Becoming a new homeowner after divorce can be a little overwhelming. If your divorce was ultimately amicable, it’s still not an easy thing to go through. One of the more challenging aspects of a divorce or separation is finding a new place to live once you’ve decided to move out of the marital home, and this can become more difficult if you have kids, pets or other family members with you.
Luckily, the idea of finding and moving into a new home doesn’t have to overwhelm you during this time, when you already have a lot going on. Once you do find your new home, you can make it your own and mark the opening of this new chapter of your life. When you are looking for a new place to live and you find it, keep the following tips in mind to make the process go far more smoothly.
Know What You Are Looking For
There are a lot of options out there on the market. When you are starting your search, you can make it easier by making a list of pros and cons for each property you are interested in. While your list will be specific to your own needs, it can include things such as how far the home is from area schools, how safe the neighborhood is, the cost of other homes nearby, and the noise level of the neighborhood. When you have a clear list of what you want and what you don’t want, it becomes much easier to narrow down your choices.
Of course, consider your budget at the start of your search as well. When you have a budget that accounts for things like potential repairs, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how much you can afford.
Be Prepared From the Start
Once you’ve purchased your new home, you’ll be the one responsible for its upkeep. Previously, you and your spouse may have shared this burden together, or they may have handled a lot of this aspect of homeownership. Taking care of a house is definitely its fair share of work, but you don’t have to do everything all at once. Make yourself a maintenance checklist–which should include changing filters, testing smoke detectors, doing some deep cleaning and tuning up appliances and equipment–so you can stay on top of everything.
If you’re not clear on what is needed to properly maintain a home, you can talk to a local plumber, HVAC tech or handyman for some ideas about what you should do to keep your home in working order all year-round. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. After a divorce, it can be tempting to want to prove your independence. However, asking for help when you need it will create a less stressful and more positive situation for you and your family.
Make Your House Into a Home
Once you’ve got your house and are prepared to keep it up, you’ll need to turn your new house into an actual home. If you have kids, it’s especially vital that they feel safe, comfortable and connected in the new place.
Should you have any safety concerns, be sure to install a doorbell camera or security system as soon as you move in. Even if your concerns are not founded, just having something in place will give you valuable peace of mind.
Having traditions in your new home are important, too. Think about your favorite things to do in your marital home. You can give those old things a new spin in your current home to help bring those fond feelings into your space.
Just about all aspects of a divorce are personal, and this includes moving on once the divorce is finalized. It can be tough to move out of the marital home, but instead of dwelling on old memories there, you can use this chance to start fresh in a house of your own instead.