Should we sell the house?

Hello everybody this is Lee and welcome to season EB and flow another episode here today I am talking to Mike derenthal and he is a friend of mine in the neighborhood and he is a realtor who has expertise in selling and buying homes during divorce postd divorce and talked about it a few times in the past and he’s actually even attended some of my support groups and answered questions to people who are going through divorce and have questions about housing and so I decided to bring him on here and share some of his knowledge with more of you 

So thank you Mike for coming absolutely than thanks having me Lee yeah um so I guess just to start with kind of a broad picture question like when people are going through a divorce what are some key things that you think they should be considering when they’re uh thinking about settlement options with maybe like buying their ex out of the house or figuring out what makes the most sense what are some things they should be thinking about well usually usually one of the first things I’ll talk about with somebody depending on where they are in the in the process is is to not first of all don’t be rushed you know there’s um it’s very common when I’m talking to somebody that’s going through divorce which can be extremely traumatic  

You’ve got you got the trauma of the divorce that’s going on along with the fact that  real estate is typically going to be the largest asset that has to be figured out as part of that that divorce yeah and um that can that can be a real you make for you know kind of a nasty combination of of decision- making sometimes and a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety and a lot of anger I mean it all kind you know it’s it’s you know it’s really about the money at that point um better or worse and I’ve It’s Not Unusual for me to sometimes talk to somebody that is at a at a point emotionally where a lot of times they want to get through it as quickly as possible yes and and then afterwards you’ll talk to somebody a year or two later once the dust is settled  

It’s very common to hear them Express regret for quick decisions they made back back when they were the you know in the midst of the of the uh of the divorce so that’s usually my first bit of advice is you know take a breath try to you know I know this it’s a it’s a painful process to go through and people want to get on with life but you know what how that real estate part of the equation shakes out can be can really kind of you know determine really fin trory yeah absolutely think that that makes so much sense and you know when you’re going through the divorce the trauma and the stress your ability to think calmly and really big picture long term is somewhat uh less strong than it would be in your regular life and and can be stressful because it’s such a big investment so yeah I think that’s really really good advice um I think some people who probably are homeowners before the divorce the idea of maybe potentially renting for a year or two sounds like they’re taking a step back in life but I think to what you’re saying it could just be thought of us to come and figure out what your best decisions might  be um not that people should choose to rent but it shouldn’t be something that they just write off as like oh no I can’t be a renter yeah that that kind of goes with any any sort of real estate transaction 

I you know whether you’re going through divorce whether or not you’re coming out of you know somebody may have just lost a loved one you know job situation maybe you just relocated I always I always typically tell people you know be very careful about making that making that big long-term financial decision when you’re in the midst of some sort of you know OT you know duress so to speak sometimes the finances might might Force things to happen you know at at a certain rate at a certain speed but I’m you know and I’m in the business I don’t I don’t necessarily make money when somebody rents a house I make money when they buy and they sell but I’ve I’ve still over the years always try to tell them listen your best interest might be might be best by saying let me take time out rent for six months 12 months and you know get some of these other pieces in place before you before you go make a big purchase decision or decision it’s so true like my personal experience with that when we moved to Orlando in 2006 my son was like six months not sleeping through the night so I was so sleep deprived and we wanted to find a place to live here and we came for like a weekend and we looking looking looking and kind of Under Pressure chose a house to buy partly because we had a cat and dog and finding a rental at the time was hard but in hindsight it was such a bad move we ended up kind of stuck in this area that we didn’t like because we just didn’t know the area and hindsight I always recommend renting for a year if you’re going to move to a new area be so that you can really know the town and decide what area you want that was that was our probably worst decision that we ever made in our marriage together but luckily it was temporary we were there a few years but not uncommon not uncommon yeah um so for people I know another thing for some of my clients the idea of um the house becomes a really big sticking point in the settlement if both parties want to keep the house or one party wants to buy the other one out but it’s probably maybe too much for them like what are some things that you talk to people about when they’re trying to make that decision about keep the house or there there’s a there’s gosh we could we could talk for hours on that one yeah there’s a there’s a few things I think are worth mentioning first of all you know and I just had this conversation with somebody a couple weeks ago it’s it’s when you know a lot of times you know more often than not a divorce is contentious you lost trust your anger your angry there’s there’s you know people people aren’t getting divorced because they like each other and um and and getting getting advice and and Direction input on on you know the valuation what the Market’s doing what you should or shouldn’t do with the property finding finding a resource for that that both parties trust yes can be a huge struggle sometimes and it’s um you know people you know my my ex was a family law attorney so had a lot of insight into divorce outside of my real estate practice over the years and so many times 

