Divorce is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to people. It will usually involve intense emotions, and the breakup can impact every aspect of the lives of the individuals involved. This is the one event that most married couples fear most. As well as the hardship involved in adjusting to the split, at least one of the couple will need to find new accommodation. There will also be the difficult, and often contentious, task of diving up assets.
What Happens to the Home After Divorce?
A marriage breakup means that at least one person will be losing their home. It many cases one half of the couple to keep living in the former matrimonial home – at least in the short-term. This is particularly likely when there are children involved. It is also fairly common for the property to sold, and for both of the former partners to move to a new property. When people divorce it changes their financial situation, and there might not be enough money to continue paying the existing mortgage. In some instances both parties will want to leave this property so they can enjoy a fresh start somewhere else.
Advice for Moving Property after Divorce
Changing accommodation after a divorce is going to involve mixed emotions at the very least. This new home can be where the healing begins, but the person may still feel sad about what they have lost. There are things that the individual can do to make the process easier such as:
Emotions will tend to be high during a divorce, but it is vital that the individual is able to keep a clear head. This is so they can make practical decisions when it comes to the new property, and that they will only choose an option that they will be able to afford going forward.
Choosing a reliable house relocation service can make things a bit easier. This will take some of the stress out of the practicalities of house relocation.
When people get divorced, it usually means that their financial situation changes. They might not be able to afford the same type of property that they enjoyed while married. It is vital that the person is realistic when choosing new property, so that they do not end up with serious debt.
If the former matrimonial home is being sold, then this may mean that the buyer will have cash from the home to invest in a new property. This could mean the buyer has a large deposit which can help to secure a better mortgage rate.
In many instances the individual will need to borrow money if they wish to buy a new home. In this situation it is vital that the person thinks carefully about what they can afford.
It can be preferable that the parent staying with the children chooses a property in the same vicinity as their old home. These young people will have already had to face a great deal of stress, and moving to a new area may add to this.
If you are looking to sell property fast then visit National Homebuyers now and get a cash offer on your home.
THIS IS A SPONSORED ARTICLE FROM NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS
The winter months are traditionally a quiet time of year for house moves, but if you are planning to relocate in 2013 now’s the time to start your research. There are so many elements that factor into making a place a desirable one in which to live – good schools, leisure facilities, transport links and security and community spirit.
Moving to a new area can be unnerving when you don’t know your way around, or any of the locals, as such security can be one consideration. Rushing into a move without exploring the neighbourhood or wider region could lead you to feel less than settled when you move in and in some of the worst cases, land you with a property that you are unable to sell on in the future. So, what kind of checks can you make to ensure you are moving into a safe neighbourhood?
In the first instance you can check the Policeuk website. Here you’ll find local crime statistics by street or area, so you’ll be able to identify if you are moving into a particularly troublesome neighbourhood. You can also find out what type of crimes are being committed in the area so that you can be prepared. For example, should there be a high instance of car break-ins you might concentrate your property search on homes with secure garages or if there have been a spate of burglaries, you could install a monitored alarm system.
This recently published interactive graphic from security specialists ADT is also a useful tool. It uses the firm’s statistics to show where and when their monitored alarms go off and highlights problem areas and times.
Of course, there are very few communities that remain completely crime-free and many good areas do suffer crime problems. Be sure to visit properties during the day and evening to get a more accurate feel for the area. Chat to neighbours and call into local shops to find out whether current residents are happy and friendly and ultimately help you decide whether it’s a community you’d like to be part of.
THIS ARTICLE IS AN ADVERTISING FEATURE FOR ADT ALARMS
When we’re looking to buy a property there are always going to be obvious factors that are more important than others. The number of bedrooms, the size of all rooms and the style and look of a house should be at the forefront of a property seeker’s mind but what about those added extras?
Is a garage more important than regular public transport links or would you favour high speed broadband access over the nature of your power supply?
A recent survey of 2,000 homebuyers revealed that broadband is now a number one priority and 19% of movers make sure that their service is the first thing they activate when they move in. In fact, one in ten potential buyers have rejected a prospective property simply because it had a slow connection.
“When it comes to buying a home it seems it’s more a case of broadband, broadband, broadband than location, location, location,” said Dominic Baliszewski, of the website broadbandchoices.co.uk.
“Broadband has become something people are not prepared to live without, so it’s little wonder it’s now such a major factor for homebuyers.”
Estate agents have also shown that a faster broadband speed will secure more viewers as buyers consider this to be of higher importance than factors such as a garage, off street parking or easy walking access to nearby shops.
The increase of teleworking is undoubtedly at the heart of this growing need. With more people working from home, either on a full or part time basis, a fast broadband connection suddenly becomes essential.
