If you are going through a divorce, one of the things you must do is determine the value of all of your marital property so that it can be divided up fairly between you and your spouse. When it comes to the family home, establishing a fair and accurate value can pose a significant challenge.
The only way to be 100% accurate in valuing a home is to actually sell the property. However, people often have a deep emotional attachment to their home and one spouse may want to keep it. In that case, it will be necessary to figure out another way to appropriately put a value on the home.
Work Together to Determine the Fair Market Value
Sometimes it is possible to work with your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the fair market value of the home. One way to do this is by examining recently sold comparable properties. (Comparable properties are those with approximately the same square footage with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the same area as your home.) To find out what comparable properties have sold for in your neighborhood, you can go to www.zillow.com. Enter your zip code and filter the search results to show only recently sold homes.
Get an Appraisal
While some parties like to do their own research to determine a value for the family home, in most cases, you’ll want to get an opinion from a neutral third party, such as an appraiser. (Parties often find that it is difficult to come to an agreement with their spouse when discussing a home’s worth.) An appraiser will take measurements, look into the attic and basement, check the plumbing and electricity, as well as do a visual inspection of the siding, roof, and general condition of the home to write up an official appraisal.
However, keep in mind that appraisals can be subjective and it is common for different appraisers to come up with quite different assessments. Divorcing spouses may decide they want to get independent appraisals and, if there is a disparity in the appraised values, meet somewhere in the middle.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have any questions about how your assets may be divided, contact the Oceanside divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel today at 760-722-7646.