. You can choose from several options, including a mortgage house valuation from your mortgage lender (usually incurring a small fee), a valuation from an estate agent (usually free of charge) or a comprehensive RICS survey (costing between £200-£1000).
Mortgage details: Contact your current mortgage provider to secure a redemption certificate. This certificate will disclose the remaining balance on the mortgage and any applicable early repayment charges (ERC).
Equity calculation: Subtract any outstanding mortgage balance as obtained from the redemption certificate, from the property valuation amount. This difference represents the total equity in the property.
Share division: divide the equity value determined in the equity calculation by the number of property owners to ascertain the individual share of equity for each party.
However, it's crucial to note that the division of the house’s equity and assets will ultimately be governed by the financial settlement reached during your divorce proceedings. This settlement will prescribe how the house’s ownership is appointed, including the final allocation of equity shares.
This resource provides insights into your new loan-to-value ratio and repayments following the remortgaging process, aiding you in making informed financial decisions during this critical period.
What alternative to divorce mortgage buyouts are there?
As the buying party, if you are unable to secure a mortgage then there are alternatives during a divorce mortgage buyout:
Sell the home and share the proceeds:
The equity released from the property could help you find alternative accommodation and move on independently from your previous relationship.
Raise own cash reserves for a divorce house buyout:
You could raise your own cash funds to pay the other party out, which would also allow you to retain ownership of the property.
Retain joint ownership:
If you are on amicable terms with the other party then you could come to a mutual agreement where you stay in the property and share all associated costs.
Can equity release be used to help divide assets?
Equity release plans can be used instead of divorce mortgage buyout to buy the other party out of the property. The most common option during a divorce is for the buying party to take out a lifetime mortgage. Which would mean they secure a loan against the property that doesn’t need to be paid until they pass away or move into long-time care.
What is the best way to sell the home and share the profit?
If you are looking to move on from a divorce, then there are more options than a divorce house buyout. Selling the property and sharing the profit could be an advantageous approach as all parties involved can move forward in a positive manner.
In most divorce settlements, the equity within the property will be split 50/50 unless there is a prenup agreement in place. This means that when you sell the property, it will be split equally between the parties instead of you or the other party gaining more profit, or putting extra money into the property.
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Whatever your divorce circumstances are, we will buy your house, in any condition for cash and we’ll do it fast. We’ll even cover all costs (including conveyancing fees) and complete in a timescale that suits you — we can buy your house in as little as seven days.