Finding a place to live and buying an Austin house after your divorce may have its challenges, but it can be done with some careful planning and a little creativity. Divorce creates change. Some of the unforeseen changes are often financial ones. Where a mortgage and other expenses were shared with a spouse, the financial burden shifts. While the income splits in half, the expenses do not. The utilities, car insurance and grocery bills may drop some, but will not disappear.
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One option is to rent a place until some of the dust settles and you have had a chance to untangle your credit report from your ex-spouse’s and build up a little nest egg for emergencies. When you’re ready to move forward, consider the following things that could have a major influence on the purchase of your next Austin home: location, financing, space, utilities, custody, decor and upkeep. You will probably find yourself looking at a completely different style than your last house. After all, you’re no longer sharing your living quarters, opinions and preferences with someone else. You also don’t have the benefit of that person’s help in paying for, fixing up or redecorating the new place.
One of the most important considerations is how much space you will need. Do a head count. You might be by yourself; you might have the kids with you. If you have custody or regular visitation of minor children, they will need a place to sleep; perhaps their own rooms. If kids are not in the equation, then a guest room of sorts is probably still a good idea. Perhaps you’re looking into buying a home with a family member. Talk with them about how much space they will need and how you will handle the financing and maintenance before you start an Austin home search.
The whole concept of child custody after divorce has a huge impact of how much room you need, where you’ll live and what you can afford. Factor this in as necessary, including school district changes, shuttling back and forth between and households and, of course, having room for kids to sleep, study and play.
Use our Austin mortgage calculator to figure out how much home you can afford. Be realistic. Plan on making some lifestyle changes to accommodate the inevitable loss of income and manpower. Choose which things are nice to have and which ones are necessities. Capitalize on the fact that even if you need less space, you can choose the amenities and features that best suit your lifestyle.
Buying a house after divorce is a big step, especially if you’re taking it alone. There are many factors to consider. Tune in to our next blog post on Friday for Part II, where we’ll discuss some of the other all-important factors in finding a new home to call your own, such as financing, decorating and upkeep.