 I’ve heard stories people have no idea what what the financial implications are just in terms of attorney fees and whatnot when they when things get ugly yes and and it’s you can kind of once you’ve been through it you can kind of see it but so you know people people could put a lot more money and and be in a much better space financially at the end of divorce if they can make Little Steps take Little Steps along way to try to minimize the the the friction and the anger and the you know the stuff that’s going between the two parties completely yes sometimes that’s possible and sometimes it’s not depending on the circumstances but but finding you know an ideal scenario is that both both parties find a real estate person that they can trust that can have a a a calm businesslike conversation with both of them maybe it’s separate conversations but say listen I’m G to come in here and try to give you a you know an honest assessment of what you’re sitting on as far as the valuation of this Pro this property right that can be huge if that can’t happen you know then you can you know it doesn’t hurt to have you know okay you get somebody you trust I’ll get somebody I trust then you that can be tricky then but but you know finding somebody you trust that that that can treat it like a business transaction because that’s really how it needs to be be looked at yes when somebody’s in the middle of a divorce they there’s so much emotion we’ll keep coming back keep saying that over and over again and there’s the emotion of you know maybe 

I’m emotionally attached to the property the other one I I hear all the time is somebody says well I want to keep the house for the kids yes you know I’ve got five more years till the kids are out it’s really important to me that I keep this house because and people are like in that situation I find a lot of times people are like so emotionally distraught and they feel you know a lot of guilt and anger towards what the kids are having to go through yes having been through it myself and having seen so many other people go through it I I usually try to find a delicate way of telling well you know what the kids living in the marital home is really in the grand scheme of things not as important to the kids typically as it is to the parents yes it’s so true so true and I feel like the kids are pretty resilient um if and I think if you can keep the relationship with your ex amicable and they feel loved by both parents through the process that’s so much more important for the kids well-being than the same home yeah and people will fight over the home until they can’t even talk to each other and then the kids are living in this space of a war between the parents over a property and the parents somehow don’t realize that the stress of seeing their parents at war is so much worse than having to move to a different yeah yeah that that’s and it’s hard to explain that to somebody when they’re going through divorce and they’re dealing with those emotions yeah but from the outside it’s it’s so it’s so obvious yes people have got you know all this this sadness and this anger they’re dealing with and they’re trying to they’re kind of projecting their their issues onto the kids right like you said you’ve seen it too what’s what’s more important would be if those parents could could maintain some stability and the kids really doesn’t matter where the kids are living if they’ve got parents that they reduced the the anger and the stress between them exactly yeah I mean when my ex and I split we were living in the Philippines and we’d only been there for three months so the kids had just adjusted to like living in a new country we were only going to live there for a year but it was and then three months later we told them like okay it’s not working and and uh my ex and I were very amicable through that year and we ended up still traveling together with the kids and he would come over for dinner so and so it was a smooth transition in some respects I mean don’t get me wrong it’s probably was so difficult for them they didn’t show as much of it as uh probably was going on below the surface but um you know I think the amicability if possible it’s just it’s so hard but we’re the adults and so yeah so that so that’s a big part of it you know sometimes it’s just not possible um give the situation but I you know again if if this is helpful to anybody out there that’s watching this you know from experience I can just tell you it’s you know it’s not that that at the end of the day the the emotions tied to that house are usually you know are are between the husband and and the wife and when or the personal attachment to the property like this is my home I’ve spent all this time creating this home all these memories but um all of that uh you can make new memories in a new home if need be and make your new home yours yeah so yeah yeah um what about for people who start to look for a new home as a single person because now probably they’ve purchased their previous home with their ex as a partner and that’s it’s way less intimidating I think doing something like that when you have somebody else to help you make the decisions how do you guide people if G to it’s might be the first time they’re gonna buy a home as a single person yeah that can be that can be a big deal um that that can be a really big deal and a lot of times it’s um and if it’s you know if it’s a female sometimes a female can feel a little you know there’s you know not to generalize but you know this is been doing a long time A lot of times might be the the the wife that is is kind of out there on her own financially taking a you know for better worse taking a there’s a bigger Financial change a lot of times yeah on and the in the midst of that trying to make make a house purchase can be extremely extremely stressful and extremely overwhelming on the flip side it can also it’s it’s it can be extremely rewarding for that person once they get through that process and kind of threshold you cross into that that next phase yes empowering like a milestone of like oh my gosh I bought a house for myself yeah and I’m getting I’m getting Goosebumps right now because I’ve experienced that with some of my clients and you see it’s it’s really it’s really a significant Sy you know it’s kind of symbolic of like okay 