“In this digital age, a fast broadband connection is becoming much more important for home-hunters,” said Miles Shipside of RightMove.
“People don’t just rely on a good internet connection for web browsing, but also streaming television and working from home.
“As the consumer technologies which rely on the internet expand, the need for a strong connection will be added to more home mover wish-lists.”
Once you move beyond the desire for broadband, the more traditional requirements start to emerge. Electricity and gas fired central heating may be more attractive than isolated properties that still rely on oil for their fuel source while garages, off street parking and local amenities are still taken into consideration.
However, it’s Broadband that has emerged as the main requirement in terms of those property ‘add-ons’.
“It is very easy to check broadband speeds in a specific area so we’d urge potential home buyers to do this rather than be left disappointed,” Dominic Baliszewski added.
While it may be easy to check, estate agents are finding that the inclusion of a positive broadband speed on their sales specifications will save time and is also becoming a powerful selling tool.
A recent survey has revealed that downsizing has become the prime reason for moving house within the UK with one if five people moving to a smaller home sooner than they expected. The findings come from Lloyds TSB who claim that more and more homeowners are moving to cheaper houses, either for relocation purposes or simply to save money.
Within the survey, Lloyds TSB found that around one third of those taking part said that they were downsizing to save money on household expenses while 59 per cent stated that they were looking for dwellings that better suited their needs.
Traditionally, those property owners reaching retirement age have been the main demographic in any downsizing statistics but Steven Noakes of Lloyds TSB said that the findings were continuing to include people from all life stages.
“Downsizers are now playing a key role in the housing market and as the study shows we are starting to see homeowners on different stages of the property ladder considering it as a sensible option as more and more families are looking at ways to save money,” Mr Noakes said.
Many are still option to downsize in order to claim a cash windfall and this is another area where market factors have led to more homeowners selling up and moving to smaller properties. Those planning to trade down have seen the average amount of their cash windfall rise by forty per cent over the course of the last ten years. It’s claimed that trading from a detached home down to a small bungalow in 2012 will earn an average of £97,298 – an increase of £28,484 from 2002.
“While we have seen a significant rise in the potential cash windfall, downsizing can make a lot of sense for a wide range of people, it is important to consider carefully whether trading down is the best solution,” Added Steven Noakes.
“Whether you are looking to lower utility bills, pay for an offspring’s tuition fees, or free up extra cash for retirement we recommend you seek professional advice before taking action.”
For anyone thinking of downsizing, they are urged to weigh up all the advantages and disadvantages and there are more than just financial issues to consider. On the plus side there are factors such as less work and maintenance but some homeowners regret their decision purely because they miss the comfort factor that a larger property can bring.
For whatever reason, downsizing is on the up but will it make any significant boost to the property market over the next few months and years?
Last week, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) announced a welcome to new housing minister Mark Prisk while urging the MP for Hertford and Stortford to act quickly to protect the interests of domestic property building firms across the country.
Meanwhile, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have responded to calls within the industry to aid housing growth by announcing new proposals which will inject cash as well as addressing the question of restrictive planning laws.
“We hope he (Mark Prisk) will offer some radical ideas to transform the current housing and planning systems and tackle the housing crisis, providing economic growth and jobs, and strengthening communities across the country,” said Stewart Baseley of the HBF last week.
In the separate announcement, the UK’s coalition government claim that their brand new package of measures will create up to 70,000 new properties including a significant proportion of affordable new homes for first time buyers.
The proposals will also aim to create around 140,000 jobs in the sector as the government aims to inject £40bn into infrastructure projects. It will also look to reduce the obstacles put in the way of new homes and will allow developers to sit down with local councils and re-negotiate agreements on affordable homes.
Speaking on daytime television Mr Cameron said,
“Frankly we had a situation where the lenders did not want to lend so the builders could not build and the buyers could not buy. We are talking today about 140,000 jobs provided by building an extra 70,000 houses.”
Nick Clegg added that the scheme would simply make it cheaper for developers to build.
“If you are finding it too expensive to raise money yourself to put shovels in the ground to employ on construction sites and build homes for private rent and to build affordable homes we are going to make it cheaper for you to do so,” he said.
Predictably however, Labour’s opposition has criticised the government’s actions on new homebuilding as a whole.
“We need to get Britain building again, but the government has slashed the housing budget and the number of affordable homes being built is down by 68%,” said Rachel Reeves, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.
“The fundamental problem is not the planning system or Section 106 agreements for much-needed affordable housing, it is the lack of confidence and demand in the economy, slashed public investment and the government’s failing economic plan.”
However, the Prime Minister is adamant that this shows a clear commitment from the government to address any problems and to meet the demand for new housing.
“The measures announced today show this government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing all it can to kickstart the economy. Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming. But along with our housing strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest home building programmes this country has seen in a generation,” Mr Cameron concluded.
