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My Ex Has Stopped Paying the Mortgage — What Next?

A divorce is usually a stressful and emotional event — more so when it involves joint home ownership. If your ex has stopped paying the mortgage, it’s important to understand your legal position and your responsibilities.

We’ve put together a short guide on what to do when a joint homeowner neglects their financial obligations.

Who is liable when a partner stops paying the mortgage?

If your name is on the mortgage, you’re liable for the repayments — whether or not you’ve been responsible for them in the past. If your partner suddenly stops making payments and you fall into arrears, your credit rating will be affected. And you’ll be jointly liable for any interest charges and fees.

Couple managing the debt. Ex stopped paying the mortgage

I want to stay in the property

If you want to live in the property even though your partner has stopped making mortgage repayments, your options might be limited. Contact your lender to explain the situation. There may be the option of a payment holiday or reducing the monthly repayments somehow. As long as you’re honest and communicate regularly, your lender might respond to your requests favourably.

But this is only a short-term solution. Sooner or later, your mortgage company will demand monthly repayments in full — along with any arrears due. If you have a steady income, you have the option of taking on the mortgage repayments yourself. However, doing so without a legal agreement in place regarding ownership of the property doesn’t improve your claim to it.

The best course of action is to appoint a solicitor to deal with the issue of property ownership. If you’re determined to stay in the home, you have the option of making an offer for your ex’s share.

I want to leave the property

My ex has stopped paying the mortgage

If you can’t afford the repayments on your own, or you want to move on, you can sell the house. However, you’ll need the permission of your ex — even if they’ve stopped making repayments.

Sell your house fast, and split what’s left after the mortgage has been settled. But remember: you might have to pay an early settlement fee. And you’ll need to pay any arrears and penalty charges using the proceeds of the sale.

Exactly how the proceeds of a house sale are split depends on the circumstances of the divorce. You can either agree on percentages between you or go to court and leave the decision to a judge. If you’ve been paying the mortgage on your own for several months, you might feel you’re owed more than half the equity.

What happens to my home if we have children?

If dependent children under the age of 18 are involved, the process is a little different. In most cases, the primary caregiver will get the right to remain in the property until all of the children turn 18. A judge might decide this even if your spouse wants to sell the house. The court will usually force your partner to contribute to the mortgage during this time. Alternatively, you might be in a position to buy your partner’s share of the property outright.

Dealing with property ownership during a messy divorce is often complex and very stressful. If you’re determined to sell up and move on as quickly as possible, we can help. We buy houses fast — and for up to 100 per cent of their value.

5 Reasons Property Downsizing is a Great Idea

Downsizing involves selling a larger home to buy a smaller property to free up cash for retirement or other things. Whether you want to buy a second home or just have more money in your pocket for leisure activities, trading down this way can change your life for the better.

While there are some drawbacks — including having less room in which to live — downsizing your home delivers several positive outcomes. Here are five of the most exciting.

1. Remove the clutter from your life

The more space we have, the more we tend to hoard. Many of us could quite easily move to a smaller property if we simply removed unwanted and unused possessions from our home.

Downsizing makes de-cluttering your life a necessity. You don’t have the space for all the items you’ve accumulated over the years, so you give them away or sell them. And that’s a very liberating experience. Having fewer possessions in your home means less cleaning — and less stress.

2. Generate cash

Downsizing property

If you can easily move to a smaller property, you have a great opportunity to generate cash for large purchases or lifestyle changes. If you have a lot of equity in your home, downsizing can free a lot of it up. And that’s money you can spend on holidays, the purchase of a car, putting your children through university or simply living a more fulfilling life.

You might want to pay off your debts and leave yourself with more disposable income every month. Unlock the value in your property by selling it, and use the cash to settle your loans, credit cards and hire purchase agreements.

3. Slash the cost of living

A large home is always more expensive to run than a small one. Take your energy bills, for example. A lot more gas is required to heat a four-bedroom house with large rooms than a one-bedroom apartment. And a lot more electricity is required to light the big spaces in the larger property.