 I’ve got this you know life goes on and and life’s you know there’s there’s a lot of positive things that await me out there absolutely so that can be really warning but again all these this gets back to you know um there’s an emotional side of it of you know an emotional Journey there’s also a very big important business financial side of it too um and and that part of it gets back to make sure you’re working with somebody you know on all aspects that that knows what they’re doing that’s experienced you know you’ve got the you know you got a real estate aspect of it you’ve got a financing aspect of it you know A lender make you’ve got you know make sure the the property is inspecting you know you got inspections you’re taking place I mean there’s there’s a lot of there’s a lot of spots where you will see people I’ve been in this for about 20 years now where you know and I was new at the business at some point as well but you want to be careful especially when somebody’s got all this this stuff going with divorce and whatnot just be careful who you’re working with because you see somebody that gets themselves into a bad situation because well my my brother-in-law just got his license and he wants to help me out right you want to see people grow their business but you also want to be very careful make sure you know these These are important decisions absolutely you got other stuff going on and then you know it’s it’s um I I would say that’s that’s that’s the big takeaway just is be care it’s it’s a business decision yeah I 100% agree when I was in real estate one of the things that I saw with firsttime home buyers is a lot of times they wanted to work with their bank for their loans and at least not to throw Banks under the bus or anything but it seemed like from my perspective working with the banks was so much harder than if they were working with a experienced mortgage broker and the times where the loans became problems or they had issues or it was so slow a lot of time it was almost always when we were working with a bank so that was just something that I feel like a lot of people assume a big bank is something they can trust and I just encourage people find professionals you’re exactly right you’re you’re exactly right for for most for 90% of the people out there they’re going to have a better financing situation if they go probably not with their with their you know their big bank that they may have had checking accounts with for years yeah they’re not getting special treatment from their Banks because of their their checking accounts and their relationship those banks are really not in the business of of doing residential loans yeah yeah the other thing 

I think might be worth you know kind of circling back a little bit is is you know gets back to the finances side of it I’ve seen a lot I get a lot of phone calls when people are making kind of the financial decisions and working out the finances of the divorce um I I wish I wish I could get a hold and talk I wish more people would understand their finances and what the implications are for them post divorce yes they make those decisions on whether you know what sort of cash settlement are you getting what sort of you know Alon payments how this stuff affects your ability to either keep the house you might negotiate with the spouse like okay I’m G to keep the house and then find out after youve made that decision that you don’t you know you don’t qualify and you got to basically qualify to maintain to keep that loan yes take the spouse off there’s all sorts of complications that get involved that go into house it’s financed by two married individuals exactly one leaving and then letting the other one keep the house and most people seem to make a lot of decisions with attorneys yeah and then afterwards like wait a minute we got to sell the house now we weren’t planning on that right yeah circumvented on the front end with with if somebody again pauses talks to the right people and says make sure we’re we’re doing our homework afford to keep the house yeah because I think people end up keeping the house if they can but their house poor so they can’t ever go out for dinner or take a vacation with their kids and right yeah these big tradeoffs in order to have the house 

