A divorce can be a messy, expensive, and stressful experience, and a person’s financial life may be very different after their divorce is over. Often, a newly divorced person will sell some of their possessions such as their wedding band, and they may downsize their lifestyle to handle the costs of lawyers and the like. But this does not have to be the end. Someone who just got a divorce can find all kinds of ways to get their life back together, and this often involves assessing their finances carefully and moving out. Real estate and moving tips often factor into post-divorce plans, and this ranges from home loans to consulting real estate agents and their CMA reports to finding child or pet daycare centers nearby. So, what are some general moving tips that a divorcee can use to get their life back on track? And how can they settle their finances so they can better afford to follow these moving tips and find a great place to live?
Get a Handle on Your Finances
Moving to a new place is often spurred by recent financial changes, usually for the worse. If a divorcee has lost a lot of money or their house in their divorce, or if they have a lot of divorce attorney debts to pay back. Before making any major decisions, the divorcee is urged to calculate the current state of their finances both now and in the future, and this can set some boundaries for what they do. That person can create lists and spreadsheets to itemize their earnings and expenses alike. For example, the divorcee can add up their lawyer fee payments, along with expenses such as child support obligations, car payments, healthcare expenses, and groceries and more. The divorcee may also factor in their current savings and earnings, and set up a budget for any area of their life, from getting a new car to finding a good apartment for rent or a house for purchase.
Rebuilding credit is another strong option for post-divorce life, and the divorcee can find ways to build up a good credit score so they can more easily get approved for mortgages and car loans. For example, they can get a new credit card and carefully pay it off, or when they get a mortgage, be diligent about paying it off responsibly. Overall, once the divorcee has determined what they can and cannot afford to do, they will know which options to take, and keep their finances secure in the process.
Find a Property That Meets Your Needs
So, where should a divorcee move, and what are some general trends in moving overall? Moving is quite common; in 2018 alone, an estimated 40 million Americans move, and they tend to be on the younger side. Americans move less often as they age since they become more invested in houses and don’t like the hassle of moving, while young adults move quite often (especially since they tend to rent). As for the timing, Americans like to move most in the summer, partially since that is when children are out of school. Winter is the least popular time, probably due to snow and ice making the roads hazardous. Some states are quite popular to move to, such as Florida and California, but a moving person doesn’t necessarily have to go there, or even leave their home state.
A divorcee might choose to find an apartment for rent rather than find a house for sale, and this is a strong option if the divorcee’s financial life is modest and still in recovery. Many people move into an affordable apartment while they are working on saving up money, rebuilding credit, and paying off debts. After that, they may look for houses for sale on the market, and this is quite an endeavor. But it can be done.
Moving tips include the consultation of a real estate agent, who can help a client look over properties in a given area and find some that match what the client needs. Location is quite important, of course, such as proximity to offices or shopping centers and schools. But the price is also a factor, and that is where CMA reports, or “comparative market analysis,” can help. How does it work? The software will collect data on all properties in an area that are similar to one another, and compare their prices. In this way, the report can figure out the typical or average price of a property like that in the area. That can help a buyer avoid overpriced properties, and sellers use CMA reports to avoid setting prices that are too high or too low.
Someone going house hunting can look up properties online to narrow down their options, but of course, visiting properties in person is also a must. When visiting in person, the buyer can get a feel for the property and evaluate its condition in detail. This is especially important for used houses, which may have any number of issues both inside and outside. A damaged roof may leak during rain, and the walls might have thin spray foam insulation or the windows are old and don’t fit well (and thus admit air drafts). Floorboards might be twisted or scratched, there might be water stains on the drywall, or there may be leaking pipes or faulty electrical outlets. But if a property checks out, the buyer can get a mortgage and fill out the paperwork, then get ready to move.
Work with Affordable Moving Companies
Anyone who is moving will need some extra hands around, especially if the mover is alone or their children are too young to help. Once a person has decided where they will move and when they can look up affordable moving companies and consult their websites. Some moving companies may have better customer reviews than others, and some may offer more competitive prices than others. Also bear in mind that some moving companies only perform local moves, such as from one side of a city to the other, while others can handle much longer moves, such as from Texas to Colorado or from Massachusetts to Florida. The client is urged to also check for any obscure fees or costs that a given moving company may charge. During the move, trucks and trailers can deliver the goods to the new residence, though if the streets become narrow and cramped, a large truck may stop so the workers can move its items into a smaller vehicle for the remainder of the trip. Finally, take note that while moving companies do provide cardboard boxes for customers, these are quite expensive, and a client is best off finding cardboard boxes elsewhere.
