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Options For Valuing And Dividing Marital Residence During The Real Estate Boom


In the current real estate market, one of the most difficult things to do in the event of a divorce is to put a value on the marital residence and find a way to divide that cost that both parties agree with. When you add in the fact that there is currently a real estate boom going on, also known as a seller’s market, this becomes even tougher. So, how do you decide how much your home is worth and split it in an acceptable manner? At  Buckhead Family Law, we’ve seen it all, and we’re happy to share some advice.

What is a Real Estate Boom?

There are generally two different phases that the real estate market goes through. One is a boom period, also known as a seller’s market, where houses that are for sale see their valuation soar. A home that might have sold for $350,000 three years ago could be going for double or even triple that now. When people want to buy houses, but there aren’t a lot on the market, then the prices go up.

The second phase, known as a buyer’s market, occurs when there are a lot of houses on the market. Buyers can take their pick, and since they have a lot of choices, the prices for these homes tend to be lower and more negotiable. Currently, we’re in the middle of a seller’s market, so those prices and valuations are high.

Valuing the Martial Residence

When you’re going through a divorce, you need to put a value on the marital residence. Whether one spouse is going to keep the home and give the other some portion of its cost in cash or the home will be placed on the market and divided after it sells, it still needs to have a price assigned.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Comparisons (Comps) – In order to place a value on a home, similar, nearby houses that have been sold recently are looked at closely. They are compared to the marital residence, and their sales prices are used to create a general estimate.
  • Appraisals – A certified appraiser can come in and examine the marital residence closely. They will look at the interior and exterior of the home in order come up with a valuation. An appraiser also looks at neighborhood comparisons, making this an accurate option.

Once a value or cost has been placed on the marital residence, the next step is to divide it.

How do You Divide the Marital Residence?

There are many different ways to divide up a marital residence, depending on what the soon to be former spouses prefer. They can have one spouse stay in the home with the children, preventing their lives from becoming too disrupted. If this is the case, then the other spouse must either agree to the value or possibly insist that they receive money equal to their portion of the house.

Another option involves selling the home and finding a way to divide the sales price, after any existing mortgage or liens are paid off. Although this sounds like the easiest method, there are a number of considerations that need to be made in order to produce a division of assets that both parties agree with.

Want a Divorce Lawyer to Ensure You Get Fair Treatment?

A divorce is always a fraught time as the former spouses find ways to divide up their property and put together a child custody agreement. Whether they plan on selling their Georgia home or allow one spouse to keep the house (while buying the other party out), there are many different things to think about, from the valuation of that home to how to divide the cost in a manner that everyone agrees with. This is why it’s important to have a legal team on your side, representing your best interests.

At Buckhead Family Law, our legal team works diligently to meet the needs of clients getting divorced in today’s tech driven world – this means taking everything online into consideration. Want to know one thing that hasn’t changed about divorce? It is still one of the most harrowing experiences someone can go through, and we understand that. That is why we always treat our clients with the utmost grace and compassion.

Need help dividing your martial residence? We are here to assist you as you begin the next chapter of your life while ensuring that all of the loose ends are tied up in the least complicated way. Schedule a consultation today by calling at 470-600-6699.

Photo by Todd Kent for Unsplash

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