Deciding what to do with the family home can be one of the most stressful aspects of a divorce. It is often the largest asset spouses share, and deciding which spouse will keep the home or whether to sell it can quickly become a contentious debate.
Regardless of the decision spouses reach, it is critical that they determine the true market value of their home. So, how can they determine this value?
First: Finding the true value of a home matters
It can be difficult to set one’s emotions aside when calculating the true value of the family home. Memories can add a significant amount to the emotional value, but spouses must only consider the financial market value for property division under North Carolina’s rules.
The most important reason to determine the true value is fairness. Calculating an accurate value will help support and facilitate a fair division of this complex asset.
However, there are many other benefits to knowing the value of one’s home, from tax reasons to the refinancing of the mortgage. This is especially critical considering all of the changes divorce may bring.
So, what options do spouses have to determine the home’s value?
Today, there are many ways individuals can assess the true value of their homes. Spouses can choose from:
- Using online estimating tools, such as Zillow
- Obtaining a comparative market analysis
- Valuing similar properties on the markets
However, spouses must make sure they accurately calculate their home’s individual value if they use these options. They must factor in any renovations they made over the years that could increase the value of their home.
Both internal and external factors impact a home’s true value. Therefore, it is often helpful to obtain an official appraisal. Many spouses take this route since an appraiser is often an unbiased third party.
Deciding what to do with the family home is not easy. Even so, obtaining – and agreeing on – the true value is a critical step to take before the property division process is completed.