The big news for housing this week came with the cabinet reshuffle that saw Grant Shapps moved from housing minister with Mark Prisk taking his place. Mr Prisk, the Conservative MP for Hertford and Stortford has been told in some quarters that he has a daunting task and that he must address many industry issues without delay.
The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has been particularly vocal in the wake of Mr Prisk’s appointment as it raises concerns above the future for new builds in the UK. Earlier this week, Steve Turner who is Head of Communications at HBF urged the government to put pressure on the country’s banks to increase their overall lending.
“There are ways that the government can help but ultimately we need to see the banks lending more money – it is exactly the same as for mortgages,” Mr Turner said.
Those comments came after claims that development finance represented the biggest obstacle to sustained home building and not planning policy as many believe.
On the HBF website however, the federation goes even further in putting their point across as they urge the new housing minister to ‘hit the ground running’. The HBF claim that at present, we are building homes at the slowest rate since the 1920’s and that we are only providing half of the country’s overall requirements.
The HBF go on to state that they are looking for the coalition government to address what it calls a severe lack of mortgage credit and development finance. Amongst other issues, the federation has also asked that funding is maintained for the FirstBuy scheme which has been responsible for 10,000 new homes in the UK.
It all adds up to a daunting task for the new incumbent – a fact which the HBF acknowledge.
“We welcome Mark Prisk to the role. Whilst he has an unenviable intray, it is clear that he understands the scale of the job in front of him with his background in the sector,” said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF.
“We hope he will offer some radical ideas to transform the current housing and planning systems and tackle the housing crisis, providing economic growth and jobs, and strengthening communities across the country. In his previous role he undertook some positive work to reduce regulation, a commitment his Government has also made with regards to housing and something we hope he will now deliver on.”
The federation go on to welcome Mr Prisk and while the size of the issues facing the housing market as whole are a significant task, the questions that relate to new home builds are obviously going to take up a major proportion of the new Housing Minister’s role.
There was more bad news for homeowners and potential property purchasers alike when Santander announced an increase to its Standard Variable Rate (SVR) last week. That increase was, in percentage terms, quite significant with the rate changing up to 4.74%.
Santander claim that the rate change will add around £26 a month to a £100,000 mortgage but insisted that it had no further plans to increase the SVR again. The rise will affect all existing Santander customers along with those acquired from other providers with the exception of Alliance and Leicester. It’s thought that the move will see an increase in monthly payments for a ‘few hundred thousand customers’.
“For the last three years the amount it costs us to provide mortgages and the rates we offer our savings customers have been increasing, despite the base rate remaining static,” a Spokesperson for Santander said.
“Additionally, the cost of running a bank in the UK has increased dramatically through a combination of increased liquidity, capital and funding requirements,” the company added.
Santander have, however, been accused of profiteering by some who have deemed the increase unnecessary. It’s been suggested that this was a profitable area for the lender and they have merely increased their SVR in order to take further advantage.
Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients said that this was ‘profiteering, pure and simple’.
“The move puts its SVR towards the upper end of the scale when compared with other big lenders such as Halifax, Woolwich and Nationwide,” Mr Harris added.
Following the increase, advice has come from many quarters, urging those affected to shop around. For those in a variable rate mortgage with no penalties for settlement, such a move could bring monthly payments back to more affordable levels.
“Any homeowners worried about their mortgage payments should make sure they do their homework to make sure they get the best deal possible to suit their needs,” said Michael Ossei of financial comparison site uSwitch.
Mr Ossei also warned that further hikes in the SVR from other lenders were likely.
“This latest increase should serve as a warning that mortgage payments could go up at any time and with very little notice. If you are enjoying lower mortgage payments at the moment it may be worth overpaying, or putting aside the extra cash you’re saving while rates are so low. And although it may be another year or more before the base rate rises, the only way for mortgage rates to go in the long term is up,” he concluded.
Figures relating to mortgage lending and the property market as a whole have been affected by a number of unusual factors this year. Firstly, there was a late rush to beat the stamp duty ‘holiday’ on properties priced up to £250,000 and the subsequent summer lull was exaggerated by major public events – namely the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics.
However, figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) suggest that lending in June 2012 was boosted by the return of many first time buyers to the market but does this mean we can expect a settled period for the remainder of 2012?
The CML confirmed that lending to First Time Buyers (FTB’s) stood at its highest point since July 2010 – excluding the solitary month of March 2010 when the property market saw a late rush to beat the stamp duty reintroduction.
Paul Smee, Director General of the CML welcomed the news but said that he expected further fluctuations in the market. Concern over the Eurozone crisis continues and the statistics have yet to see any impact from this year’s Olympics.