Downsizing your home should result in lower maintenance and repair costs. And the cost of decorative works and renovations should be a lot lower, too. If all this isn’t impressive enough, you can also look forward to greatly reduced Council Tax bills.

4. A fresh start

Downsizing home for a new start

Living in a large home for several years doesn’t always give you the chance to create your personal space from scratch. You add to the property over many years. And then one day, you realise it’s nothing like the home you initially imagined.

Downsizing is an excellent opportunity to choose a home that suits your requirements. Perhaps your children have grown up and moved out. Or maybe you’ve decided to work from home now. It may be that your tastes have changed. Whatever the reason for downsizing, it’s a chance to start your life with a blank canvas.

5. Help the environment

If you own a large, older property, the chances are it’s not as environmentally friendly as it could be. And to make it so might cost several thousand pounds. But choose a smaller, new-build property, and those energy-saving features you want will probably be in place from day one.

A smaller home requires a lot less energy. And it’s built to modern standards of efficiency and energy preservation. You get to save a lot of money and reduce your own carbon footprint at the same time.

If you’re looking to downsize a home as quickly as possible, Flying Homes can help. We buy homes in the UK directly from owners, so you don’t need to waste time on marketing, negotiating and drawn-out legal processes.

Can Certain Features Add Value to My Home?

Making big home improvements is always a big step. We all want to make our home better, but deciding which improvements should take precedence isn’t always easy. If you’re planning to sell your property in a few years, adding features that increase its value might be the best course of action.

But which features should be at the top of your shopping list? We take a look.

A converted basement

If you have the money to convert your cellar into a comfortable living space, you can increase the market value of your home by up to 30 per cent. You won’t need to obtain planning permission, and how you use the room is up to you. However, basement conversions are often more expensive than extensions.

An extended kitchen

Can certain features add value to my home?

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. We are spending more time than ever in our kitchens. We don’t just cook there now — we socialise and catch up with loved ones over drinks and food. For this reason, we need more space. And more of us want to separate laundry from cooking.

Add an extension to your kitchen to create a larger dining or communal area, can add value to your home. If you have the budget to add a utility room as well, you can increase the market value of your home by up to 15 per cent.

A converted loft

Converting your loft is a cost-effective way to add more living space to your home. And the more space there is, the more valuable your property is. A properly extended loft with stairs, doors, windows and utilities is usually expensive. But it’s a lot cheaper than converting a basement or building an extension. Turn your loft into two extra bedrooms with en-suite facilities, and you stand to increase the value of your home by up to 15 per cent.

Can certain features add value to my home?

Exactly the same goes for a garage. In fact, converting most garages is cheaper, as this space often already has power and a water supply.

Planning permission

You don’t always have to invest in significant improvements to increase the value of your home. Just by getting planning permission for major extensions and improvements, you can make your property a lot more attractive to buyers. If all the legal permissions are in place, you can expect the value of your home to increase by up to 10 per cent.

A conservatory

Adding a conservatory is a cost-effective way to increase the value of your home. A conservatory that extends into your back garden can increase the value of your property by up to five per cent. But put a real roof on it, and the value of your home can increase by up to 10 per cent if the new space is large enough.

A new bathroom

If your bathroom is tied, old-fashioned and past its best, replacing it with something modern, functional and stylish could add up to five per cent to the value of your property. And you don’t need to fork out for the latest features and luxury fittings to unlock your home’s price potential.

Always get a realistic estimate of the renovation costs before proceeding with home improvements. If you want to increase the market value of your home, it’s only worth your while if the works cost less than the projected value increase.

What Are the Advantages of Selling to a Property Cash Buyer?

A property cash buyer is someone who makes an offer on a home with the funds required already in their bank account. There’s no need to apply for a mortgage, which means the entire process is concluded a lot faster.

According to stats from the Land Registry, around a third of all house purchases in England and Wales involved a cash buyer in 2017. And this percentage has been rising in recent years. Why? Because there are several advantages involved — and here are a few of the most impressive.