Take Care of Remodeling Work
Newly constructed houses are fresh and tough, but not all homes are like this. When a divorcee moves into a used house and settles in, they may decide to hire some remodeling contractors to make the house feel fresh and new, and this can make all the difference. A homeowner who is preparing to sell their property may also hire remodeling crews to make their property more appealing on the market and boost its price. For a selling homeowner, hiring remodeling experts can generate a high ROI. But some divorcees might not be able to afford those homes, so they may buy a different used home, then hire remodeling contractors later.
What can these remodeling experts do to upgrade and refresh a home? It might actually be faster to list what they do not do. Some rooms, such as the kitchen and master bathroom, are popular for remodeling, though roughly 30% of all home remodeling jobs involve the entire house at once. Often, homeowners schedule whole-house remodeling jobs for a time when they are away, such as a business trip or an extended vacation. In other cases, remodeling can easily be done for just a few rooms.
The kitchen is arguably the most popular room to remodel since a freshly remodeled kitchen is a clean, pleasant, and practical place for cooking, which is usually the idea. Refinishing kitchen cabinets is a fine way to start, to sand off and remove caked-on grime and repaint the sanded-down wood for a fresh look. If need be, those cabinet doors can simply be replaced, or the entire cabinets can be removed for fresh, tougher ones. This is rather costly, but if the old cabinets are shoddy and faulty, this is a good idea. Meanwhile, the countertop can also be removed and swapped out for a new one, such as a tough and attractive granite or marble model. Plumbers can remove an old sink and put in a fresh new one, which may also be a low-flow model that saves water over time. A new dishwasher can be installed, and even a new stove may be an option whole remodeling this room. The floor tiles can be removed, and new ones placed, and/or linoleum. Finally, the homeowner can consider having new lighting fixtures or wallpaper put up.
The master bathroom can also have its walls, lighting fixtures, and tiles replaced, and plumbers can do a lot of good here. They can swap out an old showerhead and arm for a new one, such as low flow models, and the same is true of the toilet and sink. All this saves on the water bill for years to come, and new fixtures make the bathroom much more pleasant.
Move with Family in Mind
Many moving tips are pertinent for finances and housing, but even after the divorcee has found and settled into an affordable new place, they may need to care for other members of the household. If that divorcee had good family lawyers, they may have custody of one or more of their children, and this means finding the right schools and daycare centers nearby. In fact, the divorcee probably chose their property location based on the availability of local schools and daycare centers. The parent may look up local preschools and daycare centers during the early stages of moving, so they can find the best-rated preschools or elementary schools in the area.
The parent can enter a specific search to narrow down the field, such as specifying whether they want to find private schools or public ones and find only the best-rated ones. Once a shortlist of candidate schools is compiled, the parent can tour the schools in person to evaluate them and meet the staff, and review each teacher’s credentials and any programs the school offers for students. During follow up trips to a good school, the parent should bring along their child and check that the child feels comfortable there. Any number of schools can be toured this way until the parent finds the best one, and enroll their child there. For K-12 schools, the parent must either be available to drive the student there or find the local bus stop.
What about pets? Dedicated dog owners may be interested in finding local doggy daycare centers and/or grooming services for their pets, and they can look some up online and review them in person. Any reputable dog daycare center will welcome guests, and the visitor can check to make sure that the dogs there are relaxed and happy, and see how well funded the daycare center is. Also, note that the dog at daycare should be grouped not by size, but by play style and personality, so no dogs fight or get agitated. A good dog daycare center will follow this rule, and the staff will know what to do if a dog gets hurt, behaves badly, or gets sick. Meanwhile, the dog owner can also find a grooming service for their pet, since a well-groomed dog is not only attractive but will also have a healthier coat and will not shed as much. Some breeds are known to shed a lot, but a groomer can brush out excess hairs and prevent mats, which will be a real relief for the owner.
While divorce can certainly be a stressful process that totally transforms a person’s life, this is far from the end. A divorcee is encouraged to first carefully assess and measure their financial life, then use that as a reference to find the best living space they can afford to have. Many conventional moving tips are relevant, from using CMA reports to touring a property in person, and this is a fine way for a divorcee to start a new chapter of their life (and for any pets or children they have with them). A comfortable, affordable new house or nice apartment can be a fine launching pad for whatever future the divorcee builds for themselves.