“Lending figures have see-sawed in the first half of the year and we may see more fluctuations in the coming months,” Mr Smee said.
Many property professionals are pleased to see FTB’s return to the market in such numbers but insist that more has to be done to make first time property purchases more accessible.
“It’s good news that ending the stamp duty concession appears not to have held first-time buyers back permanently, but they still need as much support as possible,” said Charles Haresnape, managing director at Aldermore Residential Mortgages.
“It will be good to see more lenders participating in NewBuy and offering schemes to help borrowers who are struggling to find a deposit.”
The Mortgage Advice Bureau confirmed that their own figures were largely in line with those released by the CML but they also predicted an uncertain period ahead.
“MAB’s own figures for May reflect those released by the CML,” said Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau.
“However, we expect external factors to play a major part in activity levels in the next few months, with activity levels to continue to fluctuate.”
Overall, it’s impossible to identify any pattern in the figures released by the CML but it has to be a positive aspect to see FTB’s returning to this level. The future may be uncertain in the short term but longer term benefits should be attained by making it easier to make that first step onto the property ladder.
Everyone has heard about the bank of Mum and Dad but there are fears that first time home buyers are skipping a generation and looking to their Grandparents for help with funding their purchase.
These concerns have arisen after reports that the sale of Equity Release products has soared in the six months from January to June of this year. The increase equates to a rise of over 10% from the same period in 2011.
During the first half of 2012, the Equity Release Council report that some £424 million was freed up with 31% of those surveyed stating that the money was to be distributed among their loved ones. With young first time buyers struggling to raise a deposit in order to get onto the property ladder, much of this money is being utilised in this way.
Dr Ros Altman, Saga’s Director General put the issue in blunt terms when she stated that the elderly are living longer and their grandchildren are having to wait longer for their inheritance as a result.
‘The last thing you want as a grandparent is for your children and grandchildren to be thinking, “When is granny going to pop off so I can get my hands on the house?” She said.
Among the concerns expressed by some observers is the theory that many who enter into the schemes are not fully aware of the process and how it works. While the debt involved is only repaid upon death, the outstanding amount can double every eleven years.
With that in mind, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service has advised the elderly to consider their own futures and the potential issues involved before entering into any Equity Release scheme.
‘While equity release to help children or grandchildren get on the property ladder or pay for their education can be gratifying for many, it can be a huge burden for others,’ a spokesman said.
‘There are a lot of costs associated with getting older, and it is crucial that these are factored in to any decisions about equity release.’
Andrea Rozario, director general of the Equity Release Council concludes by asking anyone currently considering an Equity Release product to take independent advice before making the final decision.
‘Advisors are incredibly important when it comes to equity release as not only will they help the consumer to decide if equity release is right for them, but also make sure that they are getting the benefits they are entitled to,’ she said.
The start of any new month brings a fresh batch of property statistics and first out of the blocks are the Nationwide with claims of significant falls in house prices. In fact, the Society reports that property figures are falling at their fastest rate since 2009 and the trend looks set to continue for the remainder of 2012 at least.
Nationwide’s survey reveals that the average price of a home in Great Britain now stands at £164,389, a fall of over £1,000 from the June figure of £165,738. That represents a drop in percentage terms of 0.7% and this is the fourth month out of the last five that overall property prices have decreased.
It was also reported that mortgage approvals were at their lowest point since 2010 and Nationwide claim that the gloomy picture is firmly down to the current recession.
“The weaker price trend observed in recent quarters is unsurprising, given the disappointing performance of the wider economy,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist.
“The UK recession intensified in the three months to July, with the economy contracting by 0.7% quarter on quarter.”
The Society also went on to point the finger at contributory factors such as the wet summer and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but suggested that these were only minor issues and shouldn’t be blamed in isolation.
“This disappointing outturn can be only partly explained by unusually wet weather and the impact of an extra bank holiday during the quarter,” Mr Gardner added.
Elsewhere, property experts have met the news with resigned acceptance while it is forecast that property prices could ultimately end up falling by as much as 3%.
“The soft news on the housing market is coming pretty thick and fast at the moment,” said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.
“The Nationwide data reinforce our belief that house prices are headed lower over the rest of 2012 and very possibly beyond in the face of limited activity, low and fragile consumer confidence, muted earnings growth and relatively high unemployment.
“We expect house prices to end up losing at least 3% from current levels.”
Nationwide have also been in the news recently for releasing what some are heralding as the ‘cheapest ever mortgage deal’. After HSBC introduced a fixed rate product of 2.99% in July, Nationwide went on to trump this with a 2.95% deal.
However, the qualify criteria for both products is very strict and as such, neither are likely to kick start the mortgage approval market on their own. In turn, property prices could be set to maintain their downward spiral for some time to come.