The sale completes quickly

Cash property buyers

A cash buyer has the money needed to buy a property readily available. There’s no need for a lengthy mortgage application — something that often holds up a house sale. By cutting out the involvement of banks, a lot of the red tape is removed. Banks perform several checks before releasing funds, which always slows things down.

This is why more and more homeowners want to find cash buyers — whether that’s in the open market or through a house buying company such as Flying Homes.

There’s often a discount for cash

One of the most exciting advantages of being a property cash buyer is the opportunity to get a modest discount on market value. There’s no property chain involved, and no need for a long, drawn-out mortgage application process. This is highly desirable for sellers in a hurry, no need to bother with staging your home for a sale, just sell in an instance! And to attract cash buyers, a lot of homeowners will offer their property at a slightly reduced price.

No complex property chain

A broken property chain is a common cause of collapsed house sales. Some chains are very complex and involve 10 or more parties. When just one mortgage application or survey, the whole chain collapses.

Most chain collapses occur because of problems with finance. But take the need for a mortgage out of the equation, and an entire property chain can be put back together in a day. This is why a lot of sellers who’ve been let down by their buyer actively seek cash buyers.

If you’re in this position, it might be worth bypassing the open market completely. Flying Homes works with cash buyers around the world. If you need to find a buyer in a hurry, selling to a “we buy any house” firm could be your best option.

You’re less likely to be asked to perform repairs or modifications

Cash property buyers

Banks want to know that their cash is being used to purchase a safe home in a reasonable state of repair. Or at the very least, they want to know that the sale price reflects the current condition of the property. For these reasons, banks insist on surveys, searches and a range of other checks before they release cash.

If a problem is discovered that holds up the sale of your home, you’ll be expected to rectify it yourself. And this could be a costly process. But cash buyers don’t often impose such strict stipulations.

What’s the downside of selling to a property cash buyer?

Finding a cash buyer gives you a degree of certainty during the house selling process. But don’t expect a free ride. In return for this increased certainty and shorter timeframe, you’ll probably have to reduce your price expectations. Remember: selling to a property cash buyer gives you a chain-free quick sale. And this could be crucial if you need to raise funds quickly.

Selling your home to a cash buyer makes the entire process faster and less likely to fail. But you might need to lower your price expectations if speed and certainty are your priorities.

Selling your Home during Summertime

Selling your House in The Summer Months

The summer is filled with distractions, and many of them have the potential to significantly affect the process of selling houses – seasonality can be key. Buyers’ thoughts are more likely to be wrapped up in leisure time, vacation time, school holidays and generally enjoying life. Particularly during warm summers, sun-starved Brits like to make the most of the weather while it lasts, and that can dampen the demand for property somewhat. However, if you need to sell your house during the summer months, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of a quick sale at the right price, by considering the time of year. This guide to selling your home in the summer months could help you to optimise your home for a quick and profitable sale.

Tend to Your Garden Regularly

During the summer, grass and weeds grow quickly, and it isn’t usually too long before a garden starts to grow out of control. It is important to mow lawns and weed your garden at least once every two weeks. Consider putting some items of garden furniture in order to demonstrate the possibilities for leisure, and adding a splash of colour in the form of some flowerbeds could add a different dimension to your property. A tidy colourful garden will give your home ‘kerb appeal’ – an important factor during the home buying process.

Decorate for the Summer

A combination of light tones and flashes of summer colour can really make a home look fantastic during the hotter months of the year, but it is important to use colour sparingly. Buyers tend to respond more favourably to neutral tones, so keep things tasteful. But adding colour with soft furnishings and accessories could be a great way to give your home a distinctive look. Yellows, oranges and greens work very well during this time of year.

Make the Best Possible Use of the Light

A large part of selling your house in the summer involves appealing to the emotions and imagination of potential buyers. One way to achieve this is to allow light to flood into your property wherever possible. Remove any large drapes, and change dark curtains for lighter shades. The careful placement of mirrors and furniture can also add to the bright and spacious image of your home. Allow as much of the summer sunshine into your home as you can, and you might be surprised at the positive reactions from property buyers.