there’s Creative Solutions as well um like at least you know when you’re in mediation you can come up with Creative Solutions with your ex like for my situation we agree that I was getting the house but we kept the loan it was in his name at the time we kept it in his name for three years and the agreement was that I would refinance after three years which I did and then the house was in my name but just to give me a chance to get settled figure out my income and how the loan would work best for me and I got really lucky because interest rates went down in those three years so it just panned out but we had an amicable relationship enough to for him to trust me to keep the loan in his name and I know that’s not always going to be the case for people but I think need to think out of the box sometimes when they’re in that mediation room yeah and the other the other thing and that’s to that I would add to that is anytime a divorce is finalized and it’s not uncommon you know for divorce to be finalized and the piece of real estate is still is still owned between the two parties similar to you and and you’ve got to have a really my opinion a really good relationship with the ex pull that off because because there’s there’s so much like you said there’s so much that can happen a year two three years out in terms of you know the value of the property might change drastically interest might change drastically the ability for the the one spouse to main to to be able to afford the financing right a lot of unknowns and I think a lot of that um you know if the if the two parties can ask themselves some honest questions and almost do like a you know what’s what could possibly go wrong here right have that conversation on the front end say you know what okay if that happens XYZ happens yes we’re both we’re both okay to to accommodate and work with each other on that exactly it’s not the case and then you’ll get to a point three years later a spouse is trying to sell the house that they still own and all of a sudden the other spouse think no that house is worth a lot more you know I’m not gonna sign and all of a sudden so it’s that’s a that’s a pretty special case I tell people be very careful with that one yeah yeah I think uh we did get lucky that once we made the agreement the agreement was worked out really well for us but I I think there’s a lot to what you just said with that yeah well it’s well part you know maybe you got lucky that you also you and your you and your ex you know it takes the right kind of personalities and right right level of cooperation hey this is you know big picture we’re we’re both still committed to doing this and not you know not you know turn the screws on somebody exactly yeah for us I we both have a good level of trust with each other and want the best for each other and you know want the best for our kids and I think that that has just served us well yeah um so what about um the age of the kids when you know if the kids are younger and they’re thinking about buying or selling the home versus if the kids are like two or three years out from going to college like how do you guide people differently based on the age of their kids well first of all I’ll tell you this whether you’re whether you’re in a the process of going through divorce or not it’s so common for people when they’re when they’re close to becoming empty nesters or they’ve become empty nesters

 I hear all the time Le somebody says well we’re gonna hang on to the house because we want a spot for the kids to come back and visit or you know this is this is the house they all grew up in and and we can’t wait to have the kids you know have grandkids come back and all that stuff oh my gosh think that all the time about this house so y you want the hard truth yes they are almost 99.99% likely not going to be back is as much as you envision right right it’s just it’s a sad reality of it you know you and are are close to being you know kind of the same stage as far as where our kids are yeah reality of it is that once they once they’re launched you know maintaining that house with the idea that this is where my kids want to be right is prob um it’s it’s it’s what you’re telling yourself because it feels good it’s probably not the reality of it and then I usually end up getting a phone call you I can’t 

I mean I get phone calls all the time Mike the kids just aren’t coming back we got the 3,000 foot house with the pool right memories but we’re just not see as much as we thought and you know so so that’s something I would say try to be as realistic as you can on that when you’ve got kids older teenagers yeah probably going to find yourself and especially if you’re a divorce situation where those kids are going to start bouncing back and forth between two properties you’re going to find yourself in a home that’s a lot more house than you need half the time true so true yeah oh that’s really really a very good point and back to as far as the younger kids go I’m again having been through the process myself and having dealt with so many people that have gone through it um you know I I I’m a I just I’m fairly adamant in believing that the actual physical location of of where those kids are living is is is has such a minuscule amount of importance to to all the other aspects of of things that are going on with the with divorce yeah affects the kids right yeah I think you’re that’s so so true yeah let me see about any other questions that I have thought of um well anything from your personal experience or things that you want to add that have not thought of yeah I mean I kind of go back to the importance of similar to you my ex and I think did a had a fairly amicable divorce and we you know took work from from all involved my ex myself the kids but we we put work and effort into it and and so I’ve got kind of a I’ve got maybe a a a little bit of a you know had an easier time with it and I know a lot of people things other people have to deal with but one thing I find myself telling people is  be very conscious of how how little small things can blow up very quickly a that’s so true and and it’s you know and people that can put the effort into and try to try to take a step back and and look at a big picture 30,000 feet level you know what’s going on yes typically be glad they did once they get through it exactly and you know I I jokingly tell people my you know my ex and I we you know we divide up 20 plus of Assets in about 30 minutes a fairly amicable way and then we got into some of our biggest disagreements over some really stupid stuff yes um fortunately we both were able to kind of take you know step back cool our Jets and whatnot right but it is so easy when you’re in the middle of that kind of stuff you know stuff that’s really not worth a lot of money no and and and really doesn’t the big picture doesn’t mean a whole lot but you can see things totally turn things sideways yes it’s so true true and if you have lawyers who aren’t encouraging you to like slow down some lawyers are really good at that and some you know they just see you spinning out and I don’t know maybe don’t know how to stop that that ball from Rolling but yeah 