Be Flexible with Property Viewings

Longer days mean people are out and about for longer, and many people will consider viewing properties for sale well into the evening. If you can host viewings at these later times, you will generate more interest in your home, which could push up the final sale price.

Move Things Outside

A hospitable, relaxing family home is always enhanced if there is scope to take daily life outside when the sun is shining. Arrange to have a family barbecue during a viewing, or set up the paddling pool for the kids. Showcasing your gardens and patios like this will help buyers to use their imagination.

Regulate Your Home’s Temperature

Summer heat can be particularly stifling at times, as most houses for sale in the UK don’t have integrated air conditioning systems. Selling your home in summer can go much better if you switch on fans and extractions fans during hot periods, and open as many doors and windows as you can. It can take a while to bring down the temperature of a hot house during the summer, so try to get into the habit of taking these measures at the beginning of every day. If you feel your home is still too hot, investing in some portable fans and a standalone air conditioning unit might be a good idea.

Selling and buying a house is an emotional process for many people, so appealing to the different emotions and requirements that summer brings could help you to sell your house. While demand can wane during particularly hot summers, estate agents and property specialists can help you to stage your home according to the season – and that could squeeze a little extra value out of your property.

Moving house? How to prepare for moving day

How can you prepare for moving house?

Moving house? How to get ready for one of life’s most stressful events, moving day, one of the stages in our selling your home guide.

All the stress of the sale of a house and haggling over home prices is behind you. No more trawling houses for sale with local estate agents – the moving day has finally arrived. While the moving process can itself be a stressful event, a little planning and preparation go a long way. Selling houses involves a complex series of legal and financial tasks, but the new start that moving day signals should be an exciting time. Formulate a plan of action well in advance, get yourself a moving house checklist, and you can truly savour the moment.

Finding a Reliable Removals Firm For Moving House

It is likely that there are dozens of removals companies in your area and finding the right one can be a daunting task. It is important to remember that just opting for the cheapest quote may be a mistake. You should check with previous customers, friends and family to ascertain the level of service each firm offers, and it is also a good idea to learn what types of specialist equipment they use. Your chosen removals firm should also have sufficient insurance cover in place – just in case any of your possessions are lost or damaged in transit when moving house.

Stagger the Moving Process

Whether you find a property to rent or find property for sale in advance, you might be able to move your possessions in different stages saving you the stress of trying to get moved within only a few hours on the day. So, when the day finally arrives for moving house, you might be left with only the most essential items of furniture. Estate agents and conveyancers may be able to arrange a sale in such a way that you gain access to your new home before moving out of your current property allowing you to attend to any essential cleaning and repair jobs without the need to work around stacks of unopened boxes for moving house.

Moving House Checklist Includes Planning Every Detail in Advance

Preparing for moving house
Preparing for moving house

For a smoother day use your moving house checklist of things to do, before during and after your move. Try to make it a weekend – although removals firms will often charge more for these days. However, with less traffic on the road, you should find it easier.

Before the big day arrives, however, there are some essential tasks you can take care of in advance:

  • Contact the Royal Mail and arrange for your post to be redirected for a few weeks.

  • Download any instruction manuals you need and send any emails before moving day, as you may find that you’re waiting several days to install your new Internet connection.

  • Compile a list of instructions for the people buying your home, including will include details of how to operate windows, security systems and heating. It might be nice to leave some local information for your buyers as well, such as the names of your neighbours and the details of any local amenities.

The last thing you should do before locking up for the last time is to take meter readings for gas, water and electricity, and forward them to your utility companies.

Whether you are buying a house or selling a house, the day for moving house is usually emotional. On the one hand, you are excited and happy about moving, but on the other, you are sad about closing the door on a significant chapter in your life. By planning every detail of the moving process, you can ensure that stress and emotions are kept in check when the big day arrives.

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