My saying to all my clients is choose your battles and really really be selective like the ones that are worth it but like don’t sweat the small stuff and the small stuff and and from a from a you know there’s different things you know different people have different or prioritize different things if you if you prioritize the finances I can tell you every one of those little battles that turns into big one cost you money yes yes cost money bottom line they cost they cost you money every time there’s an attorney involved every time there’s a delay and and then if you’re you know if you’re more concerned about kind of the emotional you know relationship side of it they they they chip away at that too you know you will get through this at some point everybody you know I remember everybody tell me that in my first year and I was it was brutal and you every like it gets better it gets better you hear that right it does it truly does you get to a point where you can look back in hindsight and be like you know what I really am glad I was able to kind of like maintain some some level of Civility absolutely yeah that year when you’re in it it feels so hard to when that year when you’re in it that first year and the negotiations with the divorce it is so emotional and so raw but keeping that rational part of your brain engaged that frontal cortex like calming yourself down taking breaths taking a break when things are when you can feel your nervous system going into like fight ORF flight mode if you can catch yourself it pays off in dividends uh for your sanity for your kids for a co-parenting relationship it’s just in so many ways financially and um yeah it’s that’s really I think the key and I’ll I’ll throw this out there this might be a little bit off topic but I’ve got I feel like I’ve got some insight just having you know live with somebody that was a you know family law attorney a long time you know the choice of attorneys that people make on the front end or any point in the process is can is is another huge Factor yes I know my ex used to you know certain cases that she you know certain you know certain attorneys they have a reputation like okay if you if you sign on with this attorney you will be going to court you know you’ll be spending a lot of money um others are more focused on like how can we get through this is you know painlessly as possible exactly and again it gets back to the real estate thing do your do your research and try to take a business approach to it and try to get the emotion out of it when you’re making these decisions on the people you’d be working with yeah 100% um I’ve spoken about this in a previous video but my ex since he wasn’t living in the country chose a lawyer really quickly and uh he was not a very helpful lawyer for him he didn’t prepare him well and when we got to mediation like 30 minutes into mediation his lawyer was like we’re going to court we’re just going to go to court and my ex just stopped listening to his lawyer thank God we had a really good mediator who was also a divorce attorney and uh pretty much like my ex’s lawyer did nothing for him he and 

thank God my ex rationally came to his senses and was like all right this guy is in in it for me at this point right and uh but some you know it’s hard I think to have that wherewithal when you’re in the mediation room so choosing the right lawyer Legal Professional who’s going to guide you with your best interest in mind is is crucial like it really is so yeah get recommendations and find someone who you have a good rapport with where you trust them so so that’s such good advice yeah yeah all right this was really really helpful and great like I really appreciate you taking the time to do this I think I think it’s gonna help a lot of people good that’s that’s awesome um if people want to like follow you on social media as far as like learning a little bit more for home buying in general um where are you Mike derenthal just uh there’s I’m the only one out there so they can Google Mike derenthal I’m on Facebook I’m on uh Twitter Instagram LinkedIn and so yeah they can put my name up at the Google bar and I I pop up okay that’s great and we’ll put some links to all of them in the show notes as well so people can look at that but thank you Mike have a great rep Friday weekend and I will see you probably at some point in the neighborhood all right thanks Lee all right take